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Fokker Spinne / M.1

Страна: Германия

Год: 1911

Fokker - Fokker-Daum monoplane (Spinne I) - 1910 - Германия<– –>Fokker - M.2 - 1913 - Германия

A.Weyl Fokker: The Creative Years (Putnam)


   The most important asset Fokker gained from the dissolution of this incongruous partnership was the 50-h.p. Argus engine, which had survived the second crash with little damage. This remarkably durable power unit was installed in another monoplane, which was built by Goedecker. The new aeroplane was a refined development of its predecessor; it was smaller, lighter and simpler. The span was reduced from 43 to 36 ft. and, in accordance with Fokker’s ideas, there were no ailerons.
   Fokker took an enthusiastic part in the building of the aircraft. He became competent in the simple structural methods that Goedecker had developed; but he never acquired the skill of a craftsman.
   This third monoplane was completed in August 1911. With its lower weight and smaller span it had a better performance than its predecessors: it could carry a passenger and fuel for twenty minutes at full throttle.
   By this time Fokker’s father was aware of the nature of Tony’s activities. Apparently he had become resigned to the fact that his son was not going to settle down in a conventional career, for he became a member of the committee that organized a flying demonstration given by Tony Fokker at Haarlem. Thanks to Fokker’s skill as a pilot, the demonstration was a resounding success.
   The monoplane had necessarily to travel by rail to Haarlem, and the ease with which it was dismantled and reassembled testified to the soundness of Goedecker’s structural design. Fokker appreciated this advantage; all subsequent Fokker types were designed to be easily transportable.
   In flight the third monoplane, which became known as the Haarlem Spider, proved to be as stable as Fokker had intended, and no lateral control was required. Although by no means the first two-control aeroplane, the Fokker Spider was the most practical one that had been constructed up to that time.
   This did not mean that the Spider was particularly easy to fly, nor was it so completely stable as the Etrich Taube. Later experience showed that the Spider could be difficult in gusty weather, particularly if a take-off or landing were made slightly out of wind.
   About twenty-five Spiders in all were made by Goedecker and assembled in the Fokker workshops at Johannisthal. They were flown extensively during 1912 and 1913 and remained in use as primary trainers until late in 1914.
   Fokker, who was not a sentimental man, preserved one of the earliest Spiders. After the First World War it was kept at Amsterdam as a museum piece. In 1924 it was fitted with a 70-h.p. Renault (the power unit of a few of the 1912 Spiders) and exhibited at the Paris Aero-Salon; in the following year Fokker demonstrated it in flight. This specimen had the stick control of the 1912 production version. In 1941 it was stolen by the Germans and transferred to the Berlin Air Museum, where it was later destroyed by Allied bombing.
   In 1936 a replica of a Spider was built in Holland to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the date of Fokker’s pilot’s licence. It had a 90-h.p. Argus engine. This replica was flown by Fokker on June 6, 1936, at Schiphol where it is preserved to this day as part of an aeronautical museum.
   When Goedecker received Fokker’s order for the third monoplane, Fokker was appointed works pilot and flying instructor of the Goedecker school. In this capacity he flew the Goedecker Taube-type monoplane, which was larger and heavier than his own machine. The Goedecker monoplane was stable and flew well; its rate of climb was poor, however, and it was not very manoeuvrable. It had a hand-wheel control similar to that of the Etrich Taube. This control arrangement became a standard requirement laid down by the German military authorities.
   Fokker flew the Goedecker monoplane with skill, and became a good instructor. In the summer of 1911 he flew a new Goedecker on reconnaissance flights during the autumn manoeuvres of the XVIII Army Corps in the Taunus mountains. These flights were highly successful; Goedecker was decorated for the achievement of his aircraft, and the publicity benefited his flying school; Fokker earned high praise and a £25 fee for his part.
   Fokker’s basic design was protected by his German patent D.R.P. 265,515, which was applied for as late as January 25, 1912, and granted in 1913. It is not clear why Fokker waited so long after his separation from von Damn before applying for the patent: his aeroplane had been publicly exhibited and widely publicized months before the date of application.
   The essence of Fokker’s patent was that automatic stability in an aeroplane was produced by the combination of dihedral, sweepback, and a centre-of-gravity position above the centre of pressure: when one of these factors was absent inherent stability could not be obtained.
   Fokker had first achieved the combination of these factors in the first Fokker-von Daum monoplane after its wings had been given sweep-back, but the true prototype of the Fokker Spider type was the Haarlem Spider, the third Fokker monoplane. In its essentials this aircraft was similar to the monoplanes built in 1912 and 1913, but had these differences of detail:
   (1) The Haarlem Spider had a wheel control; when rotated, the wheel actuated the rudder; fore-and-aft movement of the control column actuated the elevator. From the next monoplane (the A-1912 type) onwards a stick control on a universal pivot was used: sideways movement of the stick operated the rudder; fore-and-aft movement the elevator.
   (2) On the Haarlem Spider the two cabane pylons were in line with the wing spars. On production Spiders, beginning with A-1912, the rear pylon was moved aft to the leading edge of the tailplane.
   (3) The Haarlem Spider’s ignition switch was on the rim of the control wheel, on the starboard side.
   The Haarlem Spider shared with many of its descendants the stark simplicity of its crew accommodation. Pilot and passenger sat in total exposure on exiguous seats between the two longitudinals that did duty as fuselage. Two large flat radiator elements were attached to the longitudinals. A small gravity tank was mounted between the forward cabane struts; a stand-glass on its starboard side indicated its contents.
   Each wing had two spars of seamless-drawn steel tubes; each spar consisted of three tubes of progressively smaller diameter, bolted together at their ends to produce a tapered spar. The bolts also provided anchorage points for the wing bracing. This method of forming tapered spars was evolved by Goedecker. The ribs were also of his design: each consisted of a short length of steel tube bent to produce the pronounced camber of the wing; into this rib nose a length of bamboo was fitted and formed the remainder of the rib. All ribs were identical and were sheathed in pockets sewn into the strong fabric covering of the wing. The wing was therefore single-surfaced at a time when such contemporary machines as the Etrich-Wels Taube had double-surfaced wings.
   The Goedecker-Fokker wing section was too shallow to enclose the spars. The front spar ran under the ribs at the leading edge; the rear spar ran over the ribs and was faired over by a narrow strip of fabric. The ribs were attached to the spars by clamps bolted through the spar tubes. There was no drag bracing between the spars. The wing tips of the early Spiders and those of all training variants were square-cut, but some competition machines had the refinement of slightly rounded tips.
   The bracing of the wings was originally effected by wire but, following Goedecker’s example, steel cables were later adopted. The cables were attached to the tall cabane struts above the wings and to the undercarriage skids below, both of which anchorages gave favourable bracing angles.
   This Goedecker-designed wing could be easily dismantled, easily assembled, and easily repaired. By the same token it was easy for Fokker’s small workshop to assemble new Spiders from the components supplied by Goedecker. It was also a simple matter to vary the sweepback, dihedral or incidence of the wings: all that was necessary was to fit appropriate sockets to the ends of the central spanwise wing-spar connecting tubes.
