Fokker M.21

The Fokker M.21 was a biplane fighter aircraft based on the earlier Fokker D.I but powered by the 160hp Mercedes D.III engine. After the failure of earlier Fokker biplanes, he had been given an order for 400 AEG C.IV biplanes, seen as similar enough to his own designs for his workforce to be able to produce them without problems. Considered the poor workmanship and materials often found in Fokker production aircraft this was a very generous conclusion. The AEG aircraft was powered by the 160 hp Mercedes D.III engine. Fokker had previously attempted to use this engine to improve the Fokker D.I, but the light weight construction of his aircraft could not cope with the more powerful engine.

Having worked on the AEG, Fokker decided to make another attempt to use the more powerful engine. The Fokker M.21 was a two-bay biplane, with straight wings of identical length. The fuselage tapered to a horizontal knife edge, with a comma-shaped rudder and horizontal tailplane attached. A variety of different combinations of engine cowlings and propeller spinners were used, before Fokker settled on a rounded cowl and no spinner.

The M.21 entered German army testing in October 1916, and after a series of failures was accepted as the Fokker D.IV. Further failures followed, and December 1916 all Fokker aircraft were withdrawn from frontline service. The D.IV would become a trainer.

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (30 October 2007), Fokker M.21 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fokker_m21.html

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