Fokker V11

Specifications

1st Flight 1917

The Fokker V-11 is the Prototype for the later D-VII.

Motor – Mercedes D.III/160 hp

Dimensions – Span 8.9 m

Length – 7.0 m

Height – 2.75 m

Weight – Empty 700 kg

Loaded – 850 kg

Performance – Maximum speed 190 km/hr

Ceiling – 22,900 ft

Endurance – 1.5 – 2 hr

Armament – None

Variants

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.

The wings were thick, with a rounded leading edge.

The shape of the wings’ airfoil gave greater lift, with its relatively “blunt” leading edge 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It offered excellent performance from the outdated Mercedes engine, yet was safe and easy to fly.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.

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