Saturday, 15 November 2014

Meet A. Fokker

That's Anthony Fokker, Dutch aero engineer, who designed Germany's best planes. A little-known detail is that he wasn't born in the Netherlands at all, but in Indonesia.

Nor was it the Netherlands where he set up as an aircraft manufacturer. In 1912, he moved to Berlin, and when war came the German authorities took over his factory at Schwerin. He, or his group of designers, were responsible for the monoplane known as the Eindecker, the triplane flown by the Red Baron, and the widely-admired D.VII that appeared towards the end of the war.

Fokker also gave his name to something called the "Fokker Scourge." This was an affliction that came upon the Royal Flying Corps in 1915, when Fokker Eindeckers began appearing. They started shooting down unacceptable numbers of British aircraft, because Fokker had designed a mechanism that allowed a machine-gun to shoot through the propeller arc without putting bullets through the propeller itself. Quite an advance as it turned out.

Take a look at my latest novel - The Deadly Playground, 1914

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