by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
HistoryThe E.III was the result of the Fokker Company’s progressive modifications to it’s original M.5. The length of the wings and the engine application were key indicators to the identity of a given airframe’s nomenclature. The production E.I had an 80hp Oberursel (U.0) rotary and wings of 8.95 m in length. The production E.II had the 100hp Oberursel (U.I) and wings of 9.75 m (9520mm.) The E.III had the 100hp Oberursel (U.I) with wings of 9.99 m (10030mm.) Some experimentation was undertaken with a few individual airframes, as early type Seimens- Halske and Goebel- Goe engines were installed. The Fokker fighter’s synchronized, air-cooled Spandau Maxim Machine Gun lMG 08 was the final ingredient that cracked the proverbial whip. This ‘scourge’ manifested itself in the allied crews it came up against, as they considered themselves ‘Fokker Fodder.’
Kit ContentsIn this review I will cover the 2012 Wingnut Wings recent release, kit #32048.
Plastic parts = 125 pcs
Photoetch parts = 14 pcs
Decals = 6 profiles
Instruction 22 pages
The BuildI would predrill all the rigging pilot holes in the fuselage halves (PP 1 & 2), wings (PP F 4 & 6).
Step 1. When finished the assembled cockpit tub will fit the fuselage halves (PP A 34 & B 12). It starts with the control column (PP A 4 & 5) and the rudder assembly (PP A 44 ). As noted fine wire may be used to simulate the various control cables. The ammunition box (PP H 1 & 2) would be an aluminum colour the same as the cowling panels. The completed seat assembly (PP A 21 & 29, D 11 X 2) may be added at this time. Add the air flow adjustment lever (PP A 32) to the forward left side of the cockpit skeletal structure (PP A 26). The fuel tank air pressure pump (PP A 43) ) goes on the cockpit skeletal structure (PP A 19). The instrument panel (PP A 31 ) such as it was on the original aircraft held the oil pulsator glass, and fuel on / off and engine magneto switches. Its placement should be vertically spanning the forward pilot’s right corner of the cockpit on the pilot’s right. Another instrument the starter/ ignition switch would be found below the Morrell Phalax tachometer (Decal 50)
Page 4. At the top is the internal rigging guide. At the bottom is the cockpit painting guide.
Step 2. Unites the the fuselage halves (PP A 34 & B 12) trapping the cockpit assembly from step 1. Note the various detail options depending on the profile you are building.
Step 3. The motor comes in plastic (On tree "E") or there is an after market item available from Vector.
The Gnome B-2 9 cylinder rotary was license built by the Oberursel company and designated as their U.I 100hp. I would replace the kit push rods and use scale thickness metal rods to the front connections of its nine cylinders and paint in aluminum plate. Originally an internal-tooth ring gear mounted on the engine drove a stationary magneto mounted on the firewall, whose high-voltage output terminal was in close proximity to the spark plug terminals as they passed by. This arrangement eliminated the need for points, distributor, high-voltage wiring and capacitors found in conventional mechanically timed ignition systems. But this was altered by Fokker (U.I 100hp) and Gnome (later B 3 & N types) when wire leads were connected to the spark plug and attached at the other end to an electrically charged ring near the fire wall. After this dries thoroughly I use a mixture of “Testors Model Master” drab earth and flat black in a wash shot through an Airbrush. This duplicates nicely the burned castor oil spray patina prevalent on rotary powered aircraft of this time period. Keep some of this mixture for later use.
Step 4. Next is the undercarriage / landing gear assembly and attachment. Clean up the parts and remove any seams. They are minimal here. (PP A 25 & 30, B 3) Otherwise proceed as instructions dictate. Note the exclamation point in the instructions. This is a side view of this assembly and notes the forward rake needed. The PE replacement plate (PE 5) is a reinforced metal item that Fokker placed on the area under the muzzle of the machine gun. It is not a vent.
Step 5. Wings (PP F 4 & 6) and tail plane (PP A 6). The production E.I had an 80hp Oberursel (U.0) rotary and wings of 8.95 m in length. The production E.II had the 100hp Oberursel (U.I) and wings of 9.75 m (9520mm.) The E.III had the 100hp Oberursel (U.I) with wings of 9.99 m (10030mm). This last example is what was on E.III 210/16 when it was captured.
Step 6. Upper forward cowling detail. This mostly about the armament variations and the trestle (PP A 13) support for the rigging. You can choose either the German 1915 version of the Spandau Maxim lMG 08 or the Austro - Hungarian Schwarzlose M 7 / 12. The breech / receiver (PP H 10, B 11, PE 10 ) is correct as is for the profile of the Schwarzlose. Check your references. A metal tube could be substituted for the plastic machine gun barrel on PP H 10. But it would have to be slightly thicker at one end. The ammunition feed assembly is moulded to the ammunition box (PP H 1 & 2) noted in step 1. (Note historically speaking, on the first few E.I types the early model Parabellum MG.14 was employed).
