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Fokker E.I

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Fokker E.I
Max Immelmann of Feldflieger Abteilung 62 in the cockpit of his Fokker E.I.
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Fokker
Designed by Anthony Fokker
Maiden flight Early 1915
Introduced June 1915
Primary user Imperial German Army Air Service
Produced 1915-1916
Number built 54

The Fokker E.I was the first successful fighter aircraft to enter service with the German Army Air Service - in mid-1915. Its arrival at the front marked the start of a period known as the "Fokker Scourge" during which the E.I and its Fokker Eindecker successors achieved a measure of air superiority over the Western Front.

Design and development

The E.I was essentially an armed version of the Fokker M.5K single-seat reconnaissance aircraft[1] (military designation A.III), which was in turn very closely based on the design of the 1913 French Morane-Saulnier Type H. Like the Morane, the Fokker was an externally braced mid-winged monoplane with a tapered box section fuselage, with fully movable horizontal and vertical stabilizing surfaces, also known as "flying" surfaces, giving the pilot the usual tail control functions - roll control was achieved through controlled wing warping, as was conventional in contemporary monoplanes. [2] Wing warping was achieved through external cables attached to the surface and running through a king post located in the front of the cockpit. The fuselage structure was fabric covered welded steel tubing - this constituted the biggest difference between the Fokker and the Morane, which had an entirely wooden framework. Welded steel tube provided the basis for the structure of all Fokker aircraft for many years.

This unremarkable and derivative design was, however, transformed into a formidable fighter when it was fitted with the newly-developed synchronizer gear firing a single Parabellum LMG 14 or Spandau LMG 08 machine gun through the spinning propeller.[1] Indeed the first five E.Is had been ordered and were under construction as A.IIIs but were completed as M.5K/MG aircraft, retaining the earlier "shoulder-wing" placement of the A.III type. Subsequent production E.Is had their wings lowered slightly from the M.5's shoulder configuration, which improved pilot visibility. (These were designated by Fokker as the M.14 which was also used for the following two Eindecker variants.)

Operational history

Two German pilots, Leutnants Otto Parschau and Kurt Wintgens, worked very closely with Anthony Fokker in early 1915 during the introduction of the M.5K/MG aircraft to evaluational service. Parschau was given the first production M.5K/MG, serial number E.1/15. Wintgens received the last aircraft, serial number E.5/15. Wintgens was flying this aircraft when he scored the first true fighter victory in aviation history on July 1, 1915, over a two-seat Morane-Saulnier Type L parasol monoplane.

The E.I was mainly flown by the ordinary Fliegertruppe of the German Army - the formation of specialised fighter squadrons in the German air service was still to come. Two were supplied to the Austro-Hungarian air force and five to the Kaiserliche Marine in April 1916. The E.I was soon joined by the improved Fokker E.II and, as the first E.Is were entering service in June 1915, the first of the E.II type was being demonstrated by Anthony Fokker. However, E.I production continued in parallel with the E.II and output of the types depended on the availability of the Oberursel engines; the 80-hp U.0 copy of the Gnôme Lambda rotary engine for the E.I and the 100-hp U.I copy of the Gnôme Monosoupape for the E.II. In fact, E.Is were still being produced in 1916 well after E.II production had ceased, having been superseded by the Fokker E.III. By 1916, a total of 54 had been manufactured and delivered to the German Army, Navy and the Austro-Hungarian army.[3]


Template:Country data Austria-Hungary
Template:Country data German Empire

Specifications (E.I.)

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 7.22 m (23 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.7 m (32 ft 11½ in)
  • Height: 2.9 m (9 ft 5½ in)
  • Wing area: 15.9 m² (172.2 ft²)
  • Empty weight: 360 kg (789 lb)
  • Loaded weight: 563 kg (1,241 lb)
  • Powerplant:Oberursel U.0 7-cylinder air-cooled rotary engine , 80 hp (59.6 kW)




  1. 1.0 1.1 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named winchester-15
  2. winchester, 15-16
  3. winchester, 16

See also

Related development
Fokker M.5K - Fokker E.II

Designation sequence
E.I - E.II - E.III - E.IV - E.V Related lists
List of military aircraft of Germany



Template:Idflieg E-class designations

it:Fokker E.I pl:Fokker E.I

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fokker E.I".