Fokker DVII (oz14735)


Fokker DVII (oz14735) by Rich Uravitch 1977 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Fokker DVII. Radio control sport scale German WWI fighter biplane model.

Update 12/8/2023: Added article, thanks to rocketpilot.

Quote: "The Fokker D-VII was perhaps the culmination of WW I biplane design philosophy in perfecting the most efficient aerial killing machine. The Fokker D-VII was so feared by the Allies that it was specifically written into the Armistice agreement, with an order to 'surrender all first-line D-Vll aircraft.' It was a potent weapon because of its stability (in an era when planes might not even recover from a spin), and the D-VII had the uncanny ability to hang on its prop at altitudes above 20,000 ft, where most other fighters would stall and spin. It made even the most mediocre German pilot look like a real Ace. The plane was very easy to handle, yet maintained a high degree of maneuverability.

There are some historical misconceptions about the famed German fighter. First, Anthony Fokker did not design the ship. The actual engineer was Reinhold Platz, although Tony Fokker was instrumental in refining the basic design and improving its performance. Without Fokker's talents as a flier, the D series of aircraft (the D designated a single-seat fighter/scout) would never have reached production.

Many people erroneously associate the Red Baron (von Richthofen) with the D-VII; although the great WW I Ace had been shot down shortly before the first aircraft came to the front lines. The Baron probably did fly the prototype for evaluation purposes, of course. History seems to indicate that Manfred preferred his trusty triplane to the biplane design.

Those of you who are regular readers of Scale R/C Modeler will remember my SE-5a (December '76). The airplane has been very well received, undoubtedly because it is .29-.45 powered, and builds extremely fast. There have been some rather laudatory reports on the fun-flying characteristics of the model. It seems to have found a comfortable niche as a sport flyer, which still looks very nice on the ground. In short, it seems that we have a real winner on our hands.

As might be expected, there were requests for a sequel to the SE-5a, with a lot of enthusiasm for a combat machine with which to do mock aerial battle. So we set to work on the scourge of the skies, and designed a model that would actually share many common building parts with the SE-5a. The same objectives were kept uppermost in evolving the D-VII, so that it would go together quickly, have that Sunday Flyer stability, and still be capable of looking realistic enough for the Sport Scale afficionados. Features such as ruggedness and easy ground handling were carefully considered, and the resulting model is very polite on the runway, and can take an amazing amount of abuse. For those who have built the SE-5a, you'll be able to use the leftover lumber for this ship; while those starting from scratch should be able to get a completed framework for about $15 in balsa.

Fuselage: The fuselage is built 'old stick model' style, by constructing the basic sides directly over the plans. The shaded areas indicate this basic frame. When both sides are complete, epoxy the 1/16 ply doubler in position. Note that doubler covers both the 1/4 in balsa side and upper 1/4 x 1/4 in longeron. Make certain you build a RIGHT and a LEFT side. After the assemblies dry, cut 3/16 off the front of the RIGHT side (from top to bottom) - this will insure the built-in right thrust.

Our next step, and this is one of paramount importance, is marking the position of the cabane assemblies directly on the ply fuselage doublers. Using the template on the plans, position accurately and mark locations. Accuracy is essential to insure proper upper wing incidence. Having completed this step, install bulkheads #3 and #4, taper edges of the rear longerons and join. at the tail. I generally sandwich one rudder hinge between the sides when joining the tail.

Cross bracing (1/4 x 1/4 in balsa) is now added between the sides. Length of each cross brace is shown on plans. Cut two of each cross brace since one is required at both top and bottom. These are glued between the fuselage sides at each point of the upright bracing. Fill in the space between bulkhead #8 and the tail with 1/4 in sheet, after adding the stab platform. This same space on the lower fuselage is filled with 3/16 ply, since it serves as the tail wheel mount platform. Now add all upper bulkheads (1, 2a, 3a, 4a, 5-8) and sub-side sheeting..."

Supplementary file notes



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Fokker DVII (oz14735) by Rich Uravitch 1977 - model pic


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