12
Jun
09

World War I German Fighter: Fokker Dr I

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During World War I, it had to be an uncomfortable feeling to have this aircraft turn in behind you.  This replica Fokker Dr I hangs in the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  A very visible aircraft that immediately draws your attention as you walk into the museum.

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The paint scheme is authentic, representing Lt. Hans Weiss of Jasta 11, which was under the command of Baron Manfred von Richthofen — the Red Baron — famous for his blood red Fokker Dr I.  Only 320 Fokker Dr Is were ever built.  Making the planes reputation even more remarkable because its Allied counterparts were built in the thousands.

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Powered by a rotary engine the Dr I was slower than the then current Allied designs, but with impressive turning and climbing abilities this plane proved capable against most aircraft despite being slower.  Armed with a pair of Spandau machine guns synchronized to fire through the propeller it delivered a fearful punch.

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With a welded aluminum frame, wooden wings and fabric stretched over, this light weight design offered little defensive protection for its pilots, which even the vaunted Red Baron discovered when he was shot down.

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