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rabu

Fokker EIII FM Comparisons

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I want to bring this up, not to start any forum arguments, but maybe to get some intelligent discussion going about the FM flight model in different sims for this plane.

 

I'm sure most of you are aware that Rise of Flight just released their Fokker EIII with their latest patch, update. It's quite beautifully modeled and skinned with lots of moving parts, including the wing warping effect with moving cables.

 

I would like a comparison of what sim seems to have captured the EIII most realistically as to fm... I tried the ROF EIII and it just doesn't seem to be modeled correctly, it seems to easy to fly, while their Nieuports seem way to fragile and falls apart in any dive I try, as well as not being that maneuverable, but that's another subject. My impression was that the EIII was mainly good at attacking 2 seaters which it did with a surprise hit and run tactic, not as a turn fighter and that it didn't get in dog fights that much. And, of course, it's big advantage was having the synchronized gun shooting through the propeller. (except when the synchronizer cable jumped teeth and it shot off it's propeller!)

Edited by rabu

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Hey Rabu,

 

I know the angle your coming from here. I too was surprised to find just how amazingly pleasant the EIII is. In fact it pretty much feels set and forget same as pretty much all the current crop of FM for the central aircraft. It is a little more involved as you can get it to spin out but its never threatening, and you never feel in real danger. That said it does require more thought regards energy management than most central planes, but I still think two pilots of equal skill, one in a DH2 the other in the EIII, the EIII will winout more times than not, as the pilot is more free to focus on combat. You cannot say the same of the DH2.

 

Its only real vice is the slow roll, but even that can be alleviated to a degree with some rudder input.

 

As to the noops, I have started several threads already on themain forum, but pretty much silence. No reason for their super weak frames whatsover despite no historical account ever reporting such a problem. Yet the weakly built EIII cannot even be broken in a dive, it actually levels itself out, and no amount of force on the stick will stop the EIII from leveling itself back out. Actually several central A/C do this bizarre act of psychics defiance.

 

Don't get me wrong, I do like the EIII but probably not for the reasons I should. However why it was ever replaced in service is a mystery based on the current EIII.

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Based on my reading of WW1 aviation history and pilot memoirs, the best and most revolutionary thing about the E.III was its forward firing synchronized MG. As an aeroplane, it was mediocre at best, not really designed to fight against enemy planes like the late war aircraft, but to hunt down slower, clumsier and poorly defended enemy bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.

 

I haven't yet tried the RoF Eindecker myself, but I've seen some people comment on how incredibly well it behaves and how superior it is as a fighter, even compared to newer Entente fighters, which historically drove the Eindeckers from the sky.

 

The Eindecker can't have been the ultimate fighter plane, otherwise Germans wouldn't have desperately tried to replace it with something better in the summer of 1916. I think what we currently have in OFF quite accurately models the Eindecker. Unfortunately we lack the proper Fokker Fodder, ie. all those helpless early war Entente two-seaters. Maybe in P4...

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In Kurt Jentsch's book "Beim Jagdflug tödlich verunglückt?" I read, that he first got a Pfalz wing warper

at the Makedonian front. He was very happy, when he received a Fokker Eindecker after crashing the

Pfalz in a crash landing.

So we must regard the "felt" quality of a plane with it's service time. The Eindecker seemed to be great

when it was new. Jentsch shot down Farmans with it. Sounded easy in the book - he followed them

and shot up their rear engines. No one seemed to be into much turning in the early days; the Farmans

way to fight was to push down their noses and run.

 

The Bristol Scout still is not much of a problem, due to the strange mounted gun. But the DH-2 must

have been, with a center forward pointing gun, well to aim with for the pilot.

When I compare the aircraft in OFF, that seems all right for me - I can do better in a DH-2 than in an

Eindecker. The appearance of the DH-2 and the Nieuport 10 must have been like a new age - it must

have let the Eindecker look old and dated.

 

Don't know RoFl, but I am quite happy with the Eindecker in OFF.

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The Pfalz monoplanes were the same as the French Morane-Saulniers, and the Eindecker was indeed better than them.

 

I'm not sure about that, Cecil Lewis recounted how he and others got to fly an Eindecker that landed on the wrong side and was captured intact in early 1916. He said that the rumor had it that it had fantastic performance, that it could out climb, out maneuver, out turn anything in the RFC. They first took it up, side by side with a Morane Bullet to compare them.. they "both took off together and it was immediately clear the the Morane was all over the Fokker. It climbed quicker, it was faster on the level, and when the two machines began a mock fight over the aerodrome, the Morane had everything its own way" They then compared it against a Morane biplane and the Parasol (mono wing), a Nieuport 11, and a Be2c.. "all of them gave quite a good account of themselves except the 2c, which, in performance, was nowhere."

