O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)
N.F.W. E I
This small experimental monoplane was built in the spring of 1916 to the plans of Dipl. Ing. Hergt. The twin spars of the ply-covered cantilever wings passed right through the fuselage, the pilot sitting between them. The type was not proceeded with, as the firm found their repair and training school work to be more profitable than aircraft manufacture. Engine, 80 h.p. Oberursel U O. Span, 10.0 m. (32 ft. 9 3/4 in.). Length, 6.5 m. (21 ft. 3 3/4 in.). Area, 15.72 sq.m. (170 sq.ft.). Weights: Empty, 428 kg. (641 lb.). Loaded, 620 kg. (1,364 lb.). Speed, 156 km.hr. (97.5 m.p.h.). Climb, 1,300 m. (4,264 ft.) in 6 min.
N.F.W. Experimental Monoplane
This machine was virtually the E I with revised tail surfaces.
W.Green, G.Swanborough The Complete Book of Fighters
NFW E I Germany
In the spring of 1916, the National-Flugzeug-Werke built at Johannisthal a single-seat monoplane to the designs of Dipl Ing Hergt. Referred to as the EI (although this is unlikely to have been an official designation) and apparently intended for the fighting role, it was a shoulder wing monoplane of wooden construction. It had a plywood-covered, single-piece, two-spar wing, and the pilot’s cockpit was situated between the spars. The E I was powered by an 80 hp Oberursel U 0 (Gnome) seven-cylinder rotary engine, but no details of its flight testing have survived, development apparently being discontinued in favour of a larger and more powerful monoplane (E II).
Max speed, 97 mph (156 km/h).
Time to 4,265 ft (1300 m), 6.0 min.
Empty weight, 944 lb (428 kg).
Loaded weight, 1,367 lb (620 kg).
Span, 32 ft 9 7/10 in (10,00 m).
Length, 21ft 3 9/10 in (6,50 m).
Wing area, 169.21 sq ft (15,72 m2).
J.Herris German Aircraft of Minor Manufacturers in WW1. Vol II (A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes 50)
The NFW E.I was built in spring 1916 to the design of Dipl. Ing. Hergt. Intended as a fighter, it was built of wood. The wing was a two-spar, semicantilever design with plywood covering built in a single piece,- the pilot's cockpit was between the two spars. Like the well-known Fokker Eindeckers, the NFW E.I had no fixed tail surfaces. However, unlike most Eindecker designs, the NFW E.I used ailerons for roll control rather than the typical wing-warping, made necessary by its much stronger and stiffer wing structure. The 'E' designation was likely a factory, not military, designation.
With only 80 hp the NFW E.I did not have enough performance to be competitive in 1916 and was abandoned in favor of the more powerful E.II.
NFW E.I Specifications
Engine: 80 hp Oberursel U.0
Wing: Span 10.00 m
Wing Area 15.72 m2
General: Length 6.50 m
Empty Weight 428 kg
Loaded Weight 620 kg
Maximum Speed: 156 kmh
Climb: 1,300m 6.0 min.
NFW Experimental Monoplane
The NFW experimental monoplane was a modification of the NFW E.I. Fixed horizontal stabilizers were added and the vertical tail appears to have been slightly modified.
This aircraft may have been the same airframe as the E.I after modification. No further details are known.
Before WWI there were indeed light aircraft NFW E.1 to E.6, but built by another NFW, the Nordwestdeutsche Flugzeugwerke NFW, Heinrich Evers & Co in Bremervorde.
Heinrich Evers had emigrated to the USA, where he worked in the automobile industry, and where he became interested in aviation, witnessing the flights of Glenn Curtiss. In 1909 he returned to Germany, built aeroplanes from 1910, and founded the Nordwestdeutsche Flugzeugwerke, NFW, in 1912. Due to financial problems he closed his firm in 1913, and went back to the USA, where he worked for Benoist. At the outbreak of WWI he returned to Germany, but on the way he was interned in France. He escaped and went to work for Caspar. In 1924 he went back to the USA, working for Fokker, and returned a last time to Germany in 1936, to work for Junkers on the Ju-88.
In all he built six aeroplanes in the period 1910-1913 (plus one un-built project):
E.1: Single sea ter monoplane (1910) with 30 hp Hilz engine.
E.2: Single seater monoplane (1911) with 30 hp Hilz engine. Improved E.1.
E.3: Two seater monoplane with Hilz engine.
E.4: Single seater monoplane (1912) with 40 hp Hilz engine (also with Anzani). Copy of the 1911-12 Schulze Eindecker.
E.5: Single seater monoplane with Hilz engine.
E.6: Two seater Pfeil-Eindecker with 50 hp Gnome.
E.7: Pfeil-Eindecker with Hilz engine. Project only.