Fokker Dr.1 Triplane Replica

Fokker Dr.1 Triplane Replica at the New England Air Museum


Type:   Fighter
Crew:   1
Armament:   2 X 7.92mm machine gun
Length:   18' 11”
Height:   9' 8”
Wingspan:   23' 7”
Rotor Diameter:   
Empty Weight:   895 lbs.
Gross Weight:   1,292 lbs.
Cruise Speed:   
Maximum Speed:   105 mph
Range:   185 mi.
Service Ceiling:   20,000'
Powerplant:   Original: Oberusel Ur.II; Replica: Le Rhone
Year:   1917 (Original)
Serial No.:   
Location:   Military Hangar

Courtesy of the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

This aircraft is a replica of the Fokker Dr.1 Triplane fighter used by Germany in World War I. It was rapidly developed in response to the success of the then new British Sopwith Triplane (~1917) The Dr.1 was used with great success until it was replaced by the more capable Fokker DVII biplane in May 1918. Although slow, with a top speed only 105 mph, experienced pilots found that its exceptional maneuverability and fast climb rate made it a very capable fighter. Like many WW-I aircraft, it had its faults (wing failures, poor ground handling) and was difficult for new pilots to fly. Interestingly, it was powered by a German license built version of the French Le Rhone Rotary engine. It is hard to explain the notoriety of the Triplane - it was used extensively only during the Spring of 1918 with a peak availability of ~170 aircraft at any one time. Perhaps interest in this aircraft can be attributed to its use by the German WW-I ace-of-aces (80 victories), Manfred von Richthofen, the “Red Baron.” References to it can also be found in Charles Schulz's widely read comic strip, “Peanuts“ where Charlie Brown's dog “Snoopy“ pretends to fight the Red Baron and his Triplane. There are no original Fokker triplanes extent today - all having been destroyed during the WW-I or thereafter.

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