 

I've also read that with all the wires the EIII had tremendous drag and so was slower and had poor performance. William Green (Color Profiles WWI Combat Planes) said it was slow, 97mph at sea level, 78 at 3000m, climed slolwely, taking 30 minutes to reach 3000M, and it had horrable performance at altitude.. at its 3000M ceiling "maneuverability was virtually nil."

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Well, maybe Pfalz wasn't very good at building those licensed Moranes, because I've read that German pilots considered the Fokker monoplanes better than their Pfalz counterparts. But the difference can't have been great, and nobody seemed to want to keep using either Pfalz or Fokker monoplanes when something even slightly better became available in 1916.

Edited by Hasse Wind

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The Fokker E series effectiveness in air combat is something of an enigma. One the one hand it's introduction caused widespread panic amongst the British and French (in the early stages) of the air war. Even as late as May 1916 it still caused much concern among Allied pilots, for it's use was widespread, and most of the Allies were still flying antiquated all but defenceless reconnaissance aeroplanes.

 

Yet the aeroplane itself was quite basic. For it's time it did possess a good turn of speed (remember all is relative), but was slow in maneouvre and climb rate, although quite responsive to elevators and rudder input. Fokker himself admitted that the E was tricky to fly and somewhat unreliable. So how did it gain such a reputation?

 

Two words ....... gun and pilot.

 

As mentioned above the forward firing machine gun literally revolutionised air combat. For many months the Allies had nothing to compete. And that is a long, long time in air combat. The quality and skill of the pilots also played it's part in allowing the Fokker E. to rule the skies. Indeed without those pilots able to utilise the advantages of the Fokker there never would have been a Scourge.

 

While numbers vary as to how many Germans flew the Fokker on operations (Norman Franks states 132) very few actually achieved victories. And of those only 11 scored more than 5 victories; with Boelcke, Immelmann and Wintgens being the main success stories. Effectively those 11 men were the Fokker Scourge.

 

A final word on tactics. Boelcke summed it up best in his book "An Aviators Field Book" when he said: gain height, use the sun and clouds, show patience and get in close.

 

Something we often tend to forget is that very few pilots in the early days of flying knew little more than how to take off, fly around and land. Very few pilots practiced aerobatics often because the aeroplanes were not strong enough to handle such forces. Few even knew of them. And even fewer even knew how to recover from a spin! There was no combat training, simply because the whole process was just in the throws of being created.

 

When we fly in the game we whizz around pulling all sorts of stunts, irrespective of the timeline. Yet in 1915/1916 pilots didn't fight that way. You made a pass, performed an Immelmann if you were skilled enough, then either pushed off looking for another unsuspecting enemy, or flew home. In that context the Fokker can be considered a capable fighter. However, once faced with aeroplanes capable of matching (or exceeding) it's speed and exceeding it's manoeuverability (a la D.H.2 and Nieuport 11) it was shown for what it was, a early technology limited fighter.

Edited by Pips

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Hello,

all good points, just "flew" the RoF E.III myself for a short excursion - shot down two balloons, a SPAD XIII, a Sopw. Dolphin and a locomotive. I would have got the Bréguet 14, too, but had no ammo left. With an Eindecker.

RoF "enemy AI" in single play, well there's room for improvement.

 

Flying the E.III in RoF - it has a nice touch and is well modelled including wing-warping, and the turning tensioner pulley. I wondered why the RoF Dev team took away the throttle - i thought and heard from Bletchley they did have a throttle, if only for reducing revolutions from 1200 down to roughly 700, and did the rest with the blip switch. But maybe they did this with the one mixture throttle, which is present and works.

 

It almost flies by itself, and only develops vicious stalls after real abuse, and too-tight turns with steep angles, don't do this close to the ground because you need some altitude to catch it.

It is harder to aim with the RoF E.III because it somehow vibrates more, and does not keep its attitude towards a target very long, without making corrections again and again.

Both E.IIIs in OFF and RoF are easy to fly, and since especially early german planes were built to behave that way this is somehow convincing. (The Etrich and Rumpler "Taube" monoplanes were even able to land hands-off, and two did so without pilot ahem).

 

Apart from that both flight models in the sims are astonishingly similar, when it comes to general manoeuverability and behaviour.

 

Regarding the aforementioned book from Jentsch, he wrote that the Pfalz monoplane he flew at the macedonian front was a direct copy of a Morane Saulnier monoplane, but at one point he writes it was a copy of the Parasol - which was a "Hoch"-Decker (wing well above the fuselage), and cannot be compared with a Morane Saulnier "N", or Bullet-type at all. Pfalz built Morane Parasols (High wing) in license.

