First Post! 07/21/2008
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    A Plane Canvas Man...


    The Story of Anthony Fokker, in Dutch and English

    Anthony (Tony) Fokker was born in Kediri, East Java (then Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia), son of Herman Fokker, a Dutch coffee plantation owner.

    Four years later the family returned to the Netherlands and settled in Haarlem in order to provide Tony and his older sister Toos with a Dutch upbringing. Just like his father, Tony was not studious but rather played with model trains and steam engines, and did not complete his high school education. He devised a leak-proof tire but this was not an original invention and was already patented

    The Brilliant Eindecker...

    In 1910, at age 20, Fokker was sent by his father to Germany to receive training as a mechanic. Yet his interest was in flying, prompting him to change schools. That same year Fokker built his first aircraft "de Spin" ("the Spider"), which was destroyed by his business partner who flew it into a tree. He gained his pilot license in his second "Spin" aircraft. In his own country, he became a celebrity by flying around the tower of the Sint-Bavokerk in Haarlem on 31 August 1911, with the third version of the "Spin". He also added to his fame by flying on the birthday of Queen Wilhelmina.

    In 1912, Fokker moved to Johannisthal near Berlin where he founded his first own company, Fokker Aeroplanbau. In the following years he constructed a variety of airplanes. He relocated his factory to Schwerin where it was renamed Fokker Flugzeugwerke GmbH, and later shortened to Fokker Werke GmbH.

    At the onset of World War I, the German government took control of the factory. Fokker remained as director and designed many aircraft for the Imperial German Army Air Service (Luftstreitkräfte), including the Fokker Dr.I, the triplane made famous in the hands of aces such as Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron). He also designed the synchronization gear that allowed the machine gun to be fired through the propeller blades, resulting in a phase of German air-superiority known as the Fokker Scourge. In all, his company delivered about 700 military planes to the German air force.

    Anthony's DVIIs in flight today

    Above...Anthony unwittingly terrifies the natives of Haarlem as he flies one of his prewar experiments right over the shoppe roofs...

    After the war's end, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to build any aircraft or aircraft engines. In 1919 Fokker returned to the Netherlands and started a new aircraft company, the Nederlandse Vliegtuigenfabriek (Dutch Aircraft Factory), predecessor to the Fokker Aircraft Company. Despite the strict disarmament conditions in the Treaty, Fokker did not return home empty-handed: he managed to smuggle an entire train's worth of D.VII and C.I military planes and spare parts across the German-Dutch border. This initial stock enabled him to quickly set up shop, but his focus shifted from military to civil aircraft such as the very successful Fokker F.VII trimotor.

    On 25 March 1919, Fokker married Sophie Marie Elisabeth von Morgen in Haarlem. This marriage lasted four years.

    The 20th Century's greatest flyer demonstrates his Fokker and his unbelievable prowess with it.

      In 1922, he moved to the United States and later became an American citizen. Here he established the American branch of his company, the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation. In 1927, Fokker married Violet Austman in New York City.

    He died in New York in 1939 from pneumococcous meningitis. He had been ill for three weeks, and was 49 years old

    Another Fokker diamond...


    ...The most manueverable plane in World War 1

    The Eindecker was based on Fokker's unarmed A.III scout (itself following very closely the design of the French Morane-Saulnier Type H shoulder-wing monoplane) which was fitted with a synchronizer mechanism controlling a single Parabellum MG14 machine gun. Anthony Fokker personally demonstrated the system, having towed the prototype aircraft behind his touring car to a military airfield near Berlin.

    All Eindeckers used a gravity fuel tank which had to be constantly filled by hand-pumping from the main fuel tank behind the pilot; this task had to be performed up to eight times an hour. Both the rudder and elevator were balanced, and the type had no fixed tail surfaces. This combination rendered the Eindecker very responsive to pitch and yaw. For an inexperienced pilot, the extreme sensitivity of the elevators made level flight difficult; German ace Leutnant Kurt Wintgens stated "lightning is a straight line compared with the barogram of the first solo". Roll response on the other hand, was poor. This is often blamed on the use of wing-warping rather than ailerons - although monoplanes of the time, even when fitted with ailerons, often had unpredictable or unresponsive roll control due to the flexibility of their wings.

