First appearing entering combat in May 1918, the Fokker D. VII quickly showed its superior performance over Allied fighters. With its high rate of climb, higher ceiling and excellent handling characteristics, German pilots scored a remarkable 565 victories over Allied aircraft during the month of August alone.
Designed by Reinhold Platz, the prototype of the D. VII flew in a competition against other new fighter aircraft in early 1918. After Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the famous Red Baron, flew the prototype and enthusiastically recommended it, the D. VII was chosen for production. To achieve higher production rates, Fokker, the Albatross company and the Allgemeine Elektrizitats Gesellschaft (AEG) all built the D. VII. By war's end in November 1918, these three companies had built more than 1,700 aircraft.
The reproduction aircraft on display is painted to represent the Fokker D. VII of Lt. Rudolph Stark, a squadron leader of Jasta (Fighter Squadron) 35b in October 1918. It was placed on exhibit in May 1996.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Two 7.92 Spandau machine guns Engine: Mercedes 160 hp or BMW 185 hp Maximum speed: 120 mph (Mercedes engine); 124 mph (BMW engine) Ceiling: 18,000 ft. (Mercedes engine); 21,000 ft. (BMW engine) Span: 29 ft. 3.5 in. Length: 22 ft. 11.5 in. Height: 9 ft. 2.5 in. Weight: 1,540 lbs. empty; 1,939 lbs. loaded