   This simple wing was so successful at the low air speeds attained by the Spider that Fokker became convinced that there was no need to bother about the aerodynamic refinements that the “theorists” regarded as desirable. The shape of a wing section did not seem to matter; camber was all that was needed. Fokker failed to understand why critics of his Spider wing found fault with it: later, when the Prussian Army took an interest in his products, he was to learn that some of the constructional features that Goedecker had embodied in the Spider did not meet with the approval of structural experts. Fokker remained averse to theory and aerodynamic refinement, and his designers always had to fight whenever a new idea was to be incorporated in a Fokker aeroplane.
   Construction of the tailplane was similar to that of the wings, but the ribs were wholly of bamboo. Elevator control was provided by warping the rear portion of the surface. That considerable physical force was required to flex the bamboo rods may be deduced from the substantial size of the stick that replaced the pilot’s wheel control. The advantage of the stick control lay in its greater simplicity and lower weight. The rudder consisted of two triangles of steel tube hinged to the aft bracing pylon, one above and one below the tailplane.
   The fuselage had only two longerons, strong ash beams of rectangular cross section, partly spindled out to save weight. They were about 13-2 ft. long and about 34 in. apart. Attached to the longerons were the two inverted-V cabane struts, the undercarriage struts, and the central rear skid.
   The undercarriage struts formed an integral part of the wing structure. Not only did they provide anchorage points for the flying wires, but near their upper ends they carried the transverse steel tubes that interconnected the mainplane spars.
   The undercarriage proper incorporated two long ash skids that projected forward in order to protect the airscrew. The axle was bound to these skids by rubber shock-absorber cord; it consisted of two steel tubes telescoped one inside the other over their entire length. Two wheels of motor-cycle type were usually fitted, but the 100-h.p. military Spiders had two pairs of such wheels to prevent digging in on soft ground. The whole undercarriage structure was liberally braced with piano wire.
   The rear support of the undercarriage was an extraordinary device that gave Spider pilots much trouble. It was rather close to the wheels and made ground handling tricky, for the small rudder was the only means of steering. The unwary pilot might easily find himself travelling in directions he never intended. This troublesome rear support consisted of a long central skid attached to the centre of the axle and having a “scraper” or a claw brake at its rear end. The rear of the skid was sprung via a vertical strut the top of which was connected by rubber cord to the fuselage at a point immediately behind the pilot’s seat. The arrangement was primitive in the extreme, and any competent engineer would have replaced it by a simpler and more practical device. Fokker stuck to it, however: he loved primitive things and disliked tidying up.
   No part of the Fokker Spider was welded. Goedecker was opposed to that method of jointing, consequently every tube connexion was made by bolts passed through the tubes; U-bolts threaded on both legs were used as anchoring fitments. The structure was nowhere reinforced to compensate for the loss of strength at the bolt holes. Cast aluminium fittings attached the undercarriage struts to the longerons and formed the sockets for the cabane struts. The flying wires or cables were also attached to cast aluminium fittings bolted to the skids.
   Most of these crude joints would be quite unacceptable nowadays, but in their time they were satisfactory and were not considered unsafe.
   Fokker held the view that low weight and simplicity mattered more than crew comfort; he therefore set his face against the provision of such refinements as cockpit fairings. His only voluntary concession to luxury in later Spiders was the fitting of bucket seats. Ultimately, however, he had to provide cockpit fairings, to add a faired bottom to the fuselage and finally to fit a complete fuselage shell with windscreens. Army requirements accelerated his change of outlook. Fokker, who hated long flights and could scarcely read a map, did not readily appreciate the importance of providing military crews with enough protection to enable them to handle maps and write messages or sketch enemy positions. The seat fairing fitted to privately owned or competition versions of the 1912 Spider was of the type fitted to the Goedecker monoplane. It was supplied by the Frankfurt car-body manufacturer Georg Kruck. Trainer versions of the Spider had no seat fairing whatever.
   One advantage that Fokker could claim for his Spider was that the view from both its seats was as good as could be had from a tractor monoplane. The wide gap between the wings and the fuselage, although inefficient aerodynamically, gave a better field of vision than could be obtained on any other German monoplane of the time.
   The power unit of the Haarlem Spider and many of its descendants was an Argus engine, which was bolted directly to the two longerons. During 1912 and 1913 Fokker rejected all suggestions that he should fit other engines to his competition aircraft. This might mean that he had an agreement with the Argus firm to sponsor their products.
   The Argus and Daimler-Mercedes companies were then the leading makers of aero-engines in Germany, and Daimler-Mercedes made great efforts to capture the market with their series of water-cooled in-line engines specially designed for use in aeroplanes. Various smaller firms competed, but with little success.
   The Argus Motoren G.m.b.H, was one of the oldest aero-engine firms in the world. It had been founded in 1902 by Henri Jeannin, Klingenberg and Rathjen, and had been supplying airship engines since 1906. The 50-h.p. aeroplane engine was developed in 1909, and from 1911 the firm concentrated its efforts on the production of aero-engines. The 50-h.p. version was followed by a 60-h.p. engine that had its cylinders cast in pairs and a camshaft located in the crankcase, actuating the valves by push-rods; the gear drive was at the rear and was not enclosed. In 1912, 70-h.p. and 100-h.p. engines were produced; all were four-cylinder in-line units. These engines had a good reputation but from 1913 the Mercedes engines began to show superiority.
   The original arrangement of the cooling system, in which two large flat radiators were attached to the longerons, was not completely satisfactory. Later Spiders had a single smaller radiator block mounted athwartships behind the engine. Fokker found these radiators something of a nuisance; for this reason he tried the air-cooled Renault engine and liked it.
   The Spider’s engine had neither exhaust stubs nor silencers, and pilots willy-nilly inhaled a mixture of exhaust fumes, soot and lubricating oil. The fuel system was generally of the simple gravity type already described. At a later stage a larger tank was fitted: mounted between the longerons just in front of the pilot, it was a pressure tank; a hand pump was fitted to the starboard longeron.
   The precise identity of Fokker’s first airscrew is uncertain: it may have been made by Goedecker, or it may have been one of the French Chauviere Integrate airscrews that could be had from Frankfurt. As soon as Fokker had settled at Johannisthal the new A-1912 type Spider was fitted with a Garuda propellor, the blades of which were inclined slightly forward. This unusual airscrew was designed by Bruno Jablonsky, who became a well-known industrialist in Britain.
   Ernst Ditzuleit, who was one of the first flying instructors to be employed by Fokker and flew the Spider type extensively, has kindly recorded these impressions of the two-seat versions powered by the 70-h.p. and 100-h.p. Argus engines.
   “The Spider was inherently stable. In the air it was perfectly simple to handle. When the engine was throttled down or switched off, the aircraft automatically assumed the correct gliding attitude; for landing one had only to flatten out. Take-off and landing were far from easy, however. The saying among aviators then was that anyone who could take-off and land a Spider could fly anything.”
   The difficulties were no doubt largely attributable to the arrangement of the undercarriage already mentioned.
   In December 1911 Fokker moved to Johannisthal, at that time the centre of German aviation. Goedecker was sorry to lose him, for he had been a sound pilot and a good if somewhat impatient instructor. Fokker hoped to win some of the substantial prizes offered in the Johannisthal competitions, to teach flying, and possibly to obtain some orders for the Spider.
