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PH-DRI Fokker DR.I c/n 152-17 "Luftstreitkräfte 152/17"- Lelystad airport in Holland - 4 September 2004 oldtimers biplanes

In the development of aviation the military scene played a major rule. Already during WWI the early aeroplanes became reliable and easy to fly as they had to when they became war-machines, produced in large numbers. The 1993-built Fokker DR.I1 PH-DRI is a replica of the original single-seat Fokker DR-1 Dreidecker fighter that played a major rule in the last year of WWI. In February 1917, the Sopwith Triplane began to appear in service with the Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) over the Western Front and swiftly proved itself superior due to its high rate of climb and its agility to the more heavily armed Albatros fighters then in use by the Luftstreitkräfte. Fokker-Flugzeugwerke responded by converting the unfinished Fokker V.4 prototype, a cantilever triplane with unbalanced ailerons and elevators, designed by Reinhold Platz. During the tests of its predecessor, the V.3 prototype of the first Fokker triplane, there was a disconcerting wing vibration in flight. Therefore, the second Fokker triplane, the V.4, was given thin wooden interplane struts to eliminate the vibration. The cabane struts were steel-tube inverted vees. The V.4 flew first on 14 July 1917 and became the prototype Fokker DR.I. On 14 July 1917, Idflieg (Inspektion der Fliegertruppen), the bureau of the German Empire that oversaw German military aviation prior to and during World War I, issued an order for 20 pre-production aircraft. The first DR-1's began to reach fighter squadrons during August 1917 but were suspended from operations from October till December to rectify a fault in the wing construction. The Fokker DR.I became renowned as the aircraft in which Manfred von Richthofen gained his last 19 victories, and in which he was killed on 21 April 1918. About 320 airframes of the Fokker DR.I Dreidecker were built by Fokker-Flugzeugwerke m.b.H., Schwerin, Mecklenburg.

Fokker DR.I PH-DRI is part of the Early Birds / Stichting Vroege Vogels collection at Lelystad Airport (EHLE/LEY) in the Netherlands. This replica Fokker DR.I was built by Stichting Vroege Vogels, Nederhorst den Berg, in an amateur-built project that started in 1981 under NVAV No. 39 / RLD No. A81-013. The replica Fokker DR.I was powered by a Siemens-Halske Sh-14A seven-cylinder air-cooled radial engine. On 8 December 1993, the aircraft was registered PH-DRI in the Netherlands as Fokker DR.I c/n 152-17 with Stichting Vroege Vogels, Nederhorst den Berg. On 1 October 2014, registration PH-DRI was cancelled, after the CofA of the replica Fokker DR-1 expired on 24 June 1996. The replica Fokker DR.I PH-DRI has never flown: it was adviced not to fly with this replica as the construction was too heavy performed in conjunction with the engine.

page last updated: 11-12-2015
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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