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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.

 Entry last updated on 10/28/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Fokker V.5 (Fokker F.I)  
Picture of Fokker V.5 (Fokker F.I) Triplane Fighter Prototype

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.

Fokker V.5

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

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

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

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

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

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

Top Speed: 86 knots (99 mph; 160 kph)
Maximum Range: 157 nautical miles (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, Users)

Imperial Germany

Fokker V.5 (Fokker F.I) Variants

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

Fokker V.5 (Fokker F.I) Images