Fokker V.6 (Fokker D.VII) Triplane Fighter Prototype
The Fokker V.6 triplane fighter was an enlarged form of the V.5 prototype developed in parallel and carried a different engine - it was not furthered.
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The Fokker V.6 continued the line of triplane prototype fighter begun by Fokker with the V.4 intended for the Austrian-Hungarian air service as a biplane. The line was influenced heavily by the arrival of the Sopwith Triplane unveiled by the Allies in late 1916 and seeing its first actions in early 1917. Its maneuverability, rate-of-climb, and high operating ceiling made it an instant success against the slower, less-maneuverable and heavier-armed Fokker biplanes then in service. This pressed Fokker to develop a competing type which eventually became the classic "Red Baron" Fokker Dr.I Triplane detailed elsewhere on this site.
Like the other V-series triplanes, the Fokker V.6 served as nothing more than a prototype for its service life. Developed in parallel to the earlier V.5 triplane, the V.6 was ordered on July 7th, 1917 and recorded a first flight in 1917 and carried the same basic triple-plane wing arrangement as earlier models - though the fuselage now mated to the more powerful (and heavier) Mercedes D.II six-cylinder water-cooled engine of 120 horsepower. The pilot sat in an open-air cockpit, the engine drove a two-bladed wooden propeller, and the tail unit relied on a single vertical fin with low-mounted horizontal planes. The undercarriage, as expected, was fixed to the fuselage by a series of struts and sported two wheels for ground-running.
Because of the heavier engine in play, the V.6 was a dimensionally larger aircraft design when compared to the V.5 - it saw its wing surfaces enlarged and surface areas increased while the mainplane chord was increased. The longer-wing interplanes were now joined by single solid struts angled forward to meet the staggered arrangement of the triple wings. The changes also caused the cockpit to be pushed further aft (reducing forward visibility all the more) and the fuselage to be deepened.
After a period of testing, it was found that the modified, heavier V.6 prototype added little to the overall initiative as maneuverability proved lacking against the competing V.5 prototype with its rotary engine. As such, the V.5 prototype leaped ahead of the V.6 as the basis for the Dr.I triplane fighter to come.
The V.6 was given up for good in October of 1917. The V.7 appeared for a short time and differed in having a Siemens-Halske Sh.III series engine fitted.
Performance specifications on this page are pure estimates on the part of the author.