Fokker D. VII was probably the most succesfull and known fighter plane of the World War I era. The prototypes V. 11 and V. 18 were built on the late months of 1917. There were driven by water cooled in line Mercedes 160 HP engine. There were determined for the Idflieg’s (the German ir Service) trials of fighter planes. The dlershof fighter competition began on the 12 th January, and would last until the 12 th February 1918. The rebuilt V. 11 prototype (Fokker D. VII) was the absolute winner of the trials.
The Fokker D. VII had welded steel tubing its main structural material. The clear internally braced cantilever wings were without wires, the laminated plywood ribs and wooden box spars, and providing great strenght. “N” struts were on the outboard of the wings. The wings were fabric covered with leading edges sheathed with thin plywood. The D. VII fuselage and empennage were fabric covered too.
Flying characteristics and performances were excellent. The German ir Service wanted as many of these new fighters as quickly as possible. The Idflieg gave Fokker an immediate order for 400 D. VIIs. Idflieg also ordered the lbatros Werke and the Ostdeutsche lbatros Werke to produce the new Fokker biplane under licence.
Fokker D. VII began arriving at Jastas in late March and early pril of 1918. In July about 400 machines served at the Western Front. s the Fokker D. VII began going into action pilots on both sides of the front expressed amazement at performances of the new fighter. Especially the Fokker D. VII F driven by the B.M.W. engine with special altitude compensanting carburetor was excellent. Every pilot wanted to fly combat woth this new variant of the Fokker D. VII. ll Fokker D. VIIs had be confiscated or destroyed by the articles of the 1918 rmistice.
Production of Fokker D. VIIs was planned at the ustro-Hungarian Empire too. The factories was follow: Ungarische llgemeine Maschinen-fabrik G - MG, Oesterreeichisch-Ungarische Flugzeug-fabrik “viatik” GmbH, Thone und Fiala, etc. There were built only few machines. There never operated at air war.
There were ordered 3200 planes in Germany and 630 in ustro-Hungary. lot of them served in many countries till thirties.
Camouflage and marking
Early Fokker D. VIIs had the same factory schema as Fokker Dr. I Triplanes. Upper and side surfaces of the fuselage had vertical Green streaked camouflage. ngled streaks (45 degree) were applied on the horizontal top wing and tail surfaces. ll undersurfaces were light blue or turquoise.
Some of early D. VIIs had this camouflage only on the fuselage and horizontal tailplane. The wings were covered with four-tone or five-tone lozenge type camouflaged fabric. The majority of D. VIIs leaved factory with four-tone or five-tone lozenge type camouflage schema on all fabric covered surfaces. Lozenge pattern was printed on the fabric after it was made and before it was applied to the airframe. The lighter four-tone or five-tone lozenge pattern were applied to the undersurfaces. Light blue or salmon tape has been applied to each wing and horizontal tailplane rib position. Metal cowling panels, struts and axle wing were green. The struts could be gray or gray-green too.
Only the Ostdeutsche lbatros Werkes (O..W.) applied hand-painted camouflage on the cowling (violet blocky spots on green backround). Wheel cover had the same camouflage schema. The one half of the axle wing was green, the second half was violet.
Few machines (only from very early production) had black Maltese crosses on white field or white outlined on eight positions.
Absolute majority of D. VIIs had white outlined black “balken” crosses on eight positions. Therte were a lot of exceptions to the rule. Many non standard crosses were applied. The part of marking was white vertical fin with black cross too.
Fokker D. VIIs carried a lot of stencils using black paint. Machines from original Fokkerś production carried especially army specifications, serial number on both sides of the fuselage and weight diagram on the port side of the fuselage. There was also so-called black “zero line” on the starboard side of the fuselage.
Many Fokker D. VIIs carried squadron or personal markings. Some planes were partly (wing or horizontal tailplane ) or totally repainted. There were a plenty of variants of color schemas of the Fokker D. VII.
Dimensions and performances
Engines: Mercedes D. III 160 HP
Mercedes D. IIIa160-180 HP
Mercedes D. IIIau180-200 HP
BMW.IIIa 185 HP
Weights: Empty 700 kg - Mercedes D. III engine
680 kg - BMW.IIIa engine
Max. 880 kg - Mercedes D. III engine
906 kg - BMW.IIIa engine
Wingspan: 8,90 m
Lenght: 6,95 m
Height: 2,95 m
Max speed: 200 kph - BMW.IIIa engine
rmament : Two fixed forward firing 7,92 mm
Spandau LMG 08/15 machine guns