   At Johannisthal the representative of the new aero-engine branch of the Fahrzeugfabrik Eisenach Dixi motor-car firm offered Fokker the use of a shed. Fokker accepted with alacrity. The Dixi company had redesigned their four-cylinder car engine as an aero-engine and had formed a subsidiary company, Dixi Luftfahrt und Bootsmotoren Verkaufs G.m.b.H., to market it. This subsidiary had rented the shed for the use of customers.
   Fokker assembled his monoplane in the Dixi shed. He later tried a Dixi engine. Reports in German periodicals stated that the engine had been very successful both in a Goedecker monoplane and in Fokker’s machine, but it seems Fokker found fault with it. He moved out of the Dixi shed after sugar had been put into his monoplane’s petrol tank one Saturday afternoon, preventing him from competing for that part of the gate money shared out among pilots who made flights before the visitors. Fokker rented his own shed and reverted to using the Argus engine.
   Fokker and his monoplane were at first looked upon as freaks by the Johannisthal habitues. The aeroplane looked rough and unfinished, and so did its pilot and designer. The absence of any form of lateral control on the monoplane was regarded as final proof that its designer was slightly insane. Fokker was regarded as an aviation maniac who worked hard on a useless and ill-conceived flying machine in preference to entering into the friendly social life of the Johannisthal community.
   But Johannisthal changed its opinion of Fokker and his monoplane when he began to fly it: it was obvious that the Spider flew well; it was equally obvious that its pilot knew his trade. The more serious-minded among the mixed crowd of aviators and hangers-on came to realize that the young Dutchman with the deplorable manners was not only the best pilot at Johannisthal but was determined to go into business in aviation. Although he came from a wealthy family and did not need to earn a living, he was no sportsman merely seeking thrills.
   When he was not working, Fokker virtually lived in the Cafe Senftleben, for that establishment was an excellent place for making useful connexions and gathering information.
   His immediate objective was the establishment of a flying school; for this he needed a business partner with capital. He had the good fortune to find the partner he was seeking in Hans Haller, a man of independent means who owned, and occasionally flew, a biplane at Johannisthal. Haller never took his pilot’s certificate and indeed gave up flying soon after joining forces with Fokker. To the partnership he brought £500 (at pre-1914 value) and undertook to look after the business side of the venture.
   Another valuable acquaintance of Fokker’s was Dr. Walther Lissauer,1 a Berlin-born physicist of repute, who had decided to make a career in engineering after studying several subjects. This quiet, cultured man had become a skilled pilot of the Otto Aircraft Works. At Johannisthal he was in charge of the aircraft division of the Berlin motor-body and coachbuilding firm of Kuhlstein. Fokker found that he could gain a great deal of technical information from this older, experienced man.
   At a time when most of the aeroplane constructors at Johannisthal were obliged to work on insufficient financial means, young Fokker was particularly fortunate in being able to count on financial help from his family: from them he received a total of over £15,000 at pre-war value. This subsidy enabled him to outlive many of his early contemporaries; without it he could hardly have made the grade in industry.
   The shed that Fokker rented after leaving the Dixi shed was one of eight 50 ft. X 50 ft. sections in a long rectangular building. It had formerly been occupied by the Automobil und Aviatik A.G., a Strasbourg firm that built Farman box-kite biplanes and Hanriot monoplanes under licence. The Automobil und Aviatik concern was connected with the Argus engine company. Fokker soon found that for a flying school with facilities for assembly and repair more space was needed, so he rented the adjoining section of the building as well.
   Other compartments in the same long building were occupied by the Rumpler company (for housing training aircraft); the Berlin patent agent Haefelin with an interesting but unlucky monoplane of his own design; the A.G.O. firm, then still a branch of the Munich aircraft works of Gustav Otto; and O. Trinks, a Berlin manufacturer of aeronautical components, who had built a twin-fuselage monoplane.
   Johannisthal in Fokker’s time was not altogether ideal as an aerodrome. It had been opened by an enterprising syndicate late in 1909. It lay between the boroughs of Johannisthal and Adlershof, beside the Berlin-Goerlitz railway; on the other side of the aerodrome, west of the railway, was the Teltow canal. This canal, although only a narrow waterway, produced unexpected turbulence on occasion, and beginners were not encouraged to fly over it. During the war, certain ex-cavalry officers who had no aviation experience held positions of command at Johannisthal, and one of them achieved a kind of immortality by issuing a strict order that the Teltow canal was to be flown over only where there were bridges: this, he declared, would avoid crashes caused by gusts.
   The flying ground proper was large (2,450 yd. in the N.E.-S. W. direction of the prevailing wind and 1,450 yd. across) but not very even. In fact, soon after the First World War a professor described its sandy surface as a most interesting formation of dunes. Care had therefore to be exercised in selecting areas for take-offs and landings - as Fokker discovered at the cost of a dislocated shoulder.
   Nor was the flying area reasonably free from obstacles. A few hundred yards west of the building that housed the embryo Fokker company stood two airship sheds. The smaller and older of these was 265 ft. long, 110 ft. wide and 82 ft. high; it housed the non-rigid Parseval airships that regularly flew over Berlin by night bearing illuminated advertisements for toothpaste. The larger shed could accommodate two Zeppelins and was at that time the largest airship shed in Germany. It was four times as large as the Parseval shed, and much higher. To the underpowered aeroplanes of the time with their poor climbing ability, it was a great obstacle; moreover its bulk produced unexpected and unwelcome gusts and eddies.
   Other hazards were the narrow belt of tall and scraggy pine trees that lay along the eastern side of the aerodrome between the flying ground proper and the railway line, and an adjoining pine wood in the direction of Johannisthal railway station.
   The flying ground was encircled by wooden railings which served the dual purpose of protecting the public from unmanageable aeroplanes and the aeroplanes from the unmanageable public. The precaution was essential, especially when there was a crash, for the souvenir-hungry Berliners were capable of dismantling aircraft and pilot with impressive speed.
   A thirteen-foot high fence enclosed the whole aerodrome with all its many sheds, grandstands, offices, refreshment kiosks and other buildings. Its primary function was to keep out gatecrashers, but it was also intended to deny non-paying visitors the pleasure of seeing the flying. It did not succeed completely in doing so, however, for large parts of it were occasionally spirited away by determined aviation enthusiasts.
   Aloof, and apart from the bustle of that part of Johannisthal where Fokker worked, stood the sheds of the Flugmaschine Wright company. The Wright school was a branch of the first aeronautical enterprise in Germany, sponsored by His Majesty the Kaiser and his powerful friend Dr. Walther Rathenau (later Foreign Minister and an early victim of the Nazis). Although the Wright biplanes were obsolescent the school throve on its own exclusiveness: distinguished visitors paid their respects first to the Wright establishment; and its pupils and staff did not mix with the rest of the Johannisthal fraternity.
   Not far from the aerodrome, work was proceeding on a building that was to house the new Deutsche Versuchs-Anstalt fur Luftfahrt (German Aeronautical Research Establishment), better known as the D.V.L. Its chief was Dr.-Ing. Bendemann, a good-looking, kindly man of great ability.
