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Aircraft Topics related to WWI aircraft, aircraft engines and armament

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Old 24 January 2003, 11:51 AM   #1
David_Layton
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Back in 1997, Javier Arango did an article for World War One Aero wherein he compared his Mercedes powered Fokker DVII replica with his other, a Gypsy Powered replica built for 'The Blue Max'.

He describes that the Mercedes replica flew much better as it's powerplant and propellor were of the type the aircraft was designed for. What caught my attention was that he stated that this aircraft flew like a 1930's biplane and had much better aileron response than the SE5a, though the total area of the ailerons were quite smaller than the SE5a's. It was one that could be flown well by average pilots.

After WWI, aircraft changed dramatically, rotory engines were gone as well as the under-cambered wing. Some of the immediate Post WWI Aircraft were modelled on the D.VII.

The question I would pose is whether or not the Fokker D.VII was the first modern aircraft.

The key element was the thick Goettingen airfoil not only gave it great lift but greatly improved the aileron response.

The steel tube fuselage fuselage was similar to the same used through the 1930's.

My educational background was a degree in English and not aeronautics. I wonder what an aeronautical study comparing a D.VII to an SE5a would reveal?
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Old 24 January 2003, 03:59 PM   #2
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What is quite unforgetable about the D.VII (irrespective of a pure aerodynamic comparisons with any of it's contemporaries) is that it was singled out in the Versailles Treaty. This indicates that the "Victorious Powers" (and how many times do politicicians listen to airmen and/or aircraft designers) considered it enough a threat to have all airframes destroyed/accounted for, quite like the U.S./CCCP garnered aerodynamic/propulsion secrets from the WWII Luftwaffe (but without international agreement). Someone, somewhere, saw the D.VII as a "Great Leap Forward" and therefore, if it's not the "First Modern Aircraft," it was just probably the first weapons system not immediately consigned to the bonfires of victory.
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Old 24 January 2003, 05:07 PM   #3
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David Layton:
* *I have discussed the Fok.D.VII and S.E.5a with Javier Arango,(has both). On February 18th Iwill re-enter this discussion and his comment about it being the "first modern aircraft."
* In my opinion, I don't consider the Fok.D.VII, the first modern aircraft. *I do consider it, a superb aircraft, that had excellent flying and fighting characteristics. *
* *I would consider the Junkers E.I the first modern aircraft, it was ALL METAL low wing monoplane. However it the first step toward the all metal Junkers D.I with a 240 km/hr. top speed(148.8mph), and which had remarkable performance, much better in speed and rate of climb than the Fok.D.VII, 200 km/hr.(124 mph.) *The big problem was, Junkers had not learned how to produce all metal aircraft in large numbers. *If this machine had reached the front in numbers, the Ju.D.I would have been listed in Article IV of the Armistice Agreement instead of the Fok.D.VII.
* * * * * * * * * * * *Blue skies,
* * * * * * * * * * * * *Dan-San
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Old 24 January 2003, 10:54 PM   #4
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What defines "MODERN AIRCRAFT" ?

Didn't all a/c have good and bad characters....?

Mazda and Auto Union don't think there are no more rotary engines.
 
Old 24 January 2003, 11:00 PM   #5
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I think that Dan-San is right. The concept of the Junkers D.I was far more modern than the Fokker D.VII. The D.I certainly was an outstanding machine for its time.

For the multiengined aircraft I would propose the Zeppelin E-4 / 20 "Staaken". This four engined passenger aircraft was about 10 years ahead concerning the design. Unfortunately it had to be destroyed because of allied orders in 1920. so there are not many photos/informations available.
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Old 24 January 2003, 11:09 PM   #6
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Hello topgun!

In Germany the rotary engine (Rotations- oder Umlaufmotor) is the engine we know of WW1 aircraft. The engine rotates around the crankshaft.

The rotary engine you mentioned is called Wankelmotor (Mr. Wankel invented it) or Kreiskolbenmotor (directly translated as circle-piston-engine). The crankshaft rotates inside the engine like in "normal" engines.

Is there no difference made between these different engine concepts in the English language?
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Old 25 January 2003, 01:27 AM   #7
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Volker-
Yes there is a difference made between these two concepts, however:
-most people do not recall or know of a rotary engine, or even much at all about WW1, let alone specific aircraft or engines.
So 'rotary' is, strictly speaking, used incorrectly. Often.
-Wankel is understood by some, usually the older ones and most all engineers, but little of anyone else. One actually has trouble getting the point across if 'Wankel' is correctly used.
"Wuzzat" is the response.

'rotary', on the other hand, conveys the thought immediately. slang, idiom, buzz-word.
'It works until it does not'

Have always found the Wankel engine to be a damn fine idea and would welcome its return.
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Old 25 January 2003, 02:20 AM   #8
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I love the DVII like I love beer and Irish whiskey, David, but I gotta agree with Dan-San too (yeah, like I would ever disagree with Dan-San when it comes to aviation in the Great War).

As I understand the a/c, the wings were innovative because somebody somewhere discovered the principle (if it has a name, I don't know what it is) that thick wings generate more performance. And I don't know if Fokker's designers discovered that or stole it from the guys who did.

Other than that, and the "dog box" shape as Barker calls it (God, I love that!) that gives new meaning to the phrase "...its so damned ugly its beautiful!" the DVII wasn't all that modern, IMHO.


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Old 25 January 2003, 02:30 AM   #9
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I would also agree with Dan-San; if you're looking for the first modern a/c from those of the 1918-era it has to be the Junkers DI. The DVII, good as it was, was still a fabric-covered biplane while the DI was an all-metal cantilever monoplane.
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Old 25 January 2003, 02:35 AM   #10
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I got this:
Anyone who did braized tube (sp) vs. wood anticipates the next decades, anyone who re-thought wing design, at the time, does likewise, anyone who attempted to clean up the nose, stick a kick-ass powerplant there and call it an a/c from there on back (think Corsair) well-anticipates the decades to come. Nieuport actually does an early good job of this as does Spad and SE 5...

The "fancy lines" of the Dee Seven seem to have more to do with quick mass-production and a nation hurried to get a much needed air superiority concept in action. They almost did it. A swell ride. The Beemer version gives other peers a run for their money.

Albatros & Roland always get good marks as they are among the first to skin an a/c in a manner other than 'freight'. That's an *aircraft* we be looking at and I think many German pilots knew it immediately. For 1916, that's radical. Yes, 1910 racers, but the Albert is a combat a/c...

Riding a motorcycle is one thing....how many of us lust after a ride in that D.VII smoothie?

wow.

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Or that,
"Virtue was not convenient at the time."

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