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  • Fokker V.5 (Fokker F.I) Triplane Fighter Prototype

    The Fokker V.5 directly influenced the design of the class of Fokker Dr.I triplane fighter - the iconic mount of the Red Baron.

     Updated: 10/28/2016; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.MilitaryFactory.com

    Before the "Red Baron" made the Fokker triplane fighter his last mount-of-choice in World War 1 (1914-1918), there was a progressive road undertaken by the company to perfect the three-winged design inspired by the British Sopwith Triplane (detailed elsewhere on this site). The Sopwith Triplane made its first, and very successful, combat debut in February of 1917 and immediately changed Fokker design plans with their earlier V.4 prototype. This model was eventually passed on to the Austro-Hungarians for evaluation and work by Fokker continued on the triplane-minded V.5 and V.6 prototypes in parallel. The V.5 - essentially an improved form of the V.4 - won out over the competing V.6 and laid the framework for the Fokker Dr.I triplane seen in the latter war years. The V.5 was also known as the "F.I".

    Design of the V.5 is attributed to Reinhold Platz who also designed the V.4 and V.6 triplane prototypes.

    As expected, the triplane wing arrangement was carried over from the earlier V.4 and many design features common to warplanes of the period were in play - an open-air cockpit, fixed, wheeled undercarriage, front-mounted engine driving a two-bladed wooden propeller, and traditional single-finned tail unit. Power to the series was from a Le Rhone rotary piston engine of 110 horsepower. Three V.5 aircraft were completed and these served in testing the nuances of triplane flight.

    The stage was now set to move the line onto the Fokker V.6 - which also ended its days as a prototype and nothing more.

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    Fokker V.5 Technical Specifications

    Service Year: 1917
    Type: Triplane Fighter Prototype
    National Origin: Imperial Germany
    Manufacturer(s): Fokker-Flugzeugwerke - Imperial Germany
    Production Total: 3

    Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

    Operating Crew: 1
    Length: 18.70 feet (5.7 meters)
    Width: 23.62 feet (7.20 meters)
    Height: 9.68 feet (2.95 meters)

    Weight (Empty): 882 lb (400 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 1,268 lb (575 kg)

    Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

    Engine(s): 1 x Le Rhone rotary piston engine developing 110 horsepower and driving two-bladed wooden propeller at nose.

    Maximum Speed: 99 mph (160 kph; 86 knots)
    Maximum Range: 180 miles (290 km)
    Service Ceiling: 19,685 feet (6,000 meters; 3.73 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 900 feet-per-minute (274 m/min)

    Armament / Mission Payload

    2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 machine guns over the nose set to fire through the spinning propeller blades.

    Global Operators / Customers

    Imperial Germany

    Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

    V.5 - Base Series Designation; three prototypes completed.