   In charge of the aeroplane department was Dr.-Ing. Wilhelm Hoff, who had worked with Professor Dr. Hans Reissner at Aachen Technical University, and with Major Professor Dr. von Parseval in the construction of the Parseval seaplane. Hoff was himself a pilot and one of the very few people who had done full-scale research work at that early date.
   The engine expert of the D.V.L. was E. Seppeler, a fair-haired man with a lively personality, a quick temper, and many good ideas. He was never without his notebook, in which he jotted down notes of events and ideas as they occurred.
   Little did Fokker guess, in that December of 1911, how many bitter hours he would have to spend in this home of theorists and (as he chose to call them) “slide-rule pushers”.
   During January 1912 Fokker flew a great deal, trying to earn gate money and to improve his monoplane. The Spider, still Argus powered, had been improved by the addition of the seat fairing; the original primitive radiator had been replaced by one of the block type mounted just behind the engine.
   Fokker’s flying skill increased daily. His turns became neater and were executed so close to the ground that disaster seemed inevitable. His flying won him much admiration and he soon came to be regarded as one of the most daring and skilful pilots at Johannisthal.
   Fokker was not the only daredevil at Johannisthal at that time. He had two rivals: the Stuttgart engineer Kurt Rosenstein, who was Rumpler’s chief pilot, and the Russian Abramowitch, chief pilot of the Wright company. Fokker never liked competition, and he heartily disliked Rosenstein and Abramowitch. The more sophisticated mid-century may find it amusing to learn that Rosenstein's stunt flying consisted of shallow dives and zooms, and flying low with both hands off the controls-the Etrich Taube’s stability permitted the latter exercise and made it impossible to do anything more spectacular than the dives and zooms. Abramowitch flew a Wright biplane-large, heavy, somewhat underpowered with 55 h.p., and fitted with a peculiar system of control. But the Wright controls were powerful and effective, and Abramowitch could throw it about low down, near the spectators, and in winds that grounded other pilots.
   Photographic evidence proves that Fokker’s steep turns on the Spider, often described as “over the vertical”, never exceeded an angle of about 45 degrees; nevertheless they were steep enough to make Rosenstein give Fokker best, and his admission of defeat gave Fokker immense satisfaction.
   Early in February 1912 Fokker made one of his few cross-country flights. He landed on the frozen Mueggelsee about five miles from the aerodrome; on the return journey he climbed to 7,000 ft., a good performance for that time. By that time the Spider had acquired the 60-h.p. version of the Argus engine; later, the 70-h.p. Argus was fitted.
   As soon as all the formalities of the Fokker-Haller partnership were settled, two more Spiders were ordered from Goedecker. By this time a modest workshop had been established in Fokker’s sheds, and two mechanics were employed. The two new machines arrived as parts and components; on arrival they were assembled, and the flying school began to function.
   In those days, opening a flying school was just as simple as that: there were no licences, no regulations, no applications, approvals nor refusals, no examinations, no inspections. Anyone could open a flying school and teach people to fly.
   Fees were high, and profits could be large. The comprehensive fee was between £60 and £100 (at pre-1914 value), and the pupil had to put down the crash-indemnity deposit mentioned earlier. Most schools took good care to see that no part of this deposit was ever returned. In many cases the instructional facilities were of questionable quality: obsolete aircraft of doubtful airworthiness and inexperienced instructors were by no means uncommon, and techniques of instruction seemed to be designed to extract as much money as possible from the students.
   A sorely-needed corrective was applied by the German Army’s insistence that its pupils - until 1913, exclusively commissioned officers - must receive adequate flying training from competent pilots and on safe aeroplanes. The tuition fee granted to flying schools was generous: the Prussian Army always paid the industry well. Even Fokker had to admit that.
   Fokker hoped to get pupils from the Army. This meant he had to provide good training and adequate facilities. It also meant that he had to operate his school successfully for some time before he could approach the Doeberitz flying centre with a request to be considered.
   His training technique was simple but effective. He gave the would-be pupil a few flights in a two-seater. At an early stage Fokker would do several steep turns and then ask the pupil to climb out of his seat and on to the wing. If the pupil showed fear or hesitation Fokker rejected him. After these familiarization flights the pupil was given a low-powered single-seat aircraft. In this he practised taxying, progressed to making short hops, thence to longer straight flights. Further dual instruction was then given, the pupil was taught to turn, and he was then on his own. Solo training was not uncommon in those days, and it produced good pilots at little cost to the school.
   While two further Spiders were being assembled a group of Army officers visited Fokker’s shed and examined his monoplane. They liked its simplicity and were impressed by the fact that it was inherently stable: at that time inherent stability was regarded as a desirable characteristic of a military aeroplane, which almost universally was looked on as a reconnaissance vehicle.
   The army wanted 100-h.p. two-seaters capable of carrying enough fuel for several hours’ flying. The seats had to have adequate protection against wind and weather, and - magnificent requirement - there had to be accommodation for an officer’s hat. In view of the Army’s demands, Fokker installed a 100-h.p. Argus in one of the next Spiders and added a shallow fairing underneath the seat bearers. The structure was not strengthened to take the more powerful engine, but the span was increased slightly and a large supplementary fuel tank was fitted. The aircraft was known as the type B-1912 and was successful. It could lift a greater load, had a better rate of climb, and was appreciably faster than its predecessors.
   It seems probable that Fokker engaged a design draughtsman to deal with these modifications, for it was at about this time a man named Palm became associated with Fokker. Palm remains one of the unknown men of aviation: the annals of the industry contain no mention of his name; where he came from, where he went to, his Christian name - all are unknown. Yet exist he undoubtedly did: his activities were well-known among Fokker employees, with whom he appears to have been popular. He was probably a draughtsman with a flair for aircraft design. Whatever or whoever he was, he was an indispensable member of Fokker’s organization until their ways parted, late in 1914.
   In May 1912 the existence of the newly-formed Fokker Aeroplanbau G.m.b.H, seemed to be placed in jeopardy by an official warning against the formation of new aircraft firms. The Prussian War Ministry pointed out that the money devoted to military flying was insufficient to keep the existing firms going.
   Fokker was already working hard to impress the military visitors who dropped in at his shed with increasing frequency. On May 14, 1912, when the Bavarian prince-regent was a spectator, he flew the 100-h.p. monoplane with three passengers and 265 lb. deadweight aboard, a total of 880 lb. But this impressive performance was to have tragic consequences: Fokker had flown with this overload in severely gusty weather, and the structure of the Spider had been strained. Ten days later, again in gusty weather, Fokker was climbing to 2,000 ft. with Leutnant von Schlichting as a passenger, when a lift wire snapped. Deprived of its bracing, the front spar tube bowed upwards. Fokker throttled back and glided down carefully; von Schlichting tried gallantly to comply with Fokker’s request to climb out on to the good wing; but near the ground the wing failed and von Schlichting was killed in the crash.
   Fokker was shaken but uninjured. He fainted, and on coming round bewailed his personal misfortune without saying a word about von Schlichting.
   This accident made Fokker realize that his Spider would have to be improved before it could be acceptable to the military authorities. As an immediate consequence, the wire bracing of all Spiders was replaced by steel cables.
