Fokker E.IV / M-15

Specifications

1st Flight 1915

Crew: 1

Length: 7.5 m (24 ft 7 in)

Wingspan: 10 m (32 ft 10 in)

Height: 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)

Wing area: 15.9 m2 (171 sq ft)

Empty weight: 466 kg (1,027 lb)

Max takeoff weight: 724 kg (1,596 lb)

Powerplant: 1 × Oberursel U.III 14-cyl. two-row air-cooled rotary piston engine, 119 kW (160 hp)

Performance

Maximum speed: 170 km/h (110 mph, 92 kn)

Range: 240 km (150 mi, 130 nmi)

Service ceiling: 3,960 m (12,990 ft)

Rate of climb: 4.167 m/s (820.3 ft/min)

Armament

Guns: 2 × forward-firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08 “Spandau” machine guns

or 3 x forward-firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) LMG 08 “Spandau” machine guns

Variants

Given the Fokker designation of M.15, the E.IV was essentially a lengthened Fokker E.III powered by the 119 kW (160 hp) Oberursel U.III two-row, 14-cylinder rotary engine, a copy of the Gnome Double Lambda.

The more powerful engine was intended to enable the Eindecker to carry two or three 7.92 mm (.312 in) machine guns, thereby increasing its firepower and providing redundancy if one gun jammed – a common occurrence at the time.

However, the E.IV was a troubled design that never achieved the success of its predecessor and was soon out-classed by French and British fighters.

The prototype E.IV was accepted for testing by the German Inspektion der Fliegertruppen in September 1915.

It was fitted with three forward-firing 7.92 mm (.312 in) lMG 08 “Spandau” machine guns, mounted to fire upwards at 15°.

Anthony Fokker demonstrated the E.IV at Essen but the complicated triple-synchronization gear failed and the propeller was damaged.

The removal of the left-side gun is believed to have been pioneered on Oswald Boelcke’s E.IV, believed to have borne IdFlieg serial 123/15, with a simpler double-synchronization system used on the retained centre-line and right side MG 08 Spandau guns.

The fitment of dual MG 08 “Spandau” forward-firing, synchronized machine guns became the standard armament for production E.IVs, and indeed for all subsequent German D-type biplane fighters.

The angling of the guns was also abandoned.

49 aircraft were built in total.

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