The Forgotten Fokker Aircraft
Some times life can be rewarding. Yesterday I found information and enough graphic reference material to work up a Fokker aircraft I had only seen mentioned in passing. I love when I can fill the gaps in a narrative. (Simple pleasures for simple minds). Once I got on a roll I had the profile finished in a few hours.
The Fokker D.V was the German army designation for the Fokker M.22 biplane, ordered as a training aircraft in October 1916. It was the last in a series of closely related and generally unsatisfactory Fokker biplanes produced since the acceptance of the Fokker D.I in June 1916.
After the disappointing performance of his D.I through D.IV, Anthony Fokker resolved to produce a smaller, lighter rotary-powered design. The new prototype, designated M.21, was a development of the earlier M.17 fighter which Fokker had produced for the Austro-Hungarian Air Service. The M.21 featured a swept back upper wing to improve pilot view.
Fokker was enthusiastic about the new aircraft, which was highly maneuverable. After the addition of a modified cowling and stringers along the fuselage sides, the aircraft was designated M.22. In October 1916, Idflieg ordered production of the M.22 now designated as the D.V.
In October 1916 Fokker received an order for 200 D.Vs, followed by orders for another 50 in February 1917 and then a final 50 in April. These aircraft were accepted by the German army between December 1916 and July 1917. The two final orders can thus be seen as a vote of confidence in the type, at least as a trainer, arriving after the training units had had significant experience of using the type.
By the end of 1916 the German army was well aware of the quality control problems that went with any Fokker aircraft, and so one production aircraft was selected at random to undergo rigorous tests. Predictably the wings and rudder both failed these tests and had to be strengthened, but after that the type performed satisfactorily. Compared to the combat aircraft of 1917 it was underpowered, and its rotary engine meant that it did not perform in the same way as the aircraft of 1917. The D.V had a final burst of life in 1918 when the rotary powered Fokker triplane was about to enter service. By this time rotary engined aircraft were rare, as were pilots with experience of flying them, and so a number of the surviving D.Vs were sent to front line units to be used as a conversion trainer.
Production of the D.V totaled 216 aircraft
- Rickard, J (30 October 2007), Fokker D.V , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fokker_dV.html
- Fokker D.V. (2011, June 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:35, June 21, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Fokker_D.V&oldid=432958285
- Gray, Peter and Owen Thetford. German Aircraft of the First World War. London:> Putnam, 1962. ISBN 0-93385-271-1
- Leaman, Paul. Fokker Dr.I Triplane: A World War One Legend. Hersham, Surrey, UK: Classic Publications, 2003. ISBN 1-90322-328-8.
- Weyl, A.R. Fokker: The Creative Years. London: Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-817-8.