Fokker Dr.I Triplane

A potent little fighter, the Fokker Dr.I triplane proved itself a deadly opponent of Allied scouts, especially in the hands of such master pilots as the legendary “Red Baron”, Manfred von Richthofen. However, the aircraft was dogged by structural weaknesses and, in many ways, was outperformed by its contemporaries.
The Dr.1 began as an attempt to replicate Britain’s Sopwith Triplane. Anthony Fokker’s company initially hoped to dispense with struts or wire bracing; however, the wings vibrated in flight, so a lightweight “I” strut was added towards the wingtips.The triplane was armed with a brace of Spandau machine guns on its forward fuselage.
Fighter squadrons began rcceiving production models in October 1917, but the Dr.1 was withdrawn after fatal crashes resulting from collapsing wings. Il returned to service in late November, with the problem partially resolved.
Its capacity for rapid, tight turns made the Dr.1 an excellent “dogfight” aircraft, but it was slow and performed poorly at high altitude. Production ceased in May 1918 as the superior Fokker D.VII took over. The Dr.1 was relegated to home-defence duties.

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