Fokker DR1. Free flight 1/16 scale rubber-powered model triplane fighter.
Quote: "HERE are plans for an accurate 3/4 in to the foot flying model of one of the most famous fighting planes of the First World War. Tony Fokker's DR.1 or Dreidecker as the Germans called it, was the type chosen by the great enemy ace Baron Manfried von Richthofen to be flown by the pilots of the unit he commanded, Staffel 11. It was while flying his red Triplane that the Red Knight, as he was known, met his death at the hand of Capt Roy Brown flying a Sopwith Camel early in the spring of 1918 over the Australian sector of the British lines. Richthofen was intent on trying to shoot down the later to be famous Wop May of the Canadian squadron commanded by Brown; May escaped, but the Red Knight fell victim to Brown's Vickers gun.
The Fokker Triplanes appeared in strength over the Western Front during the last half of 1917 and they remained an active factor in the air war up to the Armistice. With a top speed of 115 mph, fast climb and great maneuverability, this ship was indeed of great merit for its time. Not only was the Tripe a favorite of von Richthofen, but it was also flown by his lesser known brother, Lothar, and also Werner Voss, the late Ernst Udet, the soon to be 'late' Herman Goering and many other well known German aces.
So much for background on this triple winged terror of 1917 and '18.
No serious model builder's tarmac of famous fighters can be complete without a model of the Fokker Triplane. A glance at the accompanying photographs will convince all of the simplicity of design and the beauty of this little job. As for flights, the Tripe is right out in front there too. Built with care and in ac-cordance with these plans, the author assures you that the Tripe will not only fly well, but if constructed lightly and correctly balanced it will reward you with excellent ROG flights.
We begin with the fuselage. Construction is best accomplished directly over the plans which should be placed on a smooth board and held in place with thumb tacks. A sheet of waxpaper over the plans will serve to keep the cement from adhering to the plans and work board. The main fuselage framework is indicated by the solid black lines and is of 3/32 in square balsa. When the two sides are completed they are removed from the work board, joined together at front and rear and set aside to dry. All crosspieces are also of 3/32 in square balsa; they are placed between sides on both top and bottom as indicated on the top view of fuselage. The top view is drawn so that the crosspieces are shown by solid black lines and the formers are shown in their respective places by the cross-hatching method.
When all cross-pieces have dried in place, the top formers are prepared according to the templates on Plate 1 of 1/16 in sheet balsa. The stringer notches are 1/16 in. square.
When the top formers are in place and dry the side formers (Plate 2) are cemented in place as indicated on top view. Two of each side formers are required; A is of 1/16 in sheet, while B, C and D are of 1/32 in sheet.
With all formers in place we may now cement the 1/16 in square balsa stringers in their places. Note that the center wing fits directly on top of the top longerons between Nos. 2 and 3 formers; because of this we cut the stringers connecting these formers as well as those between 4 and 5. The cockpit opening is covered with heavy bond paper, and after this has dried securely in place, trace the cockpit outline lightly and cut away with the point of a sharp razor blade.
A rear motor hook of music wire is now cemented in place; the space below the bottom stringer between side formers B and D is filled in with 1/16 in. sheet balsa on each side so as to provide a firm base for the mounting of the bot-tom wing, and the fuselage framework is complete except for a thorough sanding with very fine sandpaper.
The cowl is carved from a solid block of soft balsa to the exact size shown on plans. Note that this cowl is perfectly round except for the bottom which viewed from the front is flat, and when viewed from the side is sloped. so as to conform to the profile of the fuselage. The author recommends that a small brace and bit be used to drill the nose plug hole. Shape the cowl carefully so as to duplicate the shape of the original. A smooth finish is obtained by applying several coats of clear dope and sanding with very fine paper. You will save time at this point if you completely finish the cowl by doping with white dope. Several coats with sanding between coats will give a good finish. The cowl bottom should be doped a dull black, as should the dummy cylinders which are carved from balsa wound with thread and sup-plied with push rods of small scraps.
Some modelers may wish to install a true to life rotary motor, but the dummy stationary cylinders are preferable for a model which is to be flown. With the cowl completed we now lay it aside until final assembly.
Tail surfaces are next. These are made directly over the plans of 1/16 in flat balsa. Matters will be simplified if you prepare a plan for the left half of the elevators. This is easily accomplished by tracing the right half on thin paper, re-versing your drawing and making your lines heavier. By joining your tracing and the half shown you will have a plan of the entire elevator. Controls on our Tripe are adjustable, so construct the frames as shown and join together by short lengths of copper wire inserted in the frames and held in place by a generous amount of cement..."
Update 21/01/2019: Added article, thanks to RFJ.
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