A.Weyl Fokker: The Creative Years (Putnam)
The V.42 glider
Platz was a persistent man. Once he was certain that a suggestion of Fokker’s was impractical, he did not rest until he could prove that his own way was the better one. The V.30 experiment had annoyed him. When Fokker had asked him to convert a Fok. D.VIII for towing, Platz had proposed designing a more suitable glider, but Fokker would not have it. Now Platz would show Fokker how it should be done.
In Platz’s view, a glider should be able to operate from land or water. The V.42 was therefore designed to have either a simple, ply-skinned box-like float attached directly to the lower longerons, or a simple V-type wheel undercarriage. The fuselage was a welded steel-tube structure, covered with fabric. The cantilever wing was also fabric-covered, and was attached directly to the upper longerons. Its area was 10-2 sq. m. (110 sq. ft.). The cockpit was in the leading edge of the wing. This was an unfortunate feature, for the cut-out and the pilot’s head spoiled the airflow over the wing.
All controls were plain, unbalanced surfaces. There was a triangular fin in the tail unit, and the ailerons reached to the wing tips.
A release for the towing cable was fitted to the upper longeron joint at the nose. This device was, in its simplicity, typical of Platz: it consisted simply of a pair of pliers and parts of a turnbuckle.
The V.42 glider was not flown at Schwerin. It was sent to Amsterdam and was tested on the Ymuiden Canal in 1919. Parge was the pilot, and Fokker towed it from a motor boat. The glider handled well, but its performance was limited by the short towing cable, which restricted the altitude to 150 ft. But Fokker was no longer interested in gliders.
J.Herris, J.Leckscheid Fokker Aircraft of WWI. Vol.5: 1918 Designs Part 1: Prototypes & D.VI (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 55)
V42 was an unpowered, should-wing glider of mixed construction with interchangeable wheel undercarriage or a wide float without step placed under the fuselage. The type designation is given by Hegner; data and development history were published in 1943. According to Reinhold Platz’s recollection, in 1917 Fokker allegedly wanted to have a D.VIII without engine towed on a rope behind a converted two-seater D.VII equipped with tail protection. Platz built a special design of the glider, which was completed in Schwerin in 1918 but not tested there because of the end of the war. The fuselage and tail unit were welded from steel tubing and fabric-covered, with the leading edge extended to the trailing edge of the wing. The wooden wing had a plywood nose and fabric covering. The aircraft was taken to Holland, where the first experimental tow behind a motorboat on the Ymuiden-Amsterdam canal took place in about mid-1919 or 1920, piloted by Adolf Prag. Previously, the glider had been towed unmanned with ballast.