   Not long after this disaster a well-built young man applied for a job as a mechanic; he said he had experience in gas welding. Up to that time no Fokker aeroplane had had any welded joint; Goedecker did not trust them. Fokker’s partner Haller had been impressed by the extensive use made of welded joints by the Frenchman G. Poulain, who had even made a welded steel-tube fuselage. At Haller’s suggestion Fokker bought welding equipment and had made up his mind to have a set of Spider rudders welded up from steel tube.
   With this in mind Fokker asked the young man to make a specimen weld for him. After this brief test he engaged him, the whole interview having taken only a few minutes.
   Fokker can hardly have imagined that this young welder-mechanic was to stay with him for nearly twenty years and make Fokker’s name world-famous - that he was in fact the future technical director of the Fokker company.
   The young man was Reinhold Platz. In 1905, when the Fouche acetylene-oxygen process of fusion welding was introduced in Germany, Platz had just completed his apprenticeship with an oxygen-producing firm in Berlin. He quickly learned the technique and went on to experiment with new applications of it. His employers exploited his skill, and sent him as a demonstrator to industrial undertakings in Germany, Switzerland and Russia.
   In this way Platz acquired an experience of gas-welding that was unique at that time. Moreover, his experience was not confined to the welding of steel: he had successfully welded aluminium without the use of flux to produce motor-car bodies and petrol tanks.
   In the course of his travels Platz had had contacts with the infant aircraft industry. The tricky welding jobs he did at Johannisthal for such pioneers as G. Poulain and H. Dorner convinced him that there was great scope for welding in aircraft structures - particularly the steel-tube structures favoured by Fokker.
   Much sooner than Fokker had dared to hope, in view of the crash in which von Schlichting died, his energy and drive were rewarded. In June 1912 the Royal Prussian War Ministry ordered a 100-h.p. Spider. Conditions of supply were that the aircraft had to fly for at least one hour at an altitude greater than 1,000 metres, and that it must be delivered by air to Doeberitz without landing en route.
   Although the route from Johannisthal to Doeberitz is easy to follow on a clear day, Fokker, a poor map reader and navigator, soon became lost on the delivery flight. While he was trying to get his bearings a burst water pipe compelled him to land. The repair effected, Fokker was told how to get to Doeberitz, and he reached his destination without further mishap. So masterly was his demonstration of the Spider that no-one had the heart to ask him to make a trouble-free delivery flight, and the aircraft was accepted. Fokker, with an eye to the future of his flying school, made the most of the opportunity to make a favourable impression at Doeberitz.
   Fokker lost no opportunity to seek business. He became friendly with A. Gruenberg, a Russian engineer who had taken his pilot’s licence at the Albatros flying school, in the hope that this new contact might lead to orders for the Fokker flying school. When Gruenberg told Fokker that the Russian government was organizing an international competition for aircraft, Fokker was keenly interested, for the winning aeroplane was to be ordered in substantial numbers.
   Accompanied by his friend I. W. E. L. Hilgers, Fokker went to St. Petersburg with one of the new Spiders. There they found some fifteen other competitors, all of whom were amply provided with the means to bribe their way past the multifarious Government offices and authorities. Fokker did as much palm-greasing as he could afford, and he and Hilgers demonstrated the Spider in daring fashion: Hilgers flew for six minutes with his hands raised above his head; Fokker climbed to 1,500 ft. in seven minutes with a load of 445 lb. and came down in a spectacular spiral glide, making startlingly steep turns; between them the two pilots left no doubt about the Spider’s stability and performance. But it was all in vain; the Spider placed third and received no orders.
   Among the Russian pilots who flew the Spider at St. Petersburg was Miss Ljuba Galantschikoff. She went to Johannisthal, where she bought a Fokker Spider. This aircraft had a 100-h.p. Argus engine driving a Garuda airscrew and was fitted with the neat seat fairing. On September 30, 1912, Fokker climbed to 10,000 ft. in this Spider and won a £20 prize for doing so.
   At St. Petersburg Fokker had been impressed by the performances of aircraft powered by the Gndme rotary engine. He installed a borrowed 50-h.p. Gnome in one of the school Spiders, but the monoplane was not suited to the light rotary, lost manoeuvrability and reacted sluggishly to the controls, lateral control being particularly ineffective. This was probably attributable quite as much to the rearwards shift of the centre of gravity as to the torque reaction. Take-off was prolonged and the aircraft could not be held straight during the ground run. Discouraged, Fokker discarded the Gnome.
   As another experiment Fokker fitted ailerons to one of the Spiders. These proved to be ineffective and useless and, like the Gnome engine, were discarded.
   By the end of 1912 the Fokker flying school was flourishing; on suitable days the Spiders were flying from dawn to dusk. At this time the first two Army officers were attached to the Fokker school. They were Leutnant A. Muehlig-Hofmann and Leutnant Reincke. Reincke soon left, after an early crash: Fokker thought him unlikely to qualify as a pilot, and another officer took his place.
   Muehlig-Hofmann had a natural aptitude for flying and passed his pilot’s test on November 19, 1912, after a very short period of training. He found Fokker a good teacher and a pilot of unusually fine “feel”. Muehlig-Hofmann liked the Spider. When he was posted back to Doeberitz he flew the two Spiders there extensively, and acquired a reputation as a Fokker specialist - so much so that, during the next two years, whenever Fokker submitted a new type for testing by the Army, Muehlig-Hofmann was detailed to report on it.
   According to Muehlig-Hofmann’s recollection the Spider with 100-h.p. Argus had a speed of about 44 m.p.h. and could climb to 6,600 ft. with minimum load; it was very stable.
   By the end of 1912 the Fokker school was outstanding. Six Spiders were available for instruction - few firms at Johannisthal had as many in use - and no time was wasted, whereas other schools left pupils hanging about idle for long periods, especially when Army pupils had to be given preference. Fokker and Haller had succeeded in introducing an exemplary standard of efficiency into what had been something of a racket. Fritz Cremer, Fokker’s old friend who had learned to fly at the Fokker school in September, 1912, became chief instructor and set the pace of the school. On days of good weather he would often make as many as seventy instructional flights: his maximum was eighty-three, during a short February day in 1913. Quick training was the rule. Franz Kuntner, a mechanic from Vienna, passed his pilot’s tests after only three days of instruction. He later became one of Fokker’s works pilots.
   On December 7, 1912, the Fokker Aeroplanbau G.m.b.H. was officially registered at the company-registration office of the Coepenick District Court of Law. Its capital was 300,000 marks (about £15,000 at pre-1914 value); the manager was stated to be the engineer A. H. G. Fokker; Hans Haller was recorded as confidential clerk.
   At about this time Fokker offered the Spider to the British Government. In his autobiography he gives a somewhat melodramatic account of this episode, but the result was that his offer was declined. The British Government had made a hesitant and belated entry into aviation and was not particularly interested even in contemporary British stable aircraft, such as the Handley Page and Valkyrie monoplanes. It was not interested at all in stable aircraft of foreign origin.
   Fokker had no better luck in his attempts to sell his aeroplane to his native Holland. He thought that aircraft might help to resolve the transport problems of the Dutch East Indies, so he sent Hilgers, with two Spiders, to give demonstrations to the Dutch Army authorities. One of the monoplanes had a 100-h.p. Argus, the other a 70-h.p. Renault. But all Hilger’s efforts were in vain: the Dutch were quite uninterested. The two Spiders did not return to Johannisthal: they were probably sold locally.


