by Chris Bourne
The Fokker D.VII is generally regarded as the best fighter of the Great War on either side. It used the powerful straight six Mercedes D.III engine, which generated 180hp for a top speed of 118mph. The first models had unstable wings, but when these were brought closer together and the fuselage lengthened an exceptionally reliable and speedy aircraft resulted.
Over 2,500 were produced between April and December of 1918, by Fokker and Albatros, but the German economy was exhausted and its war machine unable to contain the Allies.
The D.VII remained a popular aircraft and saw service in Holland, Russia, and the USA. The Swiss fliegertruppe built eight D.VIIs as late as 1929 and the Belgium air force was still using them in 1931. A condition of the armistice was the surrender of all D.VIIs.
The model is built to a scale of 1:10, which allowed the use of conical discs for the wheel covers and sleeve pieces for the engine cylinders. Elastic cord suspension - bungee rope - is reproduced in the undercarriage.
Ailerons, elevators, and the rudder are all controlled from the cockpit joystick. The aileron controls follow the prototype quite closely, with the V-shaped bell crank on the shaft from the base of the joystick.
The distinctive interplanar N-struts, and the three unusual front fuselage struts, give considerable rigidity over standard parallel struts, even when built up from relatively weak narrow strips. The armaments, two Spandau machine guns, were synchronised with the airscrew. In the model, I have included the two channels on either side of the engine cylinders which were supposed to catch stray bullets and protect the engine block. By such crude devices were pilots' lives guarded in these early years of aviation.
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Figures 1 to 20 (dviipic1.zip, 399K)
Figures 21 to 40 (dviipic2.zip, 477K)
Figures 41 to 57 & other illustrations (dviipic3.zip, 477K)
HTML files (dviihtml.zip, 38K)
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Text file (dviitext.zip, 16K)
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PDF file (fokker.pdf, 780K)
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These instructions and the accompanying pictures are copyright material, and all rights are reserved. They are made freely available to Meccano modellers on condition that they are not copied and distributed in any form for sale, whether or not the sale is for profit or merely 'at cost'. Nor may they be distributed in incomplete form. Printed copies may however be made freely for personal use.
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