    The main difference between the E.I and E.II was the engine, the former having the 7-cylinder 80 hp Oberursel U.0 rotary engine which was essentially a direct copy of the French-made Gnôme Lambda 80 hp seven cylinder rotary engine, while the latter had the 9-cylinder Oberursel U I 100 hp version, a direct copy of the French Gnôme 100 hp "Monosoupape" rotary engine. Production of the types therefore depended on engine availability and the two variants were built in parallel. Many E.IIs were either completed as E.IIIs or upgraded to E.III standard when returned for repair.

    The definitive version of the Eindecker was the Fokker E.III. Boelcke's Feld-Flieger Abteilung 62 began operating the E.III towards the end of 1915. Some E.IIIs were armed with twin Spandau MG 08 machine guns. The final variant was the Fokker E.IV which received a 160 hp engine and was fitted with twin machine guns as standard. Total production was 416 aircraft (one aircraft's type is unknown).

    The Great Hunter climbs into his Fokker...

      The first Eindecker victory, though unconfirmed, was achieved by Kurt Wintgens on 1 July 1915 when, while flying one of the five M.5K/MG production prototype aircraft, numbered 'E.5/15', he forced down a French Morane-Saulnier Type L two seat "parasol" monoplane. By this time the first Fokker E.Is were arriving at front line units.

    The two most famous Eindecker pilots were Oswald Boelcke and Max Immelmann, both of Feldflieger Abteilung 62, who scored their first kills in E.Is in August of 1915. Leutnant Otto Parschau, who was instrumental in the introduction of the Eindecker from the very start, flew the M.5K/MG aircraft numbered E.1/15.

    Boelcke scored the most Eindecker victories; 19 out of his final tally of 40, his last coming on 27 June 1916. Immelmann had the second-highest Eindecker score, having achieved all his 15 victories in the type before being killed when his E.III broke up in June 1916. Eleven pilots scored five or more victories in the Eindecker. Boelcke, Immelmann and Wintgens all received Germany's highest military decoration, the Pour le Mérite or "Blue Max", while flying the Eindecker.

    With the arrival in early 1916 of the DH.2 and F.E.2 pushers, along with the Nieuport 11, the dominance of the Eindecker evaporated and the Fokker Scourge ended.

    Only one original Eindecker remains. On 8 April 1916, a novice German pilot took off from Valenciennes with a new E.III (serial number 210/16) bound for Wasquehal but became lost in haze and landed at a British aerodrome east of St. Omer. He was forced to surrender before he realised his error and could destroy the aircraft. The E.III was test-flown against the Morane-Saulnier Type N at St. Omer before going to Upavon in Wiltshire for evaluation and finally going on museum display. It now resides at the Science Museum in London. Immelmann's original E.I also survived the war and went on display in Dresden where it was destroyed by Allied bombing during the Second World War.

    The Fokker Scourge


    The Narrator(Who cannot pronounce any european words)nonetheless tells in detail of  the effects of Anthony's Machines 

    The Fokker D.VII was a German World War I fighter aircraft designed by Reinhold Platz of the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. Germany produced around 1,700 D.VII aircraft in the summer and autumn of 1918. In service, the D.VII quickly proved itself superior to existing Allied fighters, leading to a second "Fokker Scourge." The Armistice ending the war specifically required Germany to surrender all D.VIIs to the Allies at the conclusion of hostilities; nevertheless, the aircraft saw continued widespread service with many other countries in the years after World War I.

    Fokker's chief designer Reinhold Platz had been working on a series of experimental planes, the V-series, since 1916. These planes were characterized by the use of cantilever wings, first developed during Fokker's government-mandated collaboration with Hugo Junkers. Junkers had originated the idea in 1915 with the first all-metal aircraft, the Junkers J 1, nicknamed Blechesel ("Sheet Metal Donkey" or "Tin Donkey"). The resulting thick-sectioned cantilever wing gave greater lift and more docile stalling behavior than conventional thin wings.

