AA28703 Fokker E.III Eindecker, Vfw. Ernst Udet, Germany, March 1916AA28703
Fokker E.III Eindecker, 105/15, Vfw. Ernst Udet, Germany, March 1916.
As the savage fighting on the Western Front revealed its insatiable appetite for consuming the lives of young men from all nationalities, a new war being waged in the skies above was about to take a similarly sinister turn. With their understanding of the absolute necessity to gain a control of the air and the wider implications this would have for the future of the entire conflict, the German High Command instructed its aircraft manufacturers to develop a new kind of aeroplane, one which was intended to hunt other aeroplanes and claim superiority of the skies.
The result of that search was the Fokker Eindecker, a mono wing fighter aircraft which represented the very pinnacle of aviation technology at that time, incorporating all the flight research data designers had managed to amass and utilising all the very latest technological advances in aviation. With the ability to fire its machine gun through the arc of the propeller by using a clever interrupter gear mechanism, all the pilot of an Eindecker had to do was to aim the nose of his aircraft in the direction of his target and fire, something of a revolutionary concept in aviation, but one which wasn't as simple as this description suggests.
It has to be remembered that the aeroplane was still in its relative infancy at that time and even though it was a technological marvel, the Eindecker was still rather primitive and relatively underpowered, making their pilots true pioneers in their craft. If they were competent enough to manoeuvre their aircraft into an attack position behind an enemy aircraft, the rudimentary wing warping flight control method could soon have them in trouble. If they let the thrill of combat overtake their judgement, a tight turn to stay on the tail of their intended victim could see them entering a dangerous spin, at best losing valuable altitude and the chance of gaining a victory and at worst, not stopping until the aircraft hit the ground.
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