Torbogdan

Fokker DR 1 Building log

195 posts in this topic

Finally a real update! And a picture!

 

I have started on the upper wing for real. It has caused me a lot o trouble as the parts have been very twisted. Also I had great difficulty building a left and right hand wing... Despite being careful and checking I screwed up more than once, It just felt cursed, no matter what I did, I did it wrong. And after correcting a mistake I immediately made a new one...

 

But now that will be over :) Slowly it is actually starting to look like a wing.

 

I also mailed Model expo about the broken piece for the middle wing, still waiting for a reply.

 

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Keep pluggin away. Even if you only get a few minutes a day ,you can still make progress. Its quality ot speed. Also when you're working a job your modeling time is much more valuable. I've been retired 15 years now and sometimes my hobby time is taken for granted and I waste time. Also don't let your mistakes worry you. Its called learning and you next model will be that much better. 

thibaultron, mtaylor, Canute and 1 other like this

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If you haven't already, go buy this book. You need it. It has like 60+ pages of 3d renderings of the aircraft from every conceivable angle showing every detail. Also if you have any questions at all visit the folks at The Aerodrome. All of the active historians are there as well as builders, people with stupendously extensive and detailed knowledge. However at this point you can answer most questions simply by searching the archives.

 

But if you want to know what version of Bosch magneto the Dr.I had, the serial numbers of all installed in Dr.Is, exactly how it was made and the whole history of Bosch magnetos, some guy on the Aerodrome can quote the answers off the top of his head.

 

And after you finish that one you'll be ready to take on the 4" scale version :) That's a good paint scheme on that one BTW, that's Paul Baumer's Dr.I and it's amusing because it has eisenkreuze- the patee crosses - all over it. He'd been badly shot up by friendlies several times and was determined to never be again. Check the other photo, you can see 3 of the extras, one each on each lower wing top and one in the center of the tailplane.

 

With the plastic Roden 1/32nd kit I did Kirchstein's Dr.I, the one that was handed over to Ernst Udet after Kirchstein was killed, it's actually better known from when Udet flew it as there are a couple photos of it after he added his usual LO! on the cockpit side in honor of his girlfriend. Kirchstein called it his "optical illusion" and insisted it made enemies miss. Maybe that's the case since he was killed in a crash in a plane he wasn't flying. It's also cool but lemme tell you it's not fun from a masking standpoint.

 

Your progress looks great, I hope you stay with it. Finished as you've started it will be a pretty impressive display cabinet item.

 

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@Vossiewulf, thanks a lot for the info. I´ll look for that book!  :) The pictures of the Fokker in your post are excellent, great build. Yes I would like to build the 1:4 scale model as this is my favorite aircraft. 

 

Finish this I will, one of my strongest traits is a mule like will finish things. I always finish :)

Canute, Nirvana, mtaylor and 1 other like this

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Other finish things- first if you decide you must do Richthofen, he flew at least six different Dr.Is, only two of which were all red - the rest mostly had tail and upper wing red but the rest was left in the standard streaky green/brown. He was quite successful in 152/17, that would be my choice for a Richthofen Dr.I.

 

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Also if you see World War I in color they have a nice video of Richthofen getting ready and then departing in an all-red plane. Not only was that plane not red, it wasn't even a Dr.I, it was one of three F.I prototypes Anthony Fokker took to the front for combat evaluation, one each went to Richthofen (CO Jasta 11), Werner Voss (CO Jasta 10) and Adolph Ritter von Tutschek, who was the CO of Jasta 12. It's not hard to know this since they film Richthofen standing next to the markings on the fuselage that says Fokker F.1 102/17. The film was made by Anthony Fokker, he wanted a film showing Richthofen climbing happily into a triplane, he then took the film around to other units and showed it to them so they would start requesting Dr.Is.

 

That would be an interesting thing to do, model the F.1 instead of Dr.I. Differences were visible but fairly minor, the leading edge of the tailplane was curved rather than straight like the Dr.I, the aileron balances had a somewhat different shape, and there were no wooden skids on the lower wingtips like the Dr. I. Those were added after testing because it had relatively tall and narrow landing gear and were notorious for ground looping, and the skids prevented most of them from requiring actual repairs.

 

Tutschek's was 101/17, and Werner Voss was killed in 103/17 in an epic 20 minute dogfight, him alone vs. 6 aces of No. 56 squadron SE5as, McCudden called it the most masterful flying he had ever seen.

 

Here's something quite close to what I believe 103/17 looked like, and I've been in more than one argument about this. In fact you can pretty much start a bar fight at the Aerodrome instantly by walking in and saying "HEY GUYS IM NEW AND I THINK VOSS' COWL WAS YELLOW". Seriously, violence ensues.

