This Day in History
Fokker DR I

On a day like this in 1917…

The Fokker Dr I Triplane, inspired by the British Sopwith Triplane, was designed by Fokker’s chief aeronautical engineer, Reinhold Platz. Its wingspan was about three feet shorter than the English triplane and their fuselages were about the same length. The German machine had less horsepower, was slower, and its endurance was one hour and fifteen minutes less than its British counterpart. These deficiencies notwithstanding, the Fokker Triplane was a great fighter. Matched against the Sopwith Camel, which was a later model than the Sopwith Triplane, the Dr I used to advantage its great agility and its unusually rapid rate of climb.

Following the tradition established when Fokker presented his first models of the Eindekker to Boelcke and Immelmann, the first examples of the Fokker Triplane went to aces Werner Voss and Manfred von Richthoffen. Tragically, both lost their lives in this machine.

May's Archived Features:

Monday May 1, 2023
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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, Edward Lengel, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.