Close this search box.

Fokker D.VII

The Fokker D.VII was a German World War I fighter aircraft.

Germany produced around 3,300 D.VII aircraft in the second half of 1918.

In service with the Luftstreitkräfte, the D.VII quickly proved itself to be a formidable aircraft.

The Armistice required, that Germany was to surrender all D.VIIs to the Allies.

Surviving aircraft saw much service with many countries in the years after World War I.

Fokker’s chief designer, Reinhold Platz, had been working on a series of experimental V-series aircraft, starting in 1916.

The aircraft were notable for the use of cantilever wings. 

Hugo Junkers and his aviation firm had originated the idea in 1915 with the first practical all-metal aircraft, the Junkers J 1 monoplane, nicknamed Blechesel (Sheet Metal Donkey or Tin Donkey).

The wings were thick, with a rounded leading edge.

The shape of the wings’ airfoil gave greater lift, with its relatively “blunt” leading edge (as seen in cross-section) giving it more docile stalling behaviour than the thin wings commonly in use.

Late in 1917, Fokker built the experimental V 11 biplane, fitted with the standard Mercedes D.IIIa engine.

In January 1918, Idflieg held a fighter competition at Adlershof.

For the first time, front line pilots participated in the evaluation and selection of new fighters.

Fokker submitted the V 11 along with several other prototypes. 

Manfred von Richthofen flew the V 11 and found it tricky, unpleasant and directionally unstable in a dive.

Platz lengthened the rear fuselage by one structural bay and added a triangular fin in front of the rudder.

Richthofen tested the modified V 11 and praised it as the best aircraft of the competition.

It offered excellent performance from the outdated Mercedes engine, yet was safe and easy to fly.

Richthofen’s recommendation virtually decided the competition, but he was not alone in recommending it.

Fokker immediately received a provisional order for 400 production aircraft, which were named D.VII by Idflieg.

Fokker’s factory was not up to the task of meeting all D.VII production orders and Idflieg directed Albatros and AEG to build the D.VII under license, though AEG did not ultimately produce any aircraft.

Because the Fokker factory did not use detailed plans as part of its production process, Fokker simply sent a D.VII airframe for Albatros to copy.

Albatros paid Fokker a five percent royalty for every D.VII it built under license. Albatros Flugzeugwerke and its subsidiary, Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke (OAW), built the D.VII at factories in Johannisthal [Fokker D.VII (Alb)] and Schneidemühl [Fokker D.VII (OAW)] respectively.

Aircraft markings included the type designation and factory suffix, immediately before the individual serial number.

Some parts were not interchangeable between aircraft produced at different factories, even between Albatros and OAW.

Each manufacturer tended to differ in both nose paint styles and the patterning and layout of their engine compartment cooling louvers on the sides of the nose.

OAW produced examples were delivered with distinctive mauve and green splotches on the cowling.

All D.VIIs were produced with either the five-colour Fünffarbiger or less often, the four-color Vierfarbiger lozenge camouflage covering, except for early Fokker-produced D.VIIs, which had a streaked green fuselage.

Factory camouflage finishes were often overpainted with colourful paint schemes or insignia for the Jasta or for a pilot.

In September 1918, eight D.VIIs were delivered to Bulgaria.

Late in 1918, the Austro-Hungarian company Magyar Általános Gépgyár (MÁG, Hungarian General Machine Company) commenced licensed production of the D.VII with Austro-Daimler engines.

Production continued after the end of the war, with as many as 50 aircraft completed.


Fokker V.11


Fokker V.21

Prototype with tapered wings

Fokker V.22

Prototype with four-bladed propeller

Fokker V.24

Prototype with 240 hp (180 kW) Benz Bz.IVü engine

Fokker V.31

One D.VII aircraft fitted with a hook to tow the Fokker V 30 glider

Fokker V.34

D.VII development with 185 hp (138 kW) BMW IIIa engine

Fokker V.35

Two-seat development with 185 hp (138 kW) BMW IIIa engine and undercarriage fuel tank

Fokker V.36

D.VII development with 185 hp (138 kW) BMW IIIa engine and undercarriage fuel tank

Fokker V.38

Prototype Fokker C.I


Production aircraft from Fokker; either from their wartime Schwerin / Görries headquarters, or post-Armistice, in the Netherlands.


Production aircraft from Albatros Flugzeugwerke in Johannisthal, Berlin.


Production by Magyar Altalános Gepgyár RT – (MAG) at Mátyásföld, near Budapest.


Production aircraft from Ostdeutsche Albatros Werke in Schneidemühl.

MAG-Fokker 90.05

The Fokker V 22 powered by a 200 hp (150 kW) Austro-Daimler 200hp 6-cyl.

Fokker D.VII Lithuanian versions

1 D.VII powered by Siddeley Puma, produced in 1928; 2 D.VII, powered by Mercedes D.III, produced in 1930.

Both types featured larger engine cowling and radiator under the nose.



6.954 m (22 ft 10 in)


8.9 m (29 ft 2 in)


2.75 m (9 ft 0 in)

Wing area

20.5 m2 (221 sq ft)

Empty weight

670 kg (1,477 lb)

Gross weight

906 kg (1,997 lb)


1 × Mercedes D.III 6-cyl. Water-cooled in-line piston engine, 120 kW (160 hp)


1 × 130.5 kW (175 hp) Mercedes D.IIIa 6-cyl Water-cooled in-line piston engine


1 × 137.95 kW (185 hp) BMW IIIa 6-cyl Water-cooled in-line piston engine

(180 kW (240 hp) rating at low level, emergency only, risk of engine damage.)


2-bladed fixed-pitch propeller


Maximum speed

189 km/h (117 mph, 102 kn)


BMW IIIa engine

200 km/h (124 mph; 108 kn)


266 km (165 mi, 144 nmi)

Service ceiling

6,000 m (20,000 ft)

Rate of climb

3.92 m/s (772 ft/min)


BMW IIIa engine

9.52 metres per second (1,874 ft/min)



2 × 7.92 mm (0.312 in) LMG 08/15 Spandau machine guns.



Share on facebook