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Fokker V.4 (Fokker D.VI)

Imperial Germany (1917)
Picture of Fokker V.4 (Fokker D.VI) Triplane Fighter Prototype

The Fokker V.4 triplane fighter prototype failed to meet company expectations and was eventually delivered to the Austro-Hungarians for formal evaluations.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Fokker V.4 (Fokker D.VI) Triplane Fighter Prototype.  Entry last updated on 4/27/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The engineering path to the classic Fokker Dr.I Triplane of World War 1 fame went through several prototype fighters put forth by the company. The entire line was inspired by the arrival of the Sopwith Triplane in late-1916 / early-1917 which became an immediate success for the Allies, offering unparalleled maneuvering capabilities, a high operating ceiling, and excellent rate-of-climb against the slower, heavier-armed Fokker biplanes of the period.

Originally conceived of as a fighting biplane for the government of Austro-Hungary when ordered on May 13th, 1917, the appearance of the Sopwith Triplane saw Fokker revise the type as a fighting triplane complete with the triple-wing configuration (upper, middle, and lower sections being fitted) - thus was born the Fokker V.4.

The wings were set ahead of the cockpit in a staggered fashion and aft of the engine placement which was fitted at the nose. The aircraft's fuselage was slab-sided in its general shape and carried the usual qualities - a fixed, wheeled undercarriage set under the frontal mass of the aircraft, a pair of horizontal tailplanes, and a single (very-well-rounded) vertical tail fin. The engine drove a standard two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose and the pilot sat in an open air cockpit. Power to the aircraft came from a Le Rhone 9-cylinder rotary piston engine developing 120 horsepower.

Interestingly, the triple plane wing configuration relied on a cantilever installation as no interplane struts were fitted for additional support - this differed from the finalized Dr.I triplane fighter still to come. Additionally, the upper wing assembly was of a wider span than the two lower pieces, these being of equal span to one another.

The V.4 achieved its first-flight during May of 1917 which led to balanced ailerons and elevators being fitted for improved controlling. Wing flexing proved an issue during these early flights and "I-type" interplane struts were finally added to the wings. A second prototype V.4 was ordered on July 5th 1917.

As a fighter-minded development, the V.4 was intended to carry 2 x 7.92mm LMG 08/15 series machine guns synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades. These were founded ahead of the cockpit and fired over the nose of the aeroplane in the usual way.

As the V.4 suffered from high control forces it was not submitted for formal testing by the German Air Service - instead it was sent to Austrian-Hungarian authorities for review in late-August 1917 while Fokker concentrated on two other triplane designs - the V.5 and V.6 prototypes (the V.5 becoming the direct basis for the Dr.I).

Performance specifications on this page are pure estimates on the part of the author.

Any available statistics for the Fokker V.4 (Fokker D.VI) Triplane Fighter Prototype are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (96mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Fokker V.4's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: Imperial Germany
Service Year: 1917
Classification Type: Triplane Fighter Prototype
Manufacturer(s): Fokker-Flugzeugwerke - Imperial Germany
Production Units: 1
Global Operators:
Austria-Hungary (tested); Imperial Germany (not adopted)
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Fokker V.4 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
18.04 ft


Meters
5.5 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
23.00 ft


Meters
7.01 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.68 ft


Meters
2.95 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
904 lb


Kilograms
410 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
1,235 lb


Kilograms
560 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Le Rhone 9-cylinder rotary piston engine developing 120 horsepower and driving a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
96 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
155 kph


Knots
84 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
177 mi


Kilometers
285 km


Nautical Miles
154 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
19,029 ft


Meters
5,800 m


Miles
3.60 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
900 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
274 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

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

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Variants: Series Model Variants
• V.4 - Prototype Model Designation; single example completed.