Fokker M.17

The Fokker M.17 was one of a series of models of biplanes developed by Anthony Fokker in an attempt to find a replacement for the earlier Fokker monoplanes. The aircraft was very similar to the Fokker M.16, but was powered by air-cooled rotary engines instead of the water-cooled engines used on the M.16.

The M.17 had wings of very similar size. The lower wing was attached to the bottom of the fuselage, while the upper wing was slightly above the top of the fuselage. The pilot’s eye line was level with the upper wing, while on the M.16 the pilot had been looking out over the upper wing. This was done in an attempt to improve downwards visibility.

The M.17E featured single bay wings. It was powered by an 80hp Oberursal U.0 air cooled rotary engine and was armed with a single LMG 08.14 machine gun on the fuselage centreline, in front of the cockpit. The M.17E had a comma shaped tail plane, with a rectangular rudder, similar to the one used on the M.16Z. The German army was not interested in the M.17E, but Fokker kept it as his personal aircraft until 1918. It entered testing in the spring of 1916, and was ordered by the Austro-Hungarian Empire as the Fokker B.II. Ordered as an armed fighter, it was delivered unarmed and used as a trainer.

The M.17Z featured two-bay wings. The increase in wingspan improved its rate of climb and high-altitude performance, but reduced its manoeuvrability. It used the same rudder and tail plane as the M.17E. The first prototype was powered by a captured La Rhône 80hp rotary engine. The aircraft entered testing on 17 April 1916. As a result of these tests, the engine was replaced with a more powerful 100hp Oberursal UR.I rotary engine. The fuselage was lengthened by two feet and the wingspan reduced by a foot. In this form, the M.17Z was ordered by the German army as the Fokker D.II.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 October 2007), Fokker M.17 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fokker_m17.html

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