   By early 1913 Fokker had twenty-five employees and his flying school was doing well - so well, in fact, that he needed someone to run it while he devoted all his time to instructing. Fokker found the man he wanted in Bernard de Waal, his successor as instructor at Goedecker's school. De Waal agreed to join Fokker, and Goedecker parted with him regretfully.
   De Waal started work at Johannisthal in March 1913 and soon proved to be an excellent flying instructor. Like Fokker, de Waal was Dutch, but he was more human than his employer: de Waal was even-tempered and had a great sense of humour; as a man he was well liked by everyone; as an instructor he was patient, imperturbable, yet swift to react. He stayed with Fokker until his untimely death, from illness, on July 28, 1924. He was usually the first after Fokker himself to test a new aircraft or modification and he frequently gave Fokker valuable practical advice on development problems. But so reticent and modest was de Waal that he was not known outside the Fokker concern.
   Soon after joining Fokker, de Waal went, with Kuntner, on a second attempt to persuade the Dutch military authorities to buy Fokker aircraft. Flying a Spider with a 100-h.p. Argus, they covered the 580 km. to Utrecht and The Hague in about 6 1/2, hours’ flying time. The Dutch army had sent Lieutenant van Heyst to the Fokker school in January 1913, and he had reported favourably on the Spider, on which he made thirty flights. But the Dutch Army Aircraft Purchasing Commission advised against the acquisition of Fokker monoplanes, and no order was placed.
   In Germany, as elsewhere, no aircraft manufacturer troubled to name his products in any systematic fashion. By the spring of 1913, however, the tidy Prussian military mind required that Army aeroplanes should have a manufacturer’s type designation, both for convenience of reference and to signify compliance with current Army specifications. The two Spiders were therefore known as type M.1, the M signifying “Militar”, or military. The W.1, with W signifying “Wasser” (water), had begun the parallel series for seaplanes. Spiders built for civilian use retained the earlier letter-and-year designations.
   Of the two M.1s the machine with the 100-h.p. Argus was completed first: flown by Lt. Muehlig-Hofmann it was delivered by air to Doeberitz on March 2, 1913. When tested by Fokker the M.l climbed to 2.000 ft. in nine minutes with a total load of 442 lb.; this included fuel for three hours. The measured take-off run was 67 yd.
   The 95-h.p. Mercedes version (Army number A.38/13) was held up by delay in delivering the engine, which was then a new design and in great demand. The power unit arrived at the end of March and the completed aircraft was tested by Fokker. He himself flew the machine on its delivery flight to Doeberitz, taking only twelve minutes, thanks to a strong tail wind.
   Fokker made no real profit from the sale of these two M.1s, for he had priced them reasonably in the hope of obtaining further orders. But the two-control system of the Spider did not find favour with the Army pilots, and the machine had little to commend it for serious operational use. It could perform quite well from a prepared aerodrome in calm conditions, but it was risky to try to fly it from small fields in a cross-wind: its lack of lateral control was then acutely felt. In gusty air it wallowed so much that its observer could observe little, and a structural disadvantage was the method of anchoring the lift bracing cables to the undercarriage. In the Army’s eyes these disadvantages outweighed the Spider’s simplicity and robustness, and no further order was placed.
   But official interest in Fokker did not wane. He impressed the authorities by supplying what was ordered, and supplying it quickly; he did not dazzle the military pilots with technical mumbo-jumbo, but listened to what they had to say without arguing. Besides, his flying school was unquestionably efficient, and earned the praise of those officers who were sent there.
   The Fokker school was not only efficient but the firm’s bread and butter. Some measure of its efficiency - and an interesting impression of flying performances of the period - may be gained from the following list of flying times for the month of February 1913. The list includes flights by works pilots and visiting test pilots.
   Kuntner 2 1/4 hours in 27 flights
   Lt. Reinke 2 hours in 47 flights
   von Arnim 1 1/2 hours in 18 flights
   Felix Schulz 1 1/2 hours in 20 flights
   Muehlig-Hofmann 1 1/4 hours in 4 flights
   Cremer 13 1/2 hours in 194 flights
   Fokker 3 3/4 hours in 45 flights
   Schwarz 1 hour in 5 flights
   Fr. Galantschikoff 1/2 hour in 5 flights
   Dr. Ringe 1/4 hour in 3 flights
   A. Gruenberg 1/4 hour in 2 flights
   Rentz 1/4 hour in 2 flights
   Flights were made on twenty-three out of the twenty-eight days in the month; three pupils (Kuntner, Schulz and von Arnim) qualified for their pilots’ licences; there were three crashes (by Dr. Ringe, Lt. Reinke, and Gruenberg). For the time of year, these results were decidedly better than those achieved by other flying schools, including those operating under strict military discipline.
   In March de Waal took over the responsibility of managing the flying school. Cremer carried on as chief instructor, although de Waal certainly had more experience of instructing. During that month ten pilots put in a total of twenty-six hours’ flying in 286 flights.
   By this time Johannisthal had become overcrowded. Several collisions occurred; anxiety grew in official circles; forthright questions were asked in the Reichstag. Such was the background to the offer, made to Fokker by Oberleutnant Franz Geerdtz of the Inspektion der Fliegertruppe (Flying Corps Inspectorate, usually abbreviated to IdFlieg), of a three-year contract to undertake flying training for the Army. Profits and turnover would be guaranteed, on condition that the Fokker flying school was removed from Johannisthal. Geerdtz suggested the little-used aerodrome at Goerries, near Schwerin, as the school’s new home. The military authorities would use their influence to ease Fokker’s negotiations with the aerodrome company and to secure favourable terms and conditions for the establishment there of a Fokker military flying training school. It was as fair an offer as any ministry could make, and Fokker accepted readily.
   The aerodrome at Goerries had been opened in June 1912. The town of Schwerin had granted 25,000 marks (about £1,250 at pre-1914 value) towards its establishment. It was close to the lake of Schwerin in beautiful wooded and agricultural country. Few people had actually flown at Goerries, however. The Freiherr Albrecht had courageously tried to establish a small aircraft works and flying school but was soon compelled to give up. His sheds on the aerodrome and all tools and equipment, including welding apparatus, were put up for sale: Fokker acquired most of these assets for a song.
   The Fokker school was now divided into two parts: a military establishment and a smaller civilian school. The former was gradually transferred to Schwerin, where it proved to be a greater success than ever. The training of civilian pupils continued on the Johannisthal aerodrome.
   At Johannisthal the Fokker concern had expanded to occupy four compartments of the big building: Fokker had taken over those formerly occupied by Trinks and the Allers flying school. The removal of the greater part of the Fokker school made more workshop space available.
   The Fokker Military Flying School at Goerries came into official being on June 1, 1913, under a profitable three-year contract with the Prussian War Ministry. The school was set up and subsequently run by Dr. Walther Lissauer, who had become Fokker’s adviser in such matters: he acted as a consultant, and also helped Fokker re-organize his workshop.
   Like all other commercially-managed military flying schools of the time, the Fokker school was a civilian establishment. To maintain military discipline among the pupils an army captain was appointed as commandant. He had no authority to interfere with the flying tuition, but he was responsible for ensuring that the training syllabus was strictly adhered to. Up to August 1914 only commissioned officers were sent to Goerries.
   The Goerries school started with six Spiders, two of which were low- powered machines for solo exercises. Fokker ordered more Spiders from Goedecker. Some were erected in the new workshops at Goerries, work that might be said to mark the beginning of the great Fokker factory at Schwerin, which was to grow into an undertaking that employed 3,000 workers.
   The first officer to pass his pilot’s test at Goerries was Oblt. E. Denk, who gained his certificate on July 11, 1913. A few days earlier, Fokker’s mechanic Paul Weidner fulfilled the more stringent requirements of the test for the field-pilot’s brevet.
   Weidner flew an Argus-powered Spider, but the IdFlieg later stipulated that field-pilot brevets could be acquired only on aeroplanes fitted with the standard military control. To meet this requirement Fokker acquired two old Rumpler Taube monoplanes; they served faithfully until the outbreak of war.

