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Typenumber M5K/E.1./A.3.
Type of aircraft
Country Germany
Date first flight 1914
Enginetype Oberursul
Wingspan 8.95 m
Lenght 6.75 m
Height: 9 ft 1¾ in [2.4 m]
Empty Weight 358 kg
Gross Weight 563 kg
Max Speed 130 km/h
Ceiling: 3,000 m
Endurance 1½ hours/200 km
Armament 1 Spandau machine gun, 7.92 mm
Number built 54

Fokker E.1. Specifications


Fokker E.1./M.5K/A.3

Anthony Fokker in the first E.1

Immelmann flies his E.1 topcover over a Roland C.2 reconnaissance aircraft. Operational photo's like this one from WO I are very rare. Immelmann and Boelcke were the first ases of the beginning of the war

This E.1. was assigned to a front line unit. The gun button and magneto cut-out spade are visible on the control stick

Fokker E.1. at the factory

Fokker E.1 folded for transport

Fokker E.1. with first synchronised machinegun

Oberleutant Hesse in the cockpit of his Fokker E.1. This is an early aircraft with no fusulage insignia or serial numbers

Oberleutnant Von Althaus in the cockpit of the Fokker E.1. flown by Oswald Boelcke

Leutenant Von Althaus in the cockpit of an armed E.1. (M.5L)

Max Immelmann poses in front of his Fokker E.1. The wartime censors have retouched the original photo, removing the details of the engine and gun

A truck with an E.1. ready for delivery to the front line. This was a common method of delivering for a ew production aircraft

First with synchronized machinegun

The Fokker E.1./M.5. was inspired by the Morane-Saulnier fighters. First aircraft flew in 1915.

The first of the Fokker fighter monoplanes, the E.1., was simply an M.5K armed with a synchronized machine gun. 

The Fokker E was a mid-wing monoplane fighter with in general unimpressive performance, and not that many were built. But it was the first fighter with a synchronized, fixed, forward-firing machinegun. The effectiveness of the E.1. and its derivatives (Fokker E.2., Fokker E.3. and Fokker E.4.) created the 'Fokker Scourge'.

The aircraft was personally presented by Anthony Fokker to the German air detachments operating on the French front in the period from May to July 1915.
The aircraft was powered by an 80-hp Oberursel rotary engine and carried enough fuel for 2 hours flying time.

Fokker's "Eindecker" was not only the first monoplane fighter in WWI, but it was also the first to be able to fire a forward facing machinegun through the propeller without having the bullets hit it.

The gun was originally a Parabellum, which was soon replaced by the more efficient LMG 08/15.

Previous designs on both sides allowed firing through the propeller only with

The E.1. was the first Fokker Eindecker to enter combat. It was flown by both Oswald Boelcke and Max Immelmann

deflectors mounted on it that did not always deflect the bullets, and still put considerable stress on the wooden propeller.
This synchronised firing mechanism was a major step forward in aerial combat, as it avoided damaging or stressing the propeller and allowed the pilot to fire the machine gun at an opponent simply by pointing his aircraft at it.

For a few months in early 1915 the Eindecker destroyed the Allies superiority in the air during the Fokker Scourge.

The aircraft was used in large part to prohibit Allied access to German airspace, as the pilots were instructed not to dogfight over Allied territory for fear of having the synchronizing gear fall into enemy hands.

The monoplane was used to control the air over Verdun during their offensive of Feb. 1916. By summer of 1916 the Allies regained aerial superiority with the Nieuport 11 "Bebe", the D.H.2 and the F.E.2.

Technical details

The Eindecker was a direct copy of the Morane-Saulnier "Parasol" except for the characteristic Fokker tail plane and the synchronized machine gun.

As in most early mono- and biplanes it did not possess ailerons, it performed banking maneuvers by wing warping.

Even at the end of it's life the Eindecker did not possess ailerons, thus decreasing it's ability to avoid more agile enemy aircraft.



The most prolific version was the E.3., although even it was not a brilliant performer. It mounted a 100 hp Oberursel rotary engine that was not very reliable. Engine power decreased with altitude and so the plane could not operate over 3,000 m (9800 ft). It took 30 minutes to get to 3,000 m and manouverability was nil at that altitude.

The "eindecker" was typically armed with a single LMG 08/15 7.92 mm machine gun firing through the propeller using a synchonizing gear.