The Fokker Eindecker During World War One

1491 words - 6 pages

In today’s world, the use of airplanes in wars or in everyday life has become a part of how we live as human beings. Removing the air forces of the world is like taking a step back in time when wars were only fought on land or sea. WWI began only eleven short years after the Wright brothers achieved powered flight in 19031 and yet aircrafts were being used for surveillance and eventually combat purposes. It is understood that these aircrafts were primitive, but they laid down the foundation for what we know today as fighter jets. The Fokker Eindecker “revolutionized air combat by successfully employing a synchronized forward -firing machine gun mounted on the engine cowling”2. Because this airplane became the first to successfully use a synchronized machine gun, it allowed its pilots to become the first aerial combat tactitions3.
Anthony Fokker was the creator of the Eindecker series and many other aircrafts after. Fokker was a Dutchman who originally looked to learn how to manufacturer cars but decided to learn more about aviation. His schooling occurred in Germany and by the end of it he became a pilot and manufacturer. Before World War One broke out, Fokker started his own, small aircraft factory just outside Berlin.4
As World War One broke out, the use of aviation became more common for scouting purposes and Fokker looked to sell his planes to the countries involved. Due to the fact that the Netherlands was a neutral country throughout the entire course of the war Fokker geared his sights on other European countries, which he explains about his autobiography:
Then all of a sudden, just when my business started to yield a profit, in the peaceful summer of 1914 the bomb of the Great War went off. It was an absolute surprise for me. There were no war preparations that I knew of. I was immersed with heart and soul in the development of aviation, and in the desperate struggle to keep the business afloat I had joyfully sold my planes to the German army - although one day they might even be used against my own country!5
Before selling his planes to Germany, he did, in fact, ask Great Britain but they were not interested and his own country was already satisfied with the use of French aircrafts.5
The creation of the Eindecker came from the German military handing over a crashed French airplane where Fokker could dissect and re-create the crashed aircraft for the German army. What was the importance to this plane? The French plane included a machine gun attached to its propellers. Fokker went above and beyond the German’s request by creating a more reliable aircraft that wouldn’t allow the propellers to be damaged by the gun.6 What made Fokker’s E-series revolutionary was the synchronized machine gun attached to the propellers. The gun attached to the French plane had metal plates to protect it from the bullets but Fokker realized that they were not one hundred percent protected. By devising a synchronizing machine gun with the propeller,...

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