Fokker Dr.I: The Red Menace

You may not realize it, but this aircraft is one that I can assure you, that you have seen before. The Fokker Dr.I is a WW1 aircraft, It was developed by the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke company, for use by the German Empire (Prussia). This aircraft was catapulted to fame, by a man who is known as the most renowned and famous, and I dare say best fighter pilot to ever live. Manfred Von Richthofen, you may know him better by his nick name, “The Red Baron”.

“Manfred Von Richthofen, you may know him better by his nick name, “The Red Baron”.”

The Dr.I was that famous aircraft we all saw in many cartoons, or at some point, that was painted red. That red aircraft was Richthofen’s all red Dr.I. The Dr.I was the plane where Richthofen scored his last 19 kills, before he was killed.

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Manfred von Richtofen, wearing the “Pour le Merite” or the “Blue Max”, Prussia’s highest military award. 1917

The Fokker Dr.I, had enough space for a crew of one. It’s wingspan was 7.19 m, and it was a triplane. It was powered by a Oberursel Ur.II 9-cylinder rotary engine. This engine produced 110 horsepower. It had a max speed of 115 mph at sea level, and an armament consisting of two 7.92 mm “Spandau” IMG 08 machine guns. It held the role of full out fighter. In total 320 were built, but it was introduced towards the end of the war. The Dr.I had great maneuverability, but was soon considered too slow to be kept in action.

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Richthofen’s Fokker Dr.I

The Dr.I was implemented to late in the war to see extensive combat. But it did participate in many major and important aerial battles. The Dr.I is a plane that left its mark on history  and affected aviation as a whole. The men who piloted them were among the best the German Empire had to offer. But not even that was enough to let Germany win “The War To End All Wars”.

 

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