 

The F.1 prototypes were painted overall in the standard German underside light aqua blue, and then covered with a streaky green'brown like Dr.Is but with a much, much thinner paint that turned it into more of a wash than a layer of paint. McCudden called it "silvery blue" and other No.56 squadron pilots all called it blue green.

 

voss6.jpg

 

 

The reason for the bar fights is the photo below, the other cool thing about 103/17 is this face Voss had his mechanic paint on the cowling. Now the cowlings for 101 and 102/17 were green, and this certainly looks green. However, in WWI they used orthochromatic film that often turned what was known to be light yellow into a very dark color like we see here And when his unit flew Dr.Is they did so with yellow cowlings, but that was after his death. It was odd enough that he painted a face on a combat evaluation aircraft, it would be downright odd to start customizing it with your unit colors when the manufacturer is taking it back next week Also Voss' mechanic said he didn't remember doing anything but painting the face.

 

Fokker%20F.I%20103%2017%20Voss%20Classic

 

 

And here is every known photo of 103/17.

 

Another very good one to do would be Josef's Jacobs' witch of the north Dr.I. He has the most kills by far of any pilot in Dr.Is and flew it longer - he operated his with 130hp Clerget rotaries from Sopwith Camels along with British propellers, which made it probably 4 or 5kts faster than a standard Dr.I. He had all the troops near where he was station looking for engines and props, offering a case of champagne for undamaged versions of either. He had a D.VII in the same markings, he would take that if they were going to be operating above 10k or so, at low alts he continued to take his Dr. I and would be a sole triplane leading a flight of D.VIIs.

 

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One more present for you - a full scale, fully production-accurate Fokker Dr.I with Oberursel UR.II rotary engine built my Mikael Carlson, being flown to its absolute limits. Until 2009 no one had seen that since 1918.

 

And I'm not kidding, watch as he enters the first barrel roll into split S at 0:45, he's too slow on entry and it stalls and departs into an incipient spin all of 300 feet and he does a very quick and amazing recovery to keep from dying. He loads at least 6Gs on at one point too in a high speed max turn over the crowd. He's also built a production-accurate D.VII now.

 

 Mikael Carlson flies the Fokker Dr.1

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The upper wing a few steps closer to being finished. The building surface is not flat, the cutting mat is warped, that is way the wing looks very warped. (Seems like everything in my hobby corner is warped for the moment...)

 

The wing itself is, most unfortunately, still slightly warped, but not much. It is more "if you know it you will see it warped".

 

Thanks a lot for all the photos, links to other forums and misc information, it is greatly appreciated. I have no intention of starting a fight over at the aerodrome ;) . I know my limitations when it comes to details :) What I will need though is a few close up pictures of the engine when I start to build it. The parts in the kit are a bit rough to say the least. I looked for the book but it was not available at either amazon.com or uk. Will continue to search for it!

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coxswain, Canute, GuntherMT and 5 others like this

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There are two reproduction Fokker DR I aircraft in the collection of the Olde Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Rhinebeck NY (USA). The first was built by founder Cole Palen in 1967 and was flown in their Sunday airshow (May-Oct) for 20 every weekend for 20 years before being retired. The 2nd DR I was built by Hank Palmer and Louis Wilgus (well-known restorers of early aircraft) in Florida; Cole Palen purchased this 2nd aircraft in 1987 and flew it from Florida to NY.

 

Cole Palen's DR I http://oldrhinebeck.org/fokker-dr-1-triplane-2/

 

Cole's 2nd DR I http://oldrhinebeck.org/fokker-dr-1-triplane-3/

 

Olde Rhinebeck Aerodrome website http://oldrhinebeck.org/collection/world-war-1-aircraft/

 

 

 

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Get this version of that book. Getting a bit pricey as it looks like both are out of print, so don't delay. There's a similar book on the D.VII that you should also get if you intend to try a DVII. You should also be able to find copies of them at Abe Books.

 

Also, the best WWI aircraft plans are from Jim Kiger who lives over near me, I bought his entire WWI Aero collection plus I have a complete set of his plans in 1/16th scale for future use. They are so detailed that you can and several people have built full-sized accurate repros from thiem. 

 

Jim is also shutting his business down soon as he's in his 80s, so it's also time to buy these if you have an interest.

 

Edit, sigh, first link I put in was wrong, amending.

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Just watched the video, great one. I never realized it was shot in Sweden. I live about an hours drive away from the airfield.

 

He's Swedish and an airline pilot for one of the major carriers as I recall. You should look him up, he's based someplace in Sweden and has a D.VIIF now along with a series of other aircraft he's built.

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Thanks a lot for all the photos, links to other forums and misc information, it is greatly appreciated. I have no intention of starting a fight over at the aerodrome ;) . I know my limitations when it comes to details :) What I will need though is a few close up pictures of the engine when I start to build it. The parts in the kit are a bit rough to say the least. I looked for the book but it was not available at either amazon.com or uk. Will continue to search for it!

