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Fokker D.VIII

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Fokker D.VIII
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Fokker-Flugzeugwerke
Designed by Reinhold Platz
Maiden flight May 1918
Primary user Luftstreitkräfte
Number built approximately 289

The Fokker E.V was a parasol-monoplane fighter aircraft designed by Reinhold Platz and built by Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. It entered service with the Luftstreitkräfte in the last months of the First World War. Dubbed the Flying Razor by Allied pilots, it had the distinction of scoring the last aerial victory of the war. After several fatal accidents due to wing failures, the aircraft was modified and redesignated Fokker D.VIII.

Design and development

Fokker E.V

In early 1918, Fokker produced several rotary-powered monoplane designs. Of these, Fokker submitted the V.26 and V.28, small parasol-winged monoplanes with his usual steel-tube fuselages, for the second fighter trials at Adlershof in May/June 1918. The V.28 was tested with both the 145 hp Oberursel UR.III and 160 hp Goebel Goe.III, though neither of these engines were ready for operational service. The V.26 utilized the standard Oberursel UR.II engine, producing only 110 hp. While this engine was obsolete, the V.26's low drag and light weight meant that it was nevertheless quite fast. The Fokker designs were only barely beaten by the Siemens-Schuckert D.III with the complex contra-rotary Siemens-Halske Sh.III engine.

In the end, the V.26 was ordered into production as the Fokker E.V. Four hundred were ordered immediately with either the UR.III or Goe.III. Because neither engine was available in any quantity, all production examples mounted the UR.II.

Operational history

Fokker E.V

The first production E.V aircraft were shipped to Jasta 6 in late July. The new monoplane was also delivered to Jasta 1, Jasta 19, Jasta 24 and Jasta 36. Emil Rolff scored the first kill in an E.V on August 17, 1918, but two days later he was killed when his aircraft's wing collapsed in flight. After another E.V of Jasta 19 crashed, the Idflieg grounded all E.V aircraft. Pending the investigation of these wing failures, production ceased at the Fokker Flugzeugwerke. According to Fokker, the wing failures were caused by the army technical bureau, which had forced him to modify the original design by over-strengthening the rear main spar. This faulty design allegedly caused the wing to twist and fail. Fokker claimed that this defect was resolved by reverting to his original design.

According to most other accounts, the source of the wing failures lay not in the design, but in shoddy and rushed construction. Fokker had subcontracted construction of the E.V wings to the Perzina Pianoforte Fabrik factory. Due to poor quality control, the spar "caps" forming the upper and lower pieces of the spar assembly had been placed too far apart during the fabrication. Because the resulting spars were too large to pass through the ribs, excess material was simply planned away from the caps, leaving the assembled spars dangerously weak.

Tests showed that when properly constructed, the original E.V wing had a considerable margin of safety. Satisfied that the basic design was safe, the Idflieg authorized continued production after personnel changes and improved quality control measures at the Perzina factory.

Deliveries resumed in October. At the suggestion of the Kogenluft (Kommandierenden General der Luftstreitkräfte), the Idflieg redesignated the modified aircraft D.VIII. Henceforth, the "E." and "Dr." designations were abolished and all fighters received the "D." appellation. The first new examples of the D. VIII started arriving at frontline units late that month and started operations on the 24 October with Jasta 11.

Jasta 5 was granted a D.VIII, and the famed ace Erich Lowenhardt used it for a short time scoring a few victories in the plane. He continued to favor, however, the D.VII.

A total of 289 aircraft were produced. Some reached Holland, Italy, Japan, the United States, and England as trophies, but most were scrapped in accordance with the terms of the Armistice.


The Polish Air Force captured 17 aircraft, but only seven (six E.V and one D.VIII) were in airworthy condition. All were used against Soviet forces in the Polish-Soviet War of 1919-1920. Lieutenant Stefan Stec earned the first kill for the Polish Air Force by shooting down a Ukrainian Nieuport fighter on 29 April 1919. In 1921, the remaining Fokkers were withdrawn from frontline units and transferred to the Szkoła Obsługi Lotniczej (Air Personnel School) at Poznań-Ławica airfield.


  • V 26 : The D.VIII prototype.
  • V 27 : Built for the second German fighter aircraft competition held in June 1918. The V 27 was a modified V 26 powered by a 195-hp (145-hp) Benz IIIb engine. The aircraft was later modified into the V 38.
  • V 28 : The V 28 was also built for the second German fighter competition. It was fitted with either the 145-hp (108-kW) Oberursel Ur.III, or the 140-hp (104-kW) Goebel Goe.III rotary piston eninges.
  • V.29 : was essentially a V.26 with a BMW IIIa 160 hp inline liquid-cooled engine.
  • V 30 : The V 26 was converted into a single-seat glider.
  • V 38 : The V 26 was converted into an armoured ground-attack fighter prototype.
  • D.VIII : Single-seat fighter-scout aircraft.


Fokker D.VIII in Dutch markings
Template:Country data German Empire
  • Polish Air Force captured 16 E.V and one D.VIII aircraft, only 7 were operated. Last E.V was still in inventory of the PAF in 1924.
Template:Country data Soviet Union
  • Soviet Air Force operated until the mid-1920s one aircraft captured by the Red Army during Polish-Soviet War.

Survivors and reproductions

The fuselage of one D.VIII is preserved at the Caproni Museum in Trento, Italy.

A number of static and flyable D.VIII reproductions have been built over the years--among the most notable of these are two 160 hp Gnome rotary engine powered flyable examples constructed by Brian Coughlin of New York State. These are now owned by Javier Arango of California and Kermit Weeks' Fantasy of Flight aviation museum in Florida.


Template:Aircraft specification


  • Weyl, A.R. Fokker: The Creative Years. 1988. ISBN 0-851778-17-8.

See also

Related development
Fokker V.26

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

Template:Idflieg D-class designations Template:Idflieg E-class designations Template:Fokker aircraft

cs:Fokker D.VIII de:Fokker D.VIII ja:フォッカー D.VIII (航空機) pl:Fokker D.VIII

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