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Fokker K.1


stevehed
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Hi All,

Im going to try and build Anthony Fokkers only bomber of WW1. A little known aircraft that began life as a fighter and retained the original designation because AF was a rule unto himself. First, the back story and a little scene setting.

As aerial reconnaissance continued to prove its worth the need to prevent enemy aircraft from observing your own positions become more and more a necessity. Early pushers such as the Voisin and Farman mounted machine guns and