The Fokker Dr1 was employed by the German Air Force with production occuring between August1917 and May 1918. It was not an overly successful aircraft, with good climb and manouverability being offset by poor ground handling and a tendency to shed wings at speed. Total production was only 230 aircraft, and it was replaced by the Fokker DVII. However, the 'Triplane' is one of the most recognised aircraft of the period, probably because of its association with pilot Manfred von Richthofen and other German 'Aces'.
The sole New Zealand Fokker Dr1 replica was produced by Stuart Tantrum and John Lanham over a period of three years. Stuart had previously restored a DH-82a and built an Se5a replica (ZK-SET) before commencing on the Triplane. ZK-FOK (c/n AACA/266/2) had its first flight in February 1985. Built to American planes, the full-size aircraft is substantially built to the original 1917 pattern with small differences in the size of tubing used, and a few safety modifications (like brakes and a steerable tailwheel). The engine is not a Le Rhone rotary, but the 220hp radial looks the part. The aircraft is reported to have all the vices of the original - poor ground visibility, and poor rudder control (particularly on the landing roll). After starting life near Levin, and later moving to Ardmore, the aircraft is currently based at Omaka.
Last Update:- 4 June, 2002
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