Fokker M.18

The Fokker M.18 was a further development of the earlier M.16 biplane, and was accepted by both the Germans and Austro-Hungarians for military service.

It began life as the M.18E, a single-bay biplane with wing warping controls and a deep fuselage. Like the earlier M.16 its wings were of similar size and shape and were attacked to the fuselage longerons. Just as with the earlier aircraft, this design restricted the pilot’s downwards and forward visibility. The M.18E was armed with a single forward firing LMG 08 machine gun, to the left of the fuselage. It was powered by a 100hp Mercedes D.I engine. In tests the M.18E proved to have a poor rate of climb which made it unsuited to military use.

Fokker responded with a two-bay version of the design. At first the new wings were produced with ailerons, but during the development process these were replaced with wing-warping controls. This aircraft also had a shallower fuselage than the original M.18E (meaning that the fuselage took up less of the space between the wings). This also placed the pilot slightly lower compared to the upper wings, and so a gap was left in the training edge of the upper wing to allow the pilot to lift himself up to look over the wing.

The modified M.18 began German army testing at Adlershof on 15 April 1916, and was eventually accepted as the Fokker D.I fighter. Fokker then flew the prototype to the Austro-Hungarian testing ground at Aspern, where its arrival came as a total surprise. Despite this unorthodox approach, Fokker received an order for the aircraft from the Austrians, where it served as the Fokker B.III trainer.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 October 2007), Fokker M.18 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fokker_m18.html

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