 

 

Remember the Oberursel UR.II is a license-built copy of the Le Rhone 9J. Until you get the book, google those and you'll find some good photos.

Torbogdan, Nirvana, Canute and 2 others like this

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Slowly getting there with the top wing! A gap between the two pieces where the plywood is supposed to have met. I´ll probably put a small strip of plywood there. I should have measured the two wings and checked with the length of the plywood strips before gluing the pieces together. 

 

Below the wing is the "jig" for bending the plywood. It was difficult to see where the bend should be. I tried to measure but you can see that the left wing front end plywood has more contact with the center beam than the right hand. If I were to rebuild I would photocopy the plywood strips and first use the paper part to check where it should bend. Then put the paper part on the plywood part and bend to make sure I get a correct shape/bend in the proper place so to speak.

 

When this wing is done I´ll start on the ailerons. That will be fun but a challenge as it involves lots of soldering. I have not done any soldering the last 35 ys...

 

All tips and advice is welcome :)

 

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A bit of a shaky photo. I´m a bit annoyed for the moment. I have run out of 1/64 x1/16 strips to use on the ribs. It says in the instructions to have one on top and one on the bottom on each spar. I´ve followed the instructions but have no more strips...

 

So after completing 4,5 out of 6 wings so to speak ( 3 left side wings and 3 right side wings) I´m out of strips. I always appreciate when there is enough material in the kit to finish the kit. I have not been wasteful with the strips either. In the middle you can see a small pile of leftovers, that is basically all the leftovers. So I have not wasted a lot of material which could be a reason for not having enough. There just was not enough 1/64x1/16 strip in the kit.

 

I have mailed model shipways twice about a replacement part for the middle wing but have not received any part or reply yet. First mail was 3 jan, second mailed about 10 days ago. I´ll try a third time before I give up and scratch build a new part.

 

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I have mailed model shipways twice about a replacement part for the middle wing but have not received any part or reply yet. First mail was 3 jan, second mailed about 10 days ago. I´ll try a third time before I give up and scratch build a new part.

 

 

 

Looks great, and that's a real bummer when you're on a roll and then forced to stop because of a problem not of your causing.

 

Are the strips solid or plywood?

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Solid wood. This time I mailed to a different mail address. Hopefully that will help. I´m sure I can fin strips at the model hobby store but like you say, annoying.

 

I have started on the ailerons instead, soldering. Going well so far. But I like to finish one subgroup before starting on the next one so it still bothers me bit, to have half and three quarter finished parts laying around.

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Time to start soldering. Once again my ability to take good pictures failed but the results in real life turned out pretty good. I have gotten quite far on the first aileron and it looks good! What needs to be done when it is finished is to get a nice finish on it. Clean up "spills" of solder, magic marker pen markings and such. Tomorrow I´ll upload a much better picture with the progress so far.

 

(Secretly I want the replacement parts from Model Expo so I can finish the wings... ;) )

 

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Solid wood. This time I mailed to a different mail address. Hopefully that will help. I´m sure I can fin strips at the model hobby store but like you say, annoying.

 

I have started on the ailerons instead, soldering. Going well so far. But I like to finish one subgroup before starting on the next one so it still bothers me bit, to have half and three quarter finished parts laying around.

 

The hell with email addresses, call their customer service line and tell them you've been waiting weeks for an answer and you're not going to drop this call until you speak to someone who can help you. And good luck :)

Canute, Nirvana, Jack12477 and 2 others like this

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For being the first soldering done in my life (well excluding some done when I was about 10ys old) I´m satisfied. Some cleaning up to be done but still!

 

I took the pliers and snapped of the end of the rod sticking out and almost done! then I checked the drawing and noticed a mistake I´ve made...

 

The rod should be not at the end of the spar but much closer to the middle... Gaahh! 

 

the problem is of course as I had snapped off the end it would be too short if I wanted to join the two ends further down as that distance is a bit longer...

 

I applied some heat and loosened the rod. Fortunately the rod was long enough to meet the spar further down!

 

So I could fix it! The second picture shows how it ended up.

 

Phew that was a bit of luck that the rod was long enough. Lesson learned: check the drawing very very carefully.

 

Now some cleaning up of the excess soldering lead.

 

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Not sure I understand the crisis, but that looks like a Dr.I aileron to me. Very nice job leaping into unknown territory and making it across successfully. :)

 

And if you're interested, here's an interesting a thread on the Aerodrome from 2001 discussing the early Dr. I wing failures that killed Gontermann and Pastoris and very nearly Lothar Von Richthofen also. But the best summarization comes from my friend Dan-San Abbott who has passed away now. The reason I bring it up is that the main cause was weak attachment of the ailerons leading to flutter, which is a type of positive-reinforcement resonance specific to aerodynamics that's been the cause of death of many a test pilot.