J.Herris Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 51)

Fokker Spinne

  Von Daum crashed the second Spinne while flying it. Fokker, meanwhile, had been building a third Spinne at the Goedecker workshop.
  Spinne III was to the same basic design as the earlier aircraft, but was smaller and lighter. Despite its smaller size, Fokker built it as a two-seater with pilot in back. Spinne II had proved stable and Fokker built Spinne III with wing warping instead of ailerons.
  In 1911 Fokker went to work for Goedecker as a flight instructor. However, in December 1911 he moved to Johannistal, center of Prussian, and thus German aviation, and took Spinne III with him. In January 1912 he gave an impressive flying demonstration in Spinne III during a strong, gusting wind. His success was covered in Berliner Zeitung am Mittag and his reputation as a flyer was made. The next month he registered his company as Fokker Aviatik GmbH, although he never used this name and his company letterhead from the beginning read Fokker Aeroplanbau. Fokker then built a number of Spinne machines that differed little from Spinne III. Some had a 70 hp engine and another a 100 hp engine. Both wood and aluminum nacelles were applied for streamlining, giving these models a distinctive appearance.

Fokker M.1

  Fokker had long wanted to sell aircraft to the German Army, and in 1913 he got that opportunity. He received an order for two Spinnen, one powered by a 100 hp Argus engine (A37/13, work number 15) and the other by a new 95 hp Mercedes engine (A38/13, work number 16). The Army had issued a new requirement that all airplanes it purchased have a manufacturer's designation, so Fokker called these Spinnen the M.1, with the 'M' indicating militarisch (military).
  The aircraft powered by the Argus engine flew first because that engine was available first. Fokker successfully flew it to 600 m in 9 minutes while carrying enough fuel for a 3 hour flight. On 3 March 1913 it was flown by an Army pilot from Fokker's factory to the test center at Doberitz. Later in March the Mercedes engine was delivered and the second M.1 was completed. Fokker then flew it to Dobertiz.
  After evaluating the M.1, the Army decided it was not suitable for demanding military use and did not order any more.

Fokker M.1 Specifications
   Engine: 95 hp Mercedes
   Wing: Span 13.20 m
Length 8.60 m
Height 3.00 m
   Climb: 600m 2 min

Jane's All The World Aircraft 1913

FOKKER. Monoplanes. Fokker-Aeroplanbau, G.m.b.H., 18 Parkstrasse, Johannisthal bei Berlin.
Capacity: 40.

   1912. 1912.
   A. B.

Length..........feet(m.) 26? (8) 26? (8.25)
Span............feet(m.) 37? (11.50) 39-1/3 (12)
Area.......sq. feet(m?.) 226 (21) 242 (22.50)
Weight, total lbs.(kgs.) 838 (380) 1036 (470)
   useful lbs.(kgs.) ... ...
Motor...............h.p. 70 Argus 100 Argus
Speed, max. m.p.h. (km.) 56 (90) 68 (108)
   min. m.p.h. (km.) ... ...
Endurance...........hrs. 4-6 4-6
Number Built during 1912 3 2

   1912-13. 1912-13. 1912-13. 1913.
   A. B. C. Hydro-

Length......feet(m.) 29? (9) 29? (9) 29? (9) 31 (9.50)
Span........feet(m.) 42? (13.2) 42? (13.2) 42? (13.2) 2? (16.20)
Area....sq.feet(m?.) 280 (26) 280 (26) 280 (26) ...
...total, lbs.(kgs.) 970 (440) 1146 (520) 1190 (540) ...
...useful, bs.(kgs.) ... ... ... ...
Motor..........h.p. 70 Argus or 100 Argus 70 Renault 100 Renault
   Dixi or Mercedes
....max, m.p.h.(km.) 52 (83) 60 (96) 53 (85) 59 (95)
....min, m.p.h.(km.) 43 (70) ... ... ...
Endurance.......hrs. 5-8 5-8 4-6 4
Number built
   during 1912. 6 5 2 ...

Remarks.--The Fokker is a machine of Dutch origin. (See DUTCH).

А.Александров, Г.Петров Крылатые пленники России

К первому января 1911 г. в Германии 46 человек получили пилотские дипломы, тогда как в России подобными грамотами могли похвастаться лишь семь человек. Ровно через год соотношение почти выравнилось, приняв вид 133 против 103. То ли наши меньше летали, то ли были более опытными и везучими, но по числу катастроф германцы оказались впереди, со "счетом" 13 к 4 ( в 1910-1911 гг. в России погибли 7 авиаторов). Июль 1912 г. ознаменовался первым грандиозным международным перелетом российского пилота В. М. Абрамовича, преодолевшего с 1-го по 24-е (с пассажиром на борту) 1600 км по маршруту Берлин - Петербург за 17 часов. На аэроплане "Райт" (Wright) немецкого производства Абрамович спешил на 2-й конкурс отечественных военных самолетов, организованный Военным ведомством и открывшийся в столице 21 августа. Помимо "Райта" вне программы участвовали моноплан и биплан "Марс", пилотируемые Генрихом Биром (Heinrich Bier), и моноплан "Паук" (Spinne) под управлением Энтони Фоккера и его друга Илгерса (Anthony Fokker, Hilgers). Последний пытался покорить публику, паря в течение 6 минут с руками, поднятыми над головой, но ни его фокусы, ни усилия самого Фоккера не привели к получению заказов. Немудрено: оснащенный таким же мотором "Аргус" (Argus) 100 л.с, победитель соревнований биплан И. И. Сикорского С-6Б превосходил "Паука" по скорости, скороподъемности и величине полезной нагрузки, хотя "показатели удобства спуска (неприхотливость к условиям посадочной площадки) и стрельбы, а также некоторые необязательные качества были немного выше у немецкого аэроплана". Аппарат Фоккера все же завоевал сердце авиаторши Л. А. Галанчиковой, которая отправилась в Йоханисталь (близ Берлина), приобрела подобный самолет и научилась управлять им. Аппараты "Марс" и "Паук" (с Фоккером в задней кабине) изображены на снимках 1 и 2, а и б.