Pfalz did also build monoplanes that looked like the Fokker E.I, or III (if never like the "Bullet)" but i am really not sure whether Jentsch talks about those. Anyway he wrote he preferred the Fokker E.III very much, to the Pfalz monoplane he had to fly.

He also wrote that the Fokker E.III was astonishingly nimble, and manoeuverable, and when we look at when he wrote his book, he must have compared that to the later war planes also. It indeed seems the early Fokker E-type was not a sluggish plane at all, but had a too-weak engine to be really of use later in the war. Certainly the warp mechanism may have prevented hard and fast "instable" manoeuvering, but i really don't know for sure.

 

Greetings,

Catfish

 

 

 

.

Edited by Wels

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The Fokker E series effectiveness in air combat is something of an enigma. One the one hand it's introduction caused widespread panic amongst the British and French (in the early stages) of the air war. Even as late as May 1916 it still caused much concern among Allied pilots, for it's use was widespread, and most of the Allies were still flying antiquated all but defenceless reconnaissance aeroplanes.

 

Yet the aeroplane itself was quite basic. For it's time it did possess a good turn of speed (remember all is relative), but was slow in maneouvre and climb rate, although quite responsive to elevators and rudder input. Fokker himself admitted that the E was tricky to fly and somewhat unreliable. So how did it gain such a reputation?

 

Two words ....... gun and pilot.

 

As mentioned above the forward firing machine gun literally revolutionised air combat. For many months the Allies had nothing to compete. And that is a long, long time in air combat. The quality and skill of the pilots also played it's part in allowing the Fokker E. to rule the skies. Indeed without those pilots able to utilise the advantages of the Fokker there never would have been a Scourge.

 

While numbers vary as to how many Germans flew the Fokker on operations (Norman Franks states 132) very few actually achieved victories. And of those only 11 scored more than 5 victories; with Boelcke, Immelmann and Wintgens being the main success stories. Effectively those 11 men were the Fokker Scourge.

 

A final word on tactics. Boelcke summed it up best in his book "An Aviators Field Book" when he said: gain height, use the sun and clouds, show patience and get in close.

 

Something we often tend to forget is that very few pilots in the early days of flying knew little more than how to take off, fly around and land. Very few pilots practiced aerobatics often because the aeroplanes were not strong enough to handle such forces. Few even knew of them. And even fewer even knew how to recover from a spin! There was no combat training, simply because the whole process was just in the throws of being created.

 

When we fly in the game we whizz around pulling all sorts of stunts, irrespective of the timeline. Yet in 1915/1916 pilots didn't fight that way. You made a pass, performed an Immelmann if you were skilled enough, then either pushed off looking for another unsuspecting enemy, or flew home. In that context the Fokker can be considered a capable fighter. However, once faced with aeroplanes capable of matching (or exceeding) it's speed and exceeding it's manoeuverability (a la D.H.2 and Nieuport 11) it was shown for what it was, a early technology limited fighter.

 

that's exactly my opinion too, sir.

i think the EIII is modeled quite well in BHAH. airwar was rather unknown. in those times they thougt the best way to fight in the air is to have a pilot and a gunner, till garros and then the fokkers at least showed the idea of a better way. also that the scourge were in real just a small group of successfull men like immelmann, boelcke, mulzer, wintgens etc. still no real airwar.

the scary thing for the entente and maybe the birth of the myth is the simple fact that there was an AC out there with the single purpose of shooting other AC down. before that with all other AC the were recon, small bombers, artillery directors etc., and just by the way every now and then, attacking other AC. but when suddenly you hear there are some monsters out there, only designed for fighting in the air, you'll be scared too if going out to the next sortie.

 

mccudden wrote that he has seen mostly single eindeckers, seldom more and maximum 3 in a group. they never really fought. only tried to surprise out of the sun with one or two attacks and then ran away. he has seen immelmann several times and concluded that he would never fight, not even against numerical even odds.

also he mentioned that in summer of 1916 the germans must have had a big problem because from july or august the eindeckers simply disappeared and there was nothing out there from the german side to prevent them from doing their recon jobs etc. no fighters at all (that was the time when the successfull fokker pilots fell one after another and boelcke was sent out to reorganize the system and to look for good pilots to build jasta 2. also the germans realizied that there were more of the better allied scouts like nieuport 11 and DH2's.)

i doubt there were lot dogfights between eindeckers and allied scouts. also that eindeckers flew untill september or longer, depending on the jasta. i think, regarding to mccuddens book, the simply grounded them or didn't have any more because they didn't produce them longer from august 1916 and then didn't much hunting at all till the Albatros D2 or the fokker d2 etc. appeared.

