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1998 Closed threads from 1998 (read only)

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Old 31 December 1998, 08:18 AM   #21
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Wow--the info from Frank Olynyk is wonderful! Any similar data from the Brits or French?
Please understand I'm not (NOT) complaining, but it's regrettable that the German transcribers either didn't have or accidentally overlooked the Fokker E.V/D.VIII, which must have had a few victories.
That said, I'll repeat myself. Wow! In fighter talk, Sierra Hotel.
Old 31 December 1998, 10:03 AM   #22
Rich Hicks
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In the Windsock Datafile on the Fokker DVIII, by Peter Grosz (published 1991), he states that only one victory by a DVIII/EV pilot has been confirmed - Lt. Emil Rolff of Jasta 6, on 17 August 1918. On 19 August, he "fell victim to wing failure". He points out that there is "no concrete proof" that the DVIII saw combat in the last weeks of the war - most of the 85 listed as Frontline complement on 31 October were stored at Armee Flug Parks, awaiting replacement wings.

This was a shock to me, since the DVIII is also a favorite of mine, going back to Ed Swearingen's replica, which I read about when I was in High School (a long time ago, but I still have the article!). He was able to strike up a correspondence with Reinhold Platz, who was able to confirm several details from memory (our family doctor helped with translation). Oh well, another illusion destroyed - but it was a sleek-looking bird! Does anyone know what ever happened to this replica?

Old 31 December 1998, 10:38 AM   #23
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Rich: odd you should ask! Swearingen's replica D.VIII sits in the WW I hangar of the Champlin Fighter Museum here in Mesa, AZ. (Ref. Scott's note of the First Aerodrome Forum Convention here 20 Feb) Doug purchased the bird from "von Swearingen" c. 1980, I believe. it still has the Warner radial engine but Doug probably has an extra rotary sitting around somewhere. Quite a sensation to sit in the machine: visibilty below is of course superb, and by craning one's neck, you can see over the top of the wing.
BTW: a History Channel program (4 Years of Thunder?) claimed the D.VIII scored the last German victory of The War, but I doubt it. Am not convinced any were still at the front in November.
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Old 31 December 1998, 02:03 PM   #24
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Funny you mention it, as I read recently that Geschwader Richthofen is flying F4's. I had to laugh when I read it, as it's about as far from the type of plane I could imagine the name Richthofen associated with. Well, except maybe the F104. Which they also flew.

Old 31 December 1998, 04:34 PM   #25
Rich Hicks
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Good to know the DVIII found a good home. The yellowed copy of the "Tribune" weekend magazine I have shows the plane after a ground-loop incident on one of its first flights, and Ed is preparing to rebuild her.

Your statement that you doubt any DVIII were active at war's end matches the information in the Datafile. Grosz states that the combat record only shows sorties from 5-19 August, although at least one naval squadron showed some flying as late as the 22nd. In a footnote, he also disputes Gray & Thetford's "German Aircraft of the First World War", stating that "Theo Osterkamp did not obtain his 25th and 26th victories while flying a DVIII."

Old 31 December 1998, 05:22 PM   #26
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Perhaps eventually we'll see primary documents regarding the Marine Jastas' equipment on given dates. Anyway, whether Theo Osterkamp scored in a D-VIII or not, he jumped out of an E.V during a fam hop in September '18. Three SPADs caught him and obviously there was no way he could outrun them. In fighter pilot lingo, "I said it was a good day, not a great day."
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Old 31 December 1998, 11:23 PM   #27
Axel Schudak
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Hi Dave,

actually my sources indicate only some 1000 Fokker DVII (800 with the Mercedes, 200 DVIIa with the BMW).

This would give them a ratio of 2.x

To compare these numbers neglects, however, the specific situation on the front at different times. In 1918 the Allied had a vast air superiority, which includes for the Germans: more birds to shoot at.
The change in air warfare doctrin certainly plays its part, too.

Just some guesses
Old 1 January 1999, 07:17 PM   #28
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I thought the most successful German fighter was Max Schmelling.


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Old 1 January 1999, 09:56 PM   #29
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With Stephen's endorsement aside, I believe that the F-4 Phantom is a brick with wings. It is proof-positive that if one puts enough thrust behind it, one can even make a refrigerator fly!

Not considering drivers like Steve Ritchie and Randy Cunningham, I cannot imagine how a fighter jock would prefer a bird such as the F-4. Like the Albatros D-Va, the guys who flew it drove it because it was all that was available. NA's around the world would have preferred the F-8. USAF "lead wings" did not even have that much of a choice.

The Phantom was very much the least of evils, IMHO.

But I would still adore the chance to sit in a bird that had the ability to rip off it's own wings with full "AB" in level flight, which the F-4's advocates are alleged to maintain it could do.


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Old 1 January 1999, 10:13 PM   #30
Dave Watts
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Axel, I'm not sure where you got your stats. Immediately after the Adlershof 1st fighter competition on Jan.23rd,
1918, Fokker was awarded a contract for 300 D.VIIs.* At or about the same
time contracts were given to Albatros to build 400 D.VIIs.* This contract
of 400 was filled at the Albatros factory in Johannisthal, ie. "Fok. D VII
(Alb.)".* The next contract for 200 D.VII"s was filled at the Ostdeutsche
Albatros Werke in Schneidemuhl, ie. "Fok. D VII. (O.A.W.)".*


Fokker "Fok. DVII"
1000 ordered
840 approx. built

Albatros "Fok. D VII (Alb.)"
1200 ordered
1000 approx. built

Albatros "Fok. D VII. (O.A.W.)"
1000 ordered
1000 approx. built

* It also lists 811 Fokker "Fok. D VIIs" accepted, but when you look at the
table with serial numbers assigned it totals 839.* And if that is not
confusing enough my total in my posting listed 736.* I will have to go back
to the acceptance sheets to see what I missed, (I don't believe much).* I
know that the first 21 were accepted in Feb. and or March, and those
records have been lost, so I couldn't know who made the acceptance flights
on those, (bringing my total up to 756).


most, quotsuccessfulquot, german, fighter

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