Amercom GW1001 German Fokker Dr.I Triplane Fighter - Baron Manfred von Richthofen, Jagdgeschwader 1, Somme, April 1918 (1:48 Scale)
"The important thing in aeroplanes is that they shall be speedy."
- Baron Manfred Von Richthofen
The Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker (triplane) was a World War I fighter aircraft built by the company of Anthony Fokker, and designed by Reinhold Platz. It became most famous as the plane of the Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen.
In April 1917, the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) introduced the Sopwith Triplane. Their debut was sensational and they swiftly proved to be superior to the Albatros and Halberstadt scouts then in use by the German Air Service. Soon the German pilots were clamouring for a triplane of their own. The majority of the German aircraft manufacturers, including Pfalz, AEG, DFW, SchĂĽtte-Lanz, and Euler, responded with new triplane designs. Most displayed little promise, though limited production of the Pfalz Dr. I was undertaken.
Fokker responded with the V.3, a small rotary-powered triplane with a tubular steel frame fuselage and thick cantilever wings. Fokker found several deficiencies in the V.3, particularly regarding control forces. Instead of submitting the V.3 for a type test, Fokker produced a revised prototype designated V.4. The most notable changes were horn-balanced ailerons and elevators, as well as wings of increased span. The V.4 also featured interplane struts, which were not necessary from a structural standpoint, but which had the effect of minimizing wing flexing. The V.4 proved highly manueverable and much superior to the triplane prototypes submitted by other manufacturers. The rudder and elevator controls were powerful and light. Rapid turns were facilitated by the triplane's directional instability. The ailerons were also light, but not very effective.
After a type test, an immediate production order ensued. The V.4 prototype was intentionally destroyed in static structural tests. The two pre-production examples, designated F.I, were delivered in the middle of August 1917. These were the only machines to receive the F.I designation. Delivery of production machines, designated Dr.I, commenced in October of that year.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German Fokker Dr.I dreidecker (three wing) fighter, which was piloted by Baron Manfred von Richthofen over the Somme during April 1918. Now in stock!
Length: 4 inches
Wingspan: 5 inches
Release Date: September 2013
Historical Account: "Der Rote Baron" - Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen (May 2nd, 1892 - April 21st, 1918) was a German pilot who is still regarded today as the "ace of aces". He was a military leader and flying ace and the most successful fighter pilot of World War I, racking up 80 aerial kills.
Richthofen is also known as "der rote Kampfflieger" ("Red Battle-Flyer") in German; "petit rouge" ("Little Red") or "le Diable Rouge" ("Red Devil") in French, and; the "Red Knight" or the "Red Baron" in the English-speaking world.
The German translation of Red Baron is "der Rote Baron", and Richthofen is known by this name in Germany as well (although he was rarely referred to as "Baron" in Germany during his lifetime).