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Olham

Not so easy to land - The Fokker Dr.1 Triplane

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I'm starting to think that's the standard Fokker Dr.1 parking position. :grin:

 

I have the problem of the bird flipping over backwords when I try to drag my tail, it sure would be easier with brakes

 

I found the solution rather tricky, doing a little side to side to initially shed some speed before attempting to drag my tail

 

If you're not very careful, it very easy to lean that DR1 over too far, and damage your wing if you're lucky, crash if you're not

 

I like Combat in a DR1, but unfortunately I have to land it.

 

I enjoy breathing more than victories, so I stay away from the DR1 :clapping:

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The Fokker Triplane is quite narrow, which must make it very hard to balance.

As lower wingtips touching the turf were quite common, they attached wooden skids to the bottom of the wingtips.

It also has immense lift, which makes it hard to "let it drop" down on the field.

I think it is very important, that you land the craft against the wind.

Sidewinds and crosswinds are a problem.

 

As the real plane's rotary has no throttle, it must be interrupted per use of "blip switch" to reduce forward speed.

You need to reduce enough speed to make her touch down, but you also need enough speed to keep her straight forward.

A tricky balance to find.

The original craft had a tail skid with a kind of metal plough, which really cut into the turf to keep her running straight.

Edited by Olham

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Hi there,

 

Olham is quite right with regards to the Dr.I and stability on landing. The main reason for the wing tip spars was on takeoff, as Olhams mention of the rotary gave it a propensity to do a ground loop. The most significant issue on landing was the inherent lack of directional stability as due to the large body and wing surface, it provided literally no ability for the pilot to steer the plane once landed. A crosswind was even more treacherous for the Dr.I They did have a throttle, and not just a blip, but this didn't help too much. I believe the secret ( not so much) to landing the Dr.I is to bleed off speed by using a side slip, and when touching down, be at ~~ < 55 mph. Part of that pilots problem was his high landing speed. Look in the Over Flanders Fields Sub Forums for

 

SIA - Flying and Air Fighting Pilot Primers http://combatace.com/topic/60942-sia-flying-and-air-fighting-pilot-primers/

 

Cheers,

 

 

Britisheh

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I wonder if MvR had the odd mishap/ (but it was kept quiet) :good:

 

it was the opposite if i remember correctly. once his prop was broken over the mud with all it's trenchholes and splintered wood etc.. he landed with his triplane on a very small spot, the only possible landing place nearby, where most other pilots wouldn't see it as a possible landing spot.then he ordered some mechanics to bring him a new prop. after they replaced the prop several men held the wings while he opened full throttle to keep it from rolling. on his sign they released the wings and he went up almost vertically with just several feet running space.

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:drinks:Even in RC they seem to land like that

 

 

Yes, carrick, they do indeed behave the same way. I'm just building a 1/6 scale DR1 and am already anxious about ground handling and landungs - nose overs seem to be the norm. To be fair that one in the video was a dead stick landing in a ploughed field - he didn't have a lot going for him there.

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Well, sure, MvR had mishaps with Dr.Is that didn't end as well as the one described above! Here's a photo of one:

 

114_17.jpg

 

That's 114/17. MvR wrote about this event in his autobiography, albeit vaguely. It appears as if the engine cowling departed prior to landing, perhaps via an engine failure or mismanaged rotary operation. If MvR did have an engine failure it's not unreasonable to further speculate the failure was castrophic and departing pieces or even an entire cylinder removed the cowling, as had happened with other triplanes. Unknown if the gear was damaged as well (possible, considering MvR wrote he was surprised by the crash landing) but for whatever reason the machine ended up on its nose--damage to the upper wingtip like that is a hallmark of that having happened, and the plane had been lowered prior to the photo or perhaps wound up on its nose and then immediately tipped back down again.

 

Note the wire or cable around the starboard wing interplanes struts. Unknown if MvR flew through a phone or power line while deadsticking or it was just some line used to pull the plane down or what.

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Lots learned again - thank you guys!

