The Dr.I (representation), immortalized by Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, was inspired by the success of the British Sopwith triplane (essentially a Pup with a third wing surface added).

The Dr.I was designed by Reinhold Platz, from brief descriptions from Anthony Fokker, who had seen a Sopwith Triplane in action. The “Dr” represents the German abbreviation for Dreidecker, meaning triplane. Construction of the Dr.I was typical of Fokker craft: with its steel tube fuselage and box-spar wings, the Dr.I was technologically ahead of anything the Allied forces had at their disposal. Another Fokker characteristic of the time was the lack of flying wires for structural support; Fokker’s planes relied on cantilevered, self-supporting design. Richthofen scored the final 21 of his 80 victories in his bright crimson craft.While slower than most of its contemporaries, the small triplane’s agility enabled Dr.I masters to amass great numbers of victories. Among the German aces who flew the Dr.I were the Red Baron’s brother Lothar; Werner Voss; Ernst Udet; and Hermann Goering. By 1918 the Dr.I was being replaced by the superior D.VII biplane; however, by then the war was all but over.

Specifications: Span 23’ 8”, length 18’ 11”, takeoff weight 1,290 lbs. Engine: 110 horsepower Oberursel nine-cylinder air-cooled rotary (original); 165 horsepower Warner nine-cylinder air-cooled radial (representation); maximum speed 103 mph. Armament: two Spandau 7.92 mm. machine guns.

Accession no. 1985L18

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