For more information about this Flikr photo, click here. The Sopwith quickly proved itself better than the Albatros fighters used by Germany, at that time. This type was initially known as the V. No wires were used to strengthen the wing structure and this prototype did not use inter plane struts.
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III fighters with its superior maneuverability and climbing ability. Nearly all of the German aircraft manufacturers followed suit.
However the initial prototype, the V. The next prototype, the V. The prototypes were met with much excitement for their exceptional maneuverability and climb rate over anything else the Germans had previously produced.
The wings had deep section hollow box-spars that provided lightweight strength to the wings. The lack of interplane struts on the initial prototype resulted in excessive wing vibration during flight, so interplane struts were added. The ribs were of plywood, as well as the leading-edges covers at the spar, with the leading-edges made of wire.
The middle wings had some cut-outs to improve downward visibility of the pilot. The fuselage was constructed using welded steel-tubing bracing with diagonal wires to create the rigid box-shaped structure, being a fabric-covered with triangular plywood fillets, except the undercarriage and center-section, which were made of steel streamlined tubing.
The tail-plane had a triangular shape, being framed in steel tubing the same way as the balanced rudder and elevators. The wheels featured an elastic shock cord, while a steel-tipped tailskid was installed at the rear. Evaluation The first prototype Dr. Production of the Dr. I commenced on August 11th of In preproduction the triplane carried the designation F.
Two were made and issued to Richthofen and Leutenant Werner Voss. These two aces promptly used these planes on the battlefield, scoring kills within the first few days of flying in early September. Voss took to the skies on August 28th and by September 11th had scored 8 kills.
The result of this evaluation period led Voss and Richthofen to recommend the Dr. I for production as soon as possible, declaring it superior to the Sopwith Triplane. Orders were placed for Dr.
The Fokker Dr. I in Use Replica Dr. I, upon its arrival to the battlefield in October was well regarded for its climbing ability and light controls. The ailerons were not very effective, however the tailplane elevator and rudder controls were very yielding.
Rapid turns to the right were very quick thanks to the directional instability afforded by the rotation of the rotary engine, a characteristic that was taken advantage of by pilots. Although not a particularly fast plane, it balanced this shortcoming with great maneuverability thanks to its light weight, while also having good upward visibility. It also had a decent climb rate, characteristics that all seemingly made the Dr. I a formidable adversary to its Allied opponent, the Sopwith Camel.
This made of the Dr. The Dr. I was armed with twin 7. Among them was its tendency to ground looping upon landing. This occurs when the aircraft tilts on landing such that one wing makes contact with the ground. For this reason skids were attached to the wingtips of the lower wing on the production version. Also while the Dr. I had excellent climbing ability, its dive and level flight speed were less than desirable, leaving it vulnerable to faster Allied planes in many situations.
Wing Problems Following the proper introduction of the production model Dr. I in October, by the end of the month two consecutive top wing failure accidents promptly caused all triplanes to be grounded.
The wing structure of the Dr. I was thoroughly investigated and numerous problems were discovered, the first of which was weak attachment of wingtips, ailerons, and ribs.
Further, the doping of the fabric and wood varnishing was found to be of poor and inconsistent quality, leading to water absorption and premature rot in crucial wing spars. The problem was believed to have been solved, and the Dr. I continued to see use well into , but later the wing failures returned. The extreme difference in this force no doubt contributed to many of the wing failures seen in the Dr. I over its operational lifespan. Examples such as this show the importance of research and competence in advanced aerodynamics during the design phase of an aircraft.
Legacy As had been seen in September , the Dr. I was inferior to the capabilities of the British Sopwith Camel by the time production had commenced. Despite this, German production went on for the initial ordered. Fokker D.
VII would eventually replace the Dr. By the time of the armistice was signed, the Dr.
III fighters with its superior maneuverability and climbing ability. Nearly all of the German aircraft manufacturers followed suit. However the initial prototype, the V. The next prototype, the V. The prototypes were met with much excitement for their exceptional maneuverability and climb rate over anything else the Germans had previously produced. The wings had deep section hollow box-spars that provided lightweight strength to the wings. The lack of interplane struts on the initial prototype resulted in excessive wing vibration during flight, so interplane struts were added.
Pilots have remarked that it is easier to fly than most other tail-draggers and has been flown by several very low time pilots. All of the wild stories you have heard in the past do not exist with the new replicas - providing you learn how to fly the aircraft correctly. Hydraulic brakes are shown for safety sake BUT the brake system has been designed not to interfere with the original appearance and is actually an add-on feature to the rudder-bar and can be removed at any time. Both the original tailskid and steer-able tail-wheel are shown for your choosing and safety.