The Fokker D.VII in Germany

The D.VII started to arrive at the front in great numbers in april 1918. The German pilots were very pleased with them, and were dissapointed when they had to fly other aircraft like the Albatros D.V or Pfalz D.III. It is even said that some pilots wrecked their Albatros or Pfalz, without damaging the engine, to get the engine placed in a D.VII frame. The D.VII started to make a lot of victims under the allied fliers. Because it was easy to fly, it made mediocre pilots to good ones.

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German airfield personnel show interest in an early production Fokker D.VII.
In the background Fokker Dr.I’s and an Albatros D.Va can be seen.

Things started to change in the summer. For unkown reasons, D.VII’s started to burn, and crashed, sometimes killing the pilot. Later it appearedĀ  that the extreme high summer temperature of 1918, with insufficient cooling, made incendiary ammunition go off spontaneously. This was also caused by the poor quality of incendiary ammunition. By making extra cooling openings, and replacement of the ammunition, these problems were over.

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Familiar shot of Jagdstaffel 72 Fokker D.VII’s at the front,

Numbers of D.VII at the front were :

MONTH
APRIL 1918 19
JUNE 1918 407
AUGUST 1918 838
NOVEMBER 1918 775

Total number of D.VII’s ordered exceeded 3000, but not all were built.