    Late in 1917, Fokker built the experimental V.11 biplane, fitted with the standard Mercedes D.IIIa engine. In January 1918, Idflieg held a fighter competition at Adlershof. For the first time, frontline pilots would directly participate in the evaluation and selection of new fighters. Fokker submitted the V.11 along with several other prototypes. Manfred von Richthofen flew the V.11 and found it tricky, unpleasant, and directionally unstable in a dive. In response to these complaints, Fokker lengthened the fuselage and added a fixed fin in front of the rudder. Upon flying the modified V.11, Richthofen praised it as the best aircraft of the competition. It offered excellent performance from the outdated Mercedes engine, yet it was safe and easy to fly. Richthofen's recommendation virtually decided the competition, but he was not alone in recommending it. Fokker immediately received a provisional order for 400 production aircraft, which were designated D.VII by Idflieg.

    Fokker's factory was not up to the task of supplying the entire air force, so their rivals at Albatros and AEG were directed to build the D.VII under license, though AEG did not ultimately produce any aircraft. Because Fokker did not use production plans for their designs, they simply sent a completed D.VII airframe for Albatros to copy. Albatros paid Fokker a five percent royalty for every D.VII built under license. Albatros Flugzeugwerke and its subsidiary, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW), built the D.VII at factories in Johannisthal (designated Fokker D.VII (Alb)) and Schneidemühl (Fokker D.VII (OAW)), respectively. Some parts were not interchangeable between aircraft produced at different factories, even between Albatros and OAW.

    Albatros soon surpassed Fokker in the quantity and quality of aircraft produced. Despite the massive production program, under 2,000 D.VII aircraft were delivered from all three plants, with the most commonly quoted figure being 1,700.

    The D.VII entered squadron service with Jasta 10 in early May 1918. The type quickly proved to have many important advantages over the Albatros and Pfalz scouts. Unlike the Albatros scouts, the D.VII could dive without any fear of structural failure. The D.VII was also noted for its ability to climb at high angles of attack, its remarkably docile stall, and its reluctance to spin. These handling characteristics contrasted with contemporary scouts such as the Camel and SPAD, which stalled sharply and spun vigorously.

    However, the D.VII also had problems. Several aircraft suffered rib failures and fabric shedding on the upper wing. Heat from the engine often ignited phosphorus ammunition until cooling vents were installed in the ammunition cans, and fuel tanks sometimes broke at the seams. Planes built by the Fokker plant at Schwerin were noted for their lower standard of workmanship and materials. Nevertheless, the D.VII proved to be a remarkably successful design, leading to the familiar aphorism that it could turn a mediocre pilot into a good one, and a good pilot into an ace.

    Production D.VII aircraft initially used the 180 hp Mercedes D.IIIa, followed by the high-compression 200 hp Mercedes D.IIIaü. Modern sources, however, commonly refer to these engines under the generic designation of "160 hp Mercedes D.III." A small number of D.VIIs received the "overcompressed" 185 hp BMW IIIa, a development of the old Mercedes engine that combined increased displacement, higher compression, and an alititude-adjusting carburetor to markedly increase speed and climb at high altitude. Because the BMW IIIa was overcompressed, using full throttle at altitudes below 2,000 meters risked detonation and damage to the engine. In an emergency, however, using full throttle at low altitudes could produce up to 240 hp.

    Aircraft with the new BMW engine were designated D.VII(F). The first entered service with Jasta 11 in late June 1918. While pilots clamored for the D.VII(F), production of the BMW engine was very limited and the D.VII continued to be produced with the 180 hp Mercedes D.IIIaü until the end of the war.

    Manfred von Richthofen died only days before the type began to reach the Jagdstaffeln and never flew it in combat. Other pilots, including Erich Löwenhardt and Hermann Göring, quickly racked up victories and generally lauded the design. Aircraft availability was limited at first, but by July there were 407 on charge. Larger numbers became available by August, when D.VIIs achieved 565 victories. The D.VII eventually equipped 46 Jagdstaffeln. When the war ended in November, 775 D.VII aircraft were in service.


    Anthony's DVII...

    A model of ease and grace...the Antithesis to his Prima-Donna DR-1


    July 2008



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