O.Thetford, P.Gray German Aircraft of the First World War (Putnam)
This diminutive monoplane was designed and built at F.E.A. 1 Altenburg as a private venture by F. D. Hergt during 1918 and flown by Mario Scherff. Of interest are the ply-skinned wings, which medium also covered the fuselage. The sturdy crash pylon is also noteworthy. Engine, 80 h.p. Gnome. Span, 6.0 m. (19 ft. 8 1/4 in.). Length, 5.2 m. (17 ft. 0 3/4 in.). Speed, 125 km.hr. (78.125 m.p.h.). Armament, none.
The diminutive machine on the picture is the private venture fighter designed by Dipl.-Ing. F.D. Hergt in 1918. The machine was actually built by the Fliegerersatz-Abteilung (F.E.A. 1) in Altenburg (Thuringen). An amazing feat that he could persuade the authorities to allocate precious resources and labour to this private venture.
The resources were by the way very old-fashioned , given a 80 hp Gnome rotary (or the Oberursel 'licence' equivalent ?).
The claim to fame of this machine was at least that is was flown by Mario Scherff who flew it as a test pilot.
By the way Scherff was not very lucky in WW1 as he crashed as a Fokker test pilot with a Fokker M.7 (to be delivered to Austria) on 17 April 1915, luckily coming out of it alive. He spent a more than a year in the hospital at Schwerin. Fokker was not the most likable boss because a few days after the crash he fired Scherff and he never paid any visit to the hospital. After that (end 1916) Scherff started again as a test and acceptance pilot with other firms.