Журнал Flight

Flight, December 7, 1912.

The Woman's Height Record. .

   AT Johannisthal, on the 22nd ult., the Russian aviatress, Mdlle. Galanschikoff, took a Fokker monoplane up to a height of 2,400 metres, which, it is claimed, is a record for a lady pilot.

Flight, September 4, 1914.


14. The Fokker Monoplane
   is the only German machine of the monoplane type in which the back-swept wings have been employed, but the angle of incidence remains the same from root to tip. The fuselage takes the form of a short boat-like shell, in which are arranged the tandem seats, the pilot occupying the rear seat. Instead of attaching the wings to the fuselage they are secured to the chassis struts, and are set, in addition to their backward slope at a very pronounced dihedral angle. From the accompanying illustrations, it will be seen that the chassis is somewhat complicated and appears likely to become damaged in a heavy landing. Once in the air the machine is practically automatically stable, but as neither warp nor ailerons are fitted, it has been found very difficult to land in a wind. In consequence of this it is understood that the design has been modified considerably.

A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
The Haarlem Spider in its original form with ailerons. It proved to be so stable that the ailerons were dispensed with and no lateral control of any kind was provided.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
A Fokker Spinne in flight. The under-carriage features nose-over skids. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker Spinne in flight over Johannisthal. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
This Spider is believed to be the aircraft that was fitted with a 70-h.p. Renault engine in 1924 and exhibited at the Paris Aero-Salon of that year.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Tony Fokker in his Spinne. The Spinne was the minimum practical flying machine. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
A pilot in (on?) a Fokker Spinne. Note the early insignia and lack of fuselage covering. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
Fokker (wearing top hat) and Bernard de Waal beside a Spider of the Fokker flying school, 1913.
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
The “cockpit” of one of the 1913 Spiders.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker Spinnes in the Fokker Hangar at Johannisthal. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Two Fokker Spinnes in front of the Fokker factory at Gorries. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
Spiders of the Fokker flying school at Schwerin, November 1913.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker Spinnes among the aircraft at Gorries. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1913 /Jane's/
Fokker Spider with cockpit fairing, 1912.
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
The B-1912 variant of the Fokker Spider. This version had a belly fairing under the cockpits, and was powered by a 100-h.p. Argus.
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
The first Fokker M.1, with the 100-h.p. Argus engine.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
The second M.1 wearing its military number A.38/13 on the lower half of its rudder.
The under-carriage had four wheels and nose-over skids. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Streamlined Fokker M.1 in front of a hangar. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
A Fokker M1 with streamlined fuselage in front of its hangar. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker M1 with streamlined fuselage. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
A Fokker M1 fuselage with streamlined shell over the basic structure. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
On 13 May 1913 Bernhard de Waal and mechanic Kuntner flew to Holland with an M.1 They demonstrated at Den Haag. This photo taken after arrival at Soesterberg. Bernhard de Waal (*11-04-1892 Arnhem, +28-07-1924 Den Haag (illness)). (Frits Gerdessen collection/STDB)
H.Cowin - Aviation Pioneers /Osprey/
Anthony Fokker, pilot and aircraft manufacturer, had the entrepreneur's innate gift for getting it right in his business decisions. An early example of this was his setting up of the Fokker Flying School at Doberitz, close to Berlin in late 1912. When the German Army announced their plan to sub-contract flying training to civilian organisations in 1912, Fokker grasped the opportunity of establishing close personal contact with the future leaders of German military aviation. Although Fokker left the day-to-day training chores to his flying instructors, he was the school's Chief Flying Instructor and Examiner. Fokker is seen here sitting on the axle of one of his Fokker Spin two seaters, amid one of his early military intakes.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker M.1 near Tallinn, Estonia, in 1912. Pilot Jan Hilgers stands by his M.1 with his mechanic Hans Schmidt. Johan Wilhelm Emil Louis Hilgers(*Probolingo (Java) 19-12.1886, +Ngawi (Java, Japanese camp) 21-07-1945; FAI pilot's license #4,12-08-1911) was born in the Netherlands East Indies of mixed parentage and died in a Japanese camp just before VJ Day. He made the first flight in Holland by a Dutchman on 29 July 1910. He later joined Fokker and demonstrated Fokker aircraft in Russia. In 1913 he went with two Fokker Spins to the Netherlands East Indies and demonstrated until both were written off. Thereafter he worked as a civilian technician with the NEI air force. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker M.1 near Tallinn, Estonia, in 1912. Pilot Jan Hilgers with his mechanic Hans Schmidt.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Jan Hilgers with his Fokker M.1 in Estonia near Tallinn. (Frits Gerdessen collection)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Jan Hilgers with his Fokker M.1 in Estonia near Tallinn. (Frits Gerdessen collection)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker flying his Spinne in a steep turn over Johannisthal in 1912. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
A Fokker M.1 in flight. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
A Fokker M1 Spinne; note the Spinne's four-wheel landing gear. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
Little is known about this development of the M.1. It had a 70-h.p. Renault engine, a modified fuselage and simplified cabane bracing.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
A modified Fokker M1 Spinne with improved streamlined fuselage. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
The latest Fokker monoplane with a 100 h.p. Mercedes engine, flying at the Johannisthal aerodrome.
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
Prince Bismarck, a grandson of the first Chancellor of the German Empire, passed the necessary tests for his pilot's certificate under the new regulations on January 17th on a Fokker monoplane at Schwertn in Mecklenburg. Prince Bismarck is only sixteen years of age, but gives promise of becoming a skilful aviator.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker M1 Spinne at Korpusnoi near Tsarskoe Selo (near Petrograd) in 1912. Fokker may be in the rear and Lubov Golantschikoff in front but this is not confirmed. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Lubov Golantschikoff in the Fokker M1 Spinne in which she set a world record 2,400 m altitude at Johannisthal in November 1912. (Peter M. Grosz collection/STDB)
Журнал - Flight за 1912 г.
Miss L. Galanschikoff (X), the Russian aviatress who, on November 22nd, at Johannisthal, on a 100-h.p. Fokker monoplane, made a world's altitude record for lady flyers with 2,400 metres. The previous record was to the credit of Miss Melly Beese with 820 metres.
А.Александров, Г.Петров - Крылатые пленники России
(КПР 2а)
А.Александров, Г.Петров - Крылатые пленники России
(КПР 2б)
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
The crude wing structure of the Fokker Spider type can be seen in this photograph of a wrecked aircraft. Probably a training machine, this Spider had a four-wheel undercarriage.
R.Kosin - The German Fighter since 1915 /Putnam/
Fokker Spin (Spider) 1912.
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Second Fokker Spinne 1912
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Third Fokker Spinne 1913
Журнал - Flight за 1914 г.
14. The Fokker monoplane.
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
Fokker Spin (B-1912)
A.Weyl - Fokker: The Creative Years /Putnam/
Fokker M.1
J.Herris - Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.1: Spinne - M.10 & Watercraft /Centennial Perspective/ (51)
Fokker M.1