YouTube – Fokker Dr.1
18 ft. 11 in.
23 ft. 7 in.
2- 7.92 mm
After witnessing the success of enemy triplanes, the Germans rushed the manufacturing of their own beginning in January of 1917. The Fokker Dr.1 was deployed in October of 1917, joining the famous Jagdgeschwader 1 of the Red Barron by mid-month.
Initially pilots encountered problems with wing failures during extreme maneuvers. All aircraft were recalled for inspection. A number had to be refitted with new wings. All Fokker Dr.1 airplanes were redeployed by the end of November 1917.
The Fokker Dr.1 became famous as one of the aircraft flown by Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron. Its three wings make it stand out from the more common biplane fighter aircraft of its day.
A number of other aces also flew the Fokker Dr.1. From September 3rd to September 23, 1917, Lt. Werner Voss downed ten enemy aircraft while flying a prototype, and Lt. Carl Jacobs downed forty one enemy aircraft.
Pilots appreciated the zoom climb and turning abilities of the Fokker Dr.1, but found it relatively under-powered compared with other fighter aircraft. By mid 1918, newer front line fighter aircraft could easily best the airplane and its production ceased.
Mark Holliday, former U.S. Airways pilot, flew a Fokker Dr.1 replica. This is what he reported about the experience: “The Dr.1 replica doesn’t have a rotary engine, it has a modern engine. I flew it (from Fort Lupton, Colorado) to Dayton, Ohio, and I’ve flown it to Oshkosh. It’s a lot of fun for about 15 or 20 minutes. Then after that, no. It wasn’t designed for a cross-country flight. It’s not bad in smooth air, but if you get up into bumpy air, you get worn out because the tail sashays back and forth and slings you around all the time, and you have to keep pressure on both rudder pedals. It doesn’t carry enough fuel – thank goodness – so it flies only about an hour and 15 minutes. After that, you’re just grateful to land and stretch your legs.”
No other rotary engine fighter aircraft were built in Germany after the Fokker Dr.1. A total of 320 were produced.
At RCGroups jetset44 posted plans and instructions of his RC Fokker Dr.1. It is a foamy that has a 36 1/2 in. wingspan, is 30 in. long, and weighs around 1 lb. 5 oz.
Balsa USA has a RC Fokker Dr.1 in a kit. Wingspan is 94 in. a length of 74 1/2 in. and weight is around from 27 lbs. From 2.4 to 3.7 cu. in. glow engines are recommended for powerl
Another kit from Balsa USA has the RC Fokker Dr.1 with a 71 in. wingspan and 56 in. length. Engines can be from 23 to 30 cc gas or from 1.2 to 1.8 4 cycle glow. Weight is about 14 lbs.