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Sunday, October 3, 2010

D VII





Here are some images Dragon's 1/48 scale Fokker D VII. From Wikipedia "

The Fokker D.VII was a German World War I fighter aircraft designed by Reinhold Platz of the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. Germany produced around 3,300 (the number is arguable but recent research has indicated this number is the most likely to be correct) D.VII aircraft in the summer and autumn of 1918. In service, the D.VII quickly proved itself to be a formidable aircraft. The Armistice ending the war specifically required Germany to surrender all D.VIIs to the Allies at the conclusion of hostilities. Surviving aircraft saw continued widespread service with many other countries in the years after World War I.

The D.VII entered squadron service with Jasta 10 in early May 1918. The type quickly proved to have many important advantages over the Albatros and Pfalz scouts. Unlike the Albatros scouts, the D.VII could dive without any fear of structural failure. The D.VII was also noted for its ability to climb at high angles of attack, its remarkably docile stall, and its reluctance to spin. These handling characteristics contrasted with contemporary scouts such as the Camel and SPAD, which stalled sharply and spun vigorously.

However, the D.VII also had problems. Several aircraft suffered rib failures and fabric shedding on the upper wing. Heat from the engine sometimes ignited phosphorus ammunition until cooling vents were installed in the engine cowling, and fuel tanks sometimes broke at the seams. Aircraft built by the Fokker factory at Schwerin were noted for their lower standard of workmanship and materials. Nevertheless, the D.VII proved to be a remarkably successful design, leading to the familiar aphorism that it could turn a mediocre pilot into a good one, and a good pilot into an ace.

Manfred von Richthofen died only days before the D.VII began to reach the Jagdstaffeln and never flew it in combat. Other pilots, including Erich Löwenhardt and Hermann Göring, quickly racked up victories and generally lauded the design. Aircraft availability was limited at first, but by July there were 407 on charge. Larger numbers became available by August, when D.VIIs achieved 565 victories. The D.VII eventually equipped 46 Jagdstaffeln. When the war ended in November, 775 D.VII aircraft were in service. Eight D.VIIs had been delivered in September 1918 to Bulgaria.

The Allies confiscated large numbers of D.VII aircraft after the Armistice. The United States (Army and Navy) evaluated 142 captured examples and tested/used them extensively for several years (adding Hall Scott 6 cylinder engines as replacements, also testin 300 HP packard) but when the time came for new fighters to replace the various World War I types then in service, a derivation of the Spad XIII wing design was chosen. France, Great Britain, and Canada also received numbers of war prizes.

Other countries used the D.VII operationally. The Polish deployed approximately 50 aircraft during the Polish-Soviet War, using them mainly for ground attack missions. The Hungarian Soviet Republic used a number of D.VIIs, both built by MAG and ex-German aircraft in the Hungarian-Romanian War of 1919.

The Dutch, Swiss and Belgian air forces also operated the D.VII. The aircraft proved so popular that Fokker completed and sold a large number of D.VII airframes that he had smuggled into the Netherlands after the Armistice. As late as 1929, the Alfred Comte company manufactured eight new D.VII airframes under licence for the Swiss Fliegertruppe.

The widespread acquisition of the D.VII by Allied countries after the Armistice ensured the survival and preservation of several aircraft. One war prize was captured in 1918 when it accidentally landed at a small American airstrip near Verdun, France. Donated to the Smithsonian Institution by the War Department in 1920, it is now displayed at the National Air And Space Museum in Washington, D.C. Two other American war prizes were retained by private owners until sold abroad in 1971 and 1981. They are today displayed at the Canada Aviation Museum, in Ottawa, Ontario, and the Militaire Luchtvaart Museum in Soesterberg, Netherlands, respectively. The latter aircraft is painted in fictitious Royal Netherlands Air Force markings.

A former Marine Luchtvaartdienst D.VII was discovered in a German barn in 1948. This aircraft is now displayed at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, Germany.

Both Canada and France also acquired numerous D.VII aircraft. A former war prize, one of 22 acquired by Canada, is displayed at the Brome County Historical Society, in Knowlton, Quebec. This unrestored Albatros-built example is the only surviving D.VII that retains its original fabric covering. Of the aircraft sent to France, examples are today displayed at the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, England, and the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace in Paris, France.

4 comments:

Pat Tillett said...

Lot's of great information and the paint job is totally awesome! Are the birds decals or paint?

Warren Zoell said...

They're decals that came with the kit.

Pablo J. Álvarez said...

Good colours cobination. I have one similar but changing the red in blue. Good work.
Ah! don't forget see, www.whatifmodelers.com

Warren Zoell said...

Thanks Pablo- It's a good site. I'll post it on My web page.