The Fokker Eindecker was the first monoplane fighter aircraft and the first aircraft to have a gun fire through its propeller arc. The aircraft used an interrupter gear that allowed bullets from a fixed machine gun to be fired safely between the turning blades of its propeller. That gave its pilots a great advantage over other aircraft not so equipped. Those pilots had to maneuver their aircraft into a firing position and then aim their moving machine guns manually. The interrupter gear synchronized the machine gun of the Eindecker with the propeller blades so that once the pilot pointed the aircraft at its target, the gun was also pointed at it.
Other than its synchronized machine gun, the Fokker Eindecker was not an advanced aircraft. It used wing warping, rather than ailerons, for lateral control. It was not faster or more maneuverable than most of its adversaries. Its ability to bring down large numbers of enemy aircraft was due to its unique propeller interrupter gear.
It was on August 1, 1915 that the legendary German ace Max Immelmann achieved his first air combat victory, and the first air combat victory for an Eindecker. Royal Flying Corps dreaded the Eindecker when it gained notoriety. The introduction of the Eindecker was the beginning of a period of German air supremacy over the Western Front known as the "Fokker Scourge". The Fokker Eindecker, with its synchronized machine gun, gave pilots like Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke a number of victories that made them national heroes as well as well known fighter aces.
In spite of this, for various reasons, the Fokker Eindecker never fulfilled its potential. German paranoia about their "secret" weapon falling into enemy hands meant that the German government would not permit the use of the aircraft outside of Germany. Also, the Fokker Eindecker was generally flown as an escort for two seat aircraft. Production problems also limited the number deployed at any one time to no more than 100.
As Fokker Eindecker pilots learned how to use the aircraft to their advantage, they began operating in groups of four aircraft. Also, an organized ground control system guided them to enemy positions. Even with the limitations placed upon them, a small number of Eindecker aircraft had effectively removed the enemy's ability to carry out reconnaissance missions. At the same time, just two Fokker Eindecker aircraft assigned to the Eastern Front were able to keep the Imperial Russian Air Service at bay. Fokker Eindecker's are said to have downed a total of over 1,000 enemy aircraft.
The Fokker Eindecker evolved from the E.1 to the E.4 series, all with progressively more powerful engines than earlier series aircraft, and some with an additional machine gun. Eventually Allied aircraft were equipped with interrupter gears, and the "Fokker Scourge" came to an end as Fokker Eindecker aircraft were slowly replaced during 1916. About 415 Fokker Eindecker aircraft of all types were produced.
Pictured above is the Fokker Eindecker by Tom Pfarr. It is built from a kit from SR Batteries. Wingspan is 100 in. It is made from balsawood and ply. Recommended power can come from a Zenoah G-26 engine or an AXI 4130/20 motor. It weighs about 16 1/2 lbs.
The Fokker Eindecker from AerodromeRC has a wingspan of 66 in. Aerodrome has a short kit and plans for it. Suggested power is by an AXI 2820 motor. All up weight is around 6 lbs.
AerodromeRC also has a 44 in. wingspan Fokker Eindecker that takes an AXI 2208 motor.
Balsa USA has a Fokker Eindecker kit. It builds to a 60 in. wingspan and a length of 42 1/2 in., and uses bass wood, plywood, and balsawood in its construction. For power you will need .40 to .46 two cycle engines or .45 to .61 four cycle engines. Upon completion it should weigh around 5 1/2 lbs.
Proctor has a Fokker Eindecker museum scale kit. Wingspan is 100 in. and length is 70 in. Proctor recommends a minimum 1.50 four cycle engine. Weight should be between 15 and 20 lbs.
Kit Cutters has plans of a Fokker Eindecker. Wingspan is 68 in. It is designed by Morgan/Novack. Suggested power are from .35 to .40 engines.
The AMA has Fokker Eindecker plans by John Lockwood. Wingspan is 100 in. It is for engine power. Plan no. is 50033.
There are plans for a Fokker Eindecker with a 55 in. wingspan, powered by an electric motor, from the AMA. They are from P. Rake under plan no. 60195.