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Today in History




 
 
The Fokker D.VII is widely regarded as the best German aircraft of the war. Its development was championed by Manfred von Richthofen. In January 1918, Richthofen tested the D.VII in the trials at Adlershof but never had an opportunity to fly it in combat. He was killed just days before it entered service. When introduced, the D.VII was not without problems. On occasion its wing ribs would fracture in a dive and high temperatures sometimes ignited planes armed with phosphorus ammunition or caused their gas tanks to explode. Even so, the D.VII proved to be durable and easy to fly. As noted by one authority, it had "an apparant ability to to make a good pilot out of mediocre material." When equipped with the BMW engine, the D.VII could outclimb any Allied opponent it encountered in combat. Highly maneuverable at all speeds and altitudes, it proved to be more than a match for any of the British or French fighter planes of 1918. Hermann Göring was one of the first pilots to fly the D.VII in combat.
 
Units
German Air Service: Jasta 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33, 36, 37, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, 72, 73, 74, 77, 79, 80, 81
Kest 3
MFJ I, III, IV, V
 
Fokker D.VII Specifications
Country: Germany
Manufacturers: Fokker Flugzeug-Werke GmbH
Albatros-Werke Johannisthal
Ostdeutsche Albatros-Werke Schneidemuhl (OAW)
Type: Fighter
First Introduced: Late March or early April 1918
Number Built: About 2,694
Engine(s): Mercedes D-III 6 cylinder liquid cooled inline, 160 hp
BMW IIIa inline, 185 hp
Wing Span: 29 ft 3.5 in
Length: 22 ft 11.5 in
Height: 9 ft 2.5 in
Empty Weight: 1,540 lb
Gross Weight: 1,939 lb
Max Speed: 118 mph (Mercedes)
124 mph (BMW)
Ceiling: 18,000 ft (Mercedes)
21,000 ft (BMW)
Endurance: 1.5 hours
Crew: 1
Armament: 2 Spandau 7.92 mm machine guns
 
Fokker D.VII Aces (4)
1 Germany Buelow-Bothkamp (Bülow-Bothkamp), Harry von 0
2 Germany Huebner (Hübner), Alfred 0
3 Germany Jacob, Kurt 0
4 Germany Quandt, Theodor 0
 
1
 
Fokker D.VII Books
The Fokker DR.I & D.VII in World War I
Heinz J. Nowarra / Paperback / Schiffer Pub Ltd 1991
 
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