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Fokker E (Eindecker)


Armed Monoplane Fighter / Scout


Imperial Germany | 1915



"The Fokker Eindecker monoplane fighter with its synchronized machine gun introduced armed aerial combat during World War 1."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/31/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
As with most aircraft developed during World War 1, the Eindecker series enjoyed a relatively short period of time at the front lines. Aviation technology was ever changing to the point that aircraft designs could be made obsolete as soon as they were produced, leaving a slim window of opportunity for a single design to prove itself. This evolving face of the First World War directly influenced both aircraft design and outcomes of several campaigns fought in the skies. The Eindecker deserves particular mention as it was one of the first aircraft to bring about a taste of things to come in air warfare.

The Fokker E "Eindecker" ("Eindecker" meaning monoplane) was of a most basic monoplane design, incorporating known successful elements from previous aircraft design attempts such as a static a landing gear system, aerodynamic details and a enclosed engine. The Eindecker series had the distinction of being the first aircraft to be fitted with the deadly synchronized machine gun/ propeller system which allowed for operation of the machine gun through the spinning propeller, quite an accomplishment that led pilots to engage enemy aircraft in relative safety without the fear of stripping off the propeller blades. This single invention would lead to the period of German air dominance known simply as the "Fokker Scourge".

This new German technology was highly-touted and highly-prized when compared to that of what the Allies had to work with. The synchronized firing mechanism was so guarded by the Central Powers early in the war in fact that aircraft armed as such restricted to fighting only above or near German-held territories for fear that the technology would fall into enemy hands. In contrast, Allied pilots operated their machine guns - usually placed on the upper wing assembly from their cockpit seats (to clear the spinning propeller blades) - often at uncomfortable distances when it came to clearing jams or rearming. In some cases, these weapon systems would have to operated by way of an extension arm with one hand while the pilot was still required to maneuver the aircraft into firing position with the other. The synchronized machine gun was an advantage that played all too well into Eindecker pilot hands and was very symbolic of the technological progression being made by both sides throughout the war.

The initial design of the Eindecker series stemmed from a pre-war design designated as the M.5. Though not a spectacular aircraft in most regards (the basic design was somewhat outdated and outclassed from the outset), the Eindecker enjoyed a good mission-to-kill ratio due to the single fact of the synchronized machine gun. The seemingly simple technological feat provided the German air force with the capability to take back the teeter-tottering skies from Allied planes. In terms of handling, however, recent wind tunnel testing revealed several challenges facing the pilot in just taking off and maintaining lift with the aircraft - a testament to the mettle that these pioneers faced from their own machines.

Due to the exclusivity of the synchronized machine gun and the limited reach placed on the Eindeckers, the E-series would languish as a bomber escort or as a defensive weapon system over German-held territories. Production issues at home also held the reach of the Eindecker series overall and the aircraft would never truly reach its intended defined potential during the course of the war. Legendary German Ace Max Immelmann would be credited with the Eindecker's first kill on August 1, 1915, and his prowess would eventually lead to a dogfighting move named in his honor. By war's end, the Eindecker would reportedly be credited with achieving the destruction of no fewer than 1,000 Allied aircraft.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Fokker E.III (Eindecker) Armed Monoplane Fighter / Scout.
1 x Oberursel U.1 9-cylinder, air-cooled rotary piston engine developing 100 horsepower driving a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose.
Propulsion
87 mph
140 kph | 76 kts
Max Speed
11,811 ft
3,600 m | 2 miles
Service Ceiling
123 miles
198 km | 107 nm
Operational Range
655 ft/min
200 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Fokker E.III (Eindecker) Armed Monoplane Fighter / Scout.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
23.6 ft
7.20 m
O/A Length
31.2 ft
(9.52 m)
O/A Width
7.9 ft
(2.40 m)
O/A Height
882 lb
(400 kg)
Empty Weight
1,345 lb
(610 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Fokker E (Eindecker) Armed Monoplane Fighter / Scout .
1 x 7.92mm Maschinengewehr MG08 OR Parabellum MG14 OR Spandau LMG 08 machine guns over forward fuselage, synchronized to fire through the spinning propeller blades.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Fokker E (Eindecker) family line.
M.5 - Initial unarmed model by Fokker.
M.5K ("Kleine") - Shortened wingspan.
M.5L ("Lange") - Lengthened wingspan.
M.5K/MG ("Maschinengewehr") - Pre-production models; armed; 5 examples.
A.II - German military designation for unarmed M.5L models; fitted with Oberursel U.0 engine of 80 horsepower; single example.
A.III - German military designation for unarmed M.5K; fitted with Oberursel U.0 engine of 80 horsepower.
E.I - Initial production scout aircraft; fitted with Oberursel U.0 engine of 80 horsepower; 68 examples produced.
E.II - Improved version; Oberursel U.1 rotary piston engine of 100 horsepower; 49 examples produced.
E.III - Definitive production model; 2 x machine guns as optional; reinforced structure; revised mission equipment; fitted with Oberursel U.1 rotary piston engine of 100 horsepower; 249 examples produced.
E.IV - Final production form; dimensionally larger; fitted with Oberursel U.III 14-cylinder series engine; 2 x 7.92mm synchronized machine guns over the nose as standard; 49 examples produced.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Fokker E (Eindecker). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 420 Units

Contractor(s): Fokker Flugzeug-Werke GmbH - Germany
National flag of Austria National flag of the Austro-Hungarian Empire National flag of the German Empire National flag of Hungary National flag of Turkey

[ Austria-Hungary; German Empire; Ottoman Empire (Turkey) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (87mph).

Graph Average of 75 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
420
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Fokker E (Eindecker) Armed Monoplane Fighter / Scout appears in the following collections:
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