 

JFM, look at the ailerons - looks like he countered some roll movement.

If only the upper wing tip is damaged, it would be odd that this would be from touching ground -

only a summersault could lead to this, but I guess your telephone/powerline idea is more plausible.

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JFM, look at the ailerons - looks like he countered some roll movement.

If only the upper wing tip is damaged, it would be odd that this would be from touching ground -

only a summersault could lead to this, but I guess your telephone/powerline idea is more plausible.

 

Be careful judging what happened during the flight from the position of the control surfaces of the wreck. The stick could have been moved after the plane stopped, such as being kicked while the pilot scrambled out (no doubt as hastily as possible with petrol fumes in his nostrils).

 

There does appear to be some sort of wire draped around the lower right wing. I don't think it's a rope because 1) there aren't any knots, and 2) it doesn't hang straight down or lie flat on surfaces, but is arched and even has kinks in it. Thus, I think it much more likely that to be something collected during the crash as opposed to something attached later to position the wreck. So where did it come from? If it's part of a fence, then it would be an electric fence, which I don't think was in use at that time and place. Thus, I think the best explanation is that it was a telephone or telegraph wire up on a pole, and that MvR either didn't see it or couldn't avoid it due to his lack of power. Either way, I'm sure it contributed to the final result and perhaps MvR's surprise as well.

 

My own main problem with landing the Dr.I is how at the critical moment the wings close off your forward view like a window blind :blink: . I agree with others that landing into the wind is absolutely critical to success. My own technique is to make a slightly nose-high 2-pointer and just let the thing roll as long as it wants to, using the wheels on the ground to stabilize the plane as the ailerons lose effectiveness.

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Here, Olham, photos from that prang last summer will show it better:

 

Dr1Wing1.jpg

 

Dr1wing2.jpg

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Ah, yes, this shows, how the wingtip would touch ground - thanks the pics, Jim!

I wonder if von Richthofen could have just put another prop on - wouldn't the propeller

axis possibly get bent?

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Yes, carrick, they do indeed behave the same way. I'm just building a 1/6 scale DR1 and am already anxious about ground handling and landungs - nose overs seem to be the norm. To be fair that one in the video was a dead stick landing in a ploughed field - he didn't have a lot going for him there.

 

Tanquillo: I hope to get into R/C this summer ( depending on taxes ) I look forward to trying to build a 2 winger after learning the basics.

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I wonder if von Richthofen could have just put another prop on - wouldn't the propeller axis possibly get bent?

 

I doubt the engine itself would be bent--it would be very strong compared to the stick and canvas airframe. More likely, the firewall would buckle or tear where the engine attached, rather than the engine itself bending. But either result would depend entirely on the airframe sommersaulting with enough momentum. Given that the airframe was very light and not moving very quickly, and that the firewall and its surrounding pieces were the strongest parts of it, I'd think it's entirely possible that there'd be no thrustline alteration. And that must have been the case in MvR's incident.

 

Note in JFM's photos who the Dr.I's prop didn't even break. I reckon it would be easier to break the prop than to misalign the engine.

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Yes, of course - but MvR's prop was broken. And even a slightly bent prop axis should cause severe misbalance.

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You know, it had never occurred to be before, but I think this thread shows why all WW1 national insignia were symmetrical. Roundels and crosses always are "right side up" even when the plane is upside down or standing on its nose. Doubtless this was a concession to how frequently the airplanes of the day had mishaps :grin:

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I rarely have to land in the DR1...... Except in the vertical..sort of , Spewing smoke and flames type way! :rofl:

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I rarely have to land in the DR1...... Except in the vertical..sort of , Spewing smoke and flames type way! :rofl:

I guess that's why they call it VTOL - Vertical takeoff and landing. :rofl:

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Tanquillo: I hope to get into R/C this summer ( depending on taxes ) I look forward to trying to build a 2 winger after learning the basics.

 

Good for you m8. Building and flying model aircraft is the best fun you can have with your clothes on.

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