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"wondered why the RoF Dev team took away the throttle - i thought and heard from Bletchley they did have a throttle, if only for reducing revolutions from 1200 down to roughly 700, and did the rest with the blip switch. But maybe they did this with the one mixture throttle, which is present and works." Catfish

 

The Oberursel engine was very similar (not quite a direct copy) of the Gnome 100 hp rotary. I think the RoF team may have confused the Gnome 100 hp rotary with the Gnome Monosoupape 100 hp rotary (several text books do the same), and have therefore assumed that the Oberursel was a monosoupape engine with a mixture control but no throttle. But the Oberursel, like the Gnome, did have both a throttle and a mixture control - and there were levers to control both from the cockpit. There was also an 'isolator' switch to selectively cut ignition to one cylinder at a time (I think, to isolate any cyclinder that might be misfiring), and a blip switch.

 

Bletchley :grin:

Edited by Bletchley

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The early Fokker biplane fighters like the D.II were disappointing and not really much better than the Eindecker. The French were able to achieve air superiority at Verdun, because Germans didn't have any real fighters to throw against the N.11. And at the Somme, the British also had air superiority, with German air force keeping a low profile compared to later years. These difficulties inspired Germans to start rapidly developing a true air force with an efficient organisation built around various Staffeln of fighters, bombers and observation planes.

 

Only the introduction of the Halberstadt D.II in the summer of 1916 gave the Germans a fighter that could meet the Entente Nupe 11's and DH.2's with equal chances of victory. Pilots were delighted with the good characteristics of the Halberstadt - it was quite easy to handle, maneuverable and of sturdy construction, even though it looks a bit flimsy. I think this is also well modeled in OFF. But it wasn't until the Albatros D.I and D.II came into service in the newly formed Luftstreitkräfte with its powerful Jagdstaffeln that Germans really started to get an edge in the air war, which quickly brought great results in the early months of 1917.

 

I agree about the overly aggressive behaviour of both AI and human pilots in early war careers. That's why I think it's recommended to use the less aggressive AI setting for those early war careers, and try to avoid flying like it's 1918. Would be nice to see a proper implementation of the early air in OFF some day. It hasn't been done well in any flight sim up to this day, not even modded RB3D.

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There was also an 'isolator' switch to selectively cut ignition to one cylinder at a time (I think, to isolate any cyclinder that might be misfiring), and a blip switch.

 

Bletchley :grin:

 

That was also useful for reducing RPM. Early rotaries didn't have very good throttles. Some later rotary engines, at least on the Entente side, had switches to control the number of cylinders in use at any one time.

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Hello Bletchley,

so the Fokker E.III had a mixture control, and a throttle - and certainly the blip switch - thanks !

Have posted your text at the RoF forum, maybe they'll change it back.

 

How about the Airco D.H.2 ? Did it also have a throttle, or better: Which engine was used in this bird ?

 

And, since we are at it: What about the N11 ?

 

Thanks and greetings,

Catfish

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Hello Bletchley,

so the Fokker E.III had a mixture control, and a throttle - and certainly the blip switch - thanks !

Have posted your text at the RoF forum, maybe they'll change it back.

 

How about the Airco D.H.2 ? Did it also have a throttle, or better: Which engine was used in this bird ?

 

And, since we are at it: What about the N11 ?

 

Thanks and greetings,

Catfish

 

The DH2 had a Gnome Monosoupape 100 hp, so this engine had no throttle - just the mixture control lever and the blip switch. I think the N11 had the Le Rhone 80 hp (but I havn't checked that, so someone might have to correct me). The Le Rhone rotaries had a throttle, mixture control and blip switch, with the throttle also controlling the mixture to some extent though not very well.

 

Bletchley

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The Eindecker was actually heavily based on an earlier Morane-Saulnier Monoplane from before the war. The plane copied was actually older and largely inferior compared to the Type N "Bullet" M-S. The result largely was that the Eindecker was somewhat inferior in pure flight characteristics compared to the M-S Type N. The orthodox view on these is that they're somewhat unstable and difficult to fly aircraft. Like anything else these pilots probably got used to the quirks (those that survived) and made their peace with whatever difficulties came up.

 

But certainly the Fokker's strong suit was attacking 2-seater recon aircraft. Even the F.E. 2b could be a problem for the Fokkers. Nieuports and D.H.2s could chew up Fokkers pretty well. There was one report from a capture German pilot during the war who told his captors what he saw from this time-- he noted that an allied airman in a Nieuport took on one, then two, then three, then four Eindeckers before finally being downed. You don't want to face a Nieuport or D.H.2 alone in an Eindecker. The only strength is in altitude and numbers for them then.

 

 

I generally like RoF, but the a la carte $7.62 per aircraft is a bit ridiculous once you get into buying all the planes that don't come with the vanilla game.

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