Fokker D.VII in Profile
By Bob Pearson
The Fokker D.VII was arguably the best aircraft of the First World War ... it has been said it made a mediocre pilot good, and a good pilot great. While this may be an exaggeration, the D.VII was the only German aircraft specifically mentioned in the terms of the armistice ending WW1, with all examples to be turned over to the Allies.
The D.VII was built by three different factories - Fokker itself, Albatros and the Albatros subsiduary of OAW. Each had its own style of cowl and engine cooling louvres. These louvres were installed after a series of inflight fires in which aircraft spontaneously caught fire with disatrous results. This was thought to be due to the temperature of the engine compartment setting off the phosphorous ammunition. Once these tribulations were worked out, the D.VII went on to equip most German Jastas. Some colourful examples of which are shown here.
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