The Fokker Dr.1 Triplane is one of the most famous and distinctive aircraft of the Great War. When the British Royal Naval Air Service introduced Sopwith Triplanes on the Western Front early in 1917, they were an immediate success. In response, the German air ministry asked several manufactures to design and build trip lanes for the Kaiser's air force.
The Dr. 1 was the most successful, despite some serious teething problems. The first triplanes did not have "I" struts on the outer wings. The top wing flexed ominously and, in at least one case, broke off, killing 39-victory ace Heinrich Gontermann.
When the problems were overcome, the Dr. 1 became the mount of choice of many high-scoring German aces including Werner Voss (48 victories) and the legendary "Red Baron," Manfred von Richtofen (80 victories). The triplane served from the autumn of 1917 until the Armistice.
The Dr. 1 was slower than most of its contemporaries but it had an exceptional rate of climb and a very tight turning radius. None of the 300 plus Fokker Triplanes have survived. Ironically the last one, displayed in a Berlin museum, was destroyed in a bombing raid during World War II.
The museum's trip lane is a flyable reproduction powered by a 175-hp Warner radial engine in place of the original 11 O-hp Oberursel rotary.