 

Gentlemen:

 

The wing failures occurred when the early production Fok.DR.I aircraft were put into a turn. The ailerons had an over long balance which started to flutter as it rolled into a turn. As the flutter progressed it caused a structural failure in the aileron spar. The rib to aileron spar joint was not adequately reinforced. The fabric was tacked to the ribs. When the aileron spar failed it caused the fabric to rip away from the wing structure thus resulting in a total failure of the upper wing.
The corrective action was reduce the chord of the aileron balance, to reinforce the ribs with battens, add a box rib at the end of the aileron cut-out, larger rein-forcements to the rib-aileron spar joint, and stitch the fabric to the ribs. The chord was increased from 980mm to 1000mm on all three wings. There was not a failure of the upper wing main spar. This is just skimming over the corrective action details.

 

Blue skies,
Dan-San

Torbogdan, Canute, Nirvana and 2 others like this

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I´ll probably will have to scratch build the broken part for the middle wing and find replacement strips at the local hobby store. I bought the model from Cornwall ship model in the UK and that might be the answer why I get no reply from Model Expo. When I google Model air ways I´m basically rerouted to Model expo and I have been mailing model expo, as I though Model Airways was some kind of subsidiary to Model Expo. But since I did not buy the model directly from Model Expo it explains why the do not answer my mails or Facebook messages about replacement parts.

 

So in a way problem solved.

Canute, WackoWolf, mtaylor and 2 others like this

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Thanks a lot! After beginning to solder I realized that I could´ve have glued with superglue. That would probably look much better but not as sturdy. But half the fun is to learn new skills so I soldered!

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I got an answer from Model Expo yesterday! They will send the parts I asked for! Good news. I have started to solder the second aileron, will post some pictures tomorrow. As soon as I get the parts from Model expo I can finish the middle and top wing. Then I´m "back on track" with building things in the correct order :) I don´t know why but I really like to do things in the correct order.

Nirvana, GuntherMT, GemmaJF and 4 others like this

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The second aileron almost done. I need to solder a few details and then polish them a bit. Luckily Proxxon sells a polishing set... ;) Amazing how one always need to buy something... :) Just one more thing or set, then I have everything. Until next building session.

 

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My very much improvised "base" used for soldering. I have an "extra hand set" but the crocodile clips does not hold the parts perpendicular to each other and it is difficult to get everything straight. This method, although not very pleasing to the eye, worked great.

 

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Soldering the wire to the end of the aileron the extra hand set worked great. Some extra crocodile clips used as heat sinks.

 

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Almost done, some detailing needs to be soldered on and then polishing!

 

I have also continued to work on the top wing. I´ve added a few braces. Hopefully the parts from Model Expo will arrive in a week or so and then I can finish the wing. Next step will be to add the ailerons to the top wing.

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D2DD4AE6-8F23-4970-8E7D-04C5FC0FDE5B.jpg

Time to (almost) start on the fuselage. The jig is assembled. Also some great news! I got the replacement parts from Model Expo! So now I have enough parts to finish the wings. So before I start on the fuselage I will finish the wings. The plan was to start on the fuselage but the same day I was starting I got the parts from Model Expo. The fuselage parts are washed with water and some soap to get rid of grease or other goo from the casting process. I have also tidied them up with some sand paper to get nice parts free of casting flash and miscasting. 

 

hof00, Canute, WackoWolf and 9 others like this

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CB58483E-654A-424E-9DF1-0F03C4946776.jpg

 

A WIP picture of the top wing, adding the nylon string that strengthens the wing.

 

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Done! Some small photo etched parts will be added when I add the ailerons. Now it will get a coat of varnish and dry for a day or two.

 

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So while that dries I will start on the frames. All the frames have been washed and sanded to remove flash and ugly spots. The holes in the turnbuckles have been drilled out. The string is being prepared. It said that the nylon string should be wetted with water and hung for a day with a weight to "lengthen" it. So it is hanging with a weight until dry. Also the middle wing, which I got a spare part for is also drying. The plywood part was to be soaked for 30 mins then wrapped around a dowel and left to dry to shape it properly. 

 

Basically now all I can do is wait for the varnish on the top wing to dry, for the string to dry and for the plywood to dry. I guess I can roam the internet for a while with a clear conscience;)

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I forgot to reply to last message and congratulate you on getting the parts finally. The wings are looking great, Anthony himself would nod approval :) You're making great progress, hopefully you can continue with the fuselage, except for alignment issues it should be easier than the wings. 

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Thanks a lot! You have identified my major worry, alignment. With so many parts and "points of contact to glue" I think there is risk for "warpage" ( for lack of a better word). The jig will be of great help ( I hope) and I think it will be of great importance to really follow the instructions and do what they say so to speak. 

 

It is with great trepidation I venture into building the fuselage...;)

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