Steps 7 Note The fuel cap (PP A 8) was slightly to the right of center otherwise it would interfere with the internal rigging. The Germania (PP F 7) and Garuda (PP F 1) propellers are noted.
Page 11 The rigging is discussed here. Possible mediums are 0.15mm monofilament or metal fishing line sheathed in clear plastic. Next shoot the castor oil mixture over the outside of the metal cowling surfaces and the adjacent pilot’s left wing. On the finest setting this should be done at an oblique angle from the propeller shaft across the wing surfaces (upper & lower.) This represents the exhaust flow due to the propeller blast. This exhaust seeped into the fabric as it trailed back over both of the (pilot’s left) wing surfaces and the corresponding fuselage areas. There was notably much less staining to the pilot’s right side of the aircraft. The older the machine the more stains.
Fokker E.II vs E.IIIIn a correspondence with Mr. Dan-San Abbott, he covered the differences in the types we’re discussing. ‘. . .The Fok. E.II 2/15 was the first (German) designed fighter aircraft. It was delivered with a 14 square meter wing with a span of 8520mm and a fuselage length of 7200mm. The initial Fok. E.II types had the 80hp Oberursel U.0 engine with an empty weight of 338 kg. As soon as the new 100hp Oberursel U.I engines were available the production switched at Fok. E.II 20/15. With the 100hp Oberursel U.I the empty weight was increased to 370 kg. On the Fok. E.II types the ammunition container was outside the fuselage frame and was contained in the pilot’s right, fuselage side fairing. The empty belt was stored in an aluminum box under the machine gun. The Wing area was increased to 16 square meters and the span increased to 9520mm on Fok. E.II 66/15 with the total empty weight now at 399 kg. (Yet the recognized prototype being Fok. E.III 54/15, with an overall height of 2400mm.) Commencing with Fok. E.I 58/15 the left side fairing was redesigned and all subsequent Fok. E. types had the simplified side fairings. The ammunition container was moved inside the fuselage on Fok. E.III 400/15 and the right side fairing was redesigned. . .’
DecalsAll profiles are generally accurate.
A. E.III 405/15 Ltns Otto Pfälzer or Ernst Udet KEK Habsheim, March, 1916.
B. E.III 608/15 Ltn. Josef Jacobs Fokkerstaffel West, May 1916.
C. E.III 246/16 Ltn. Max Immelmann, KEK Douai, June 1916.
D. A.III A 8 Austro-Hungarian Navy 1916
E. E.III ???/16 Ltn. Manfred von Richthofen, Kasta 8, June 1916.
F. A.III 03.43 Flik 8 & 19, Austro - Hungarian Army 1916.
Also small addenda sheet is provided.
References1. ‘Althaus !’by S. Lawson, Cross & Cockade Int. Vol. 20, #1, 1989.
2. Eisernes Kreuz und Balken Kreuz by H. Nowarra, Hoffmann Pub. 1968.
3. Fokker E.III by R. Rimell, Windsock Datafile 15, Albatros Pub. Ltd.
4. Fokker Eindecker E.III by D. Jones, Cross & Cockade GB, Vol 5, #1, !974, insert Mechanical Drawings and General arrangements.
5. Fokker Fighters of WWI by A. Imrie, Vintage Warbirds #6, Arms & Armour Press, 1986.
6. Fokker Monoplanes by J.M.Bruce, Profile Pub.#38, 1965.
7. ‘Fokker Train Atterrissage’ from French Air Service 1916, via Dan San Abbott. General wing arrangements and measurements.
8. German Army Air Service in WWI by R. Rimell, Vintage Warbirds #2, Arms & Armour Press, 1987.
9. German Fighter Units 1914- May 1917 by A. Imrie, Osprey Pub. 1978.
10. ‘Kobes in FFA 11' by J. Jacobs, edited by S. Lawson Cross & Cockade Int. Vol. 27, #2, 1996.
11. ‘Kobes in Fosta West’ by J. Jacobs, edited by S. Lawson, Over the Front Vol.9, #4, 1994.
12. Lafayette Foundation, Denver Co.
13. ‘Sketches and Descriptions’ by J. Jacobs, edited by S. Lawson, Cross & Cockade Int. Vol.29, #2, 1998.
14. ‘The Flight Log of Ltn. von Hippel’ by J. von Hippel unpublished, 1914-1951.
15. 'Early German Aces of World War I' by Greg VanWyngarden, Osprey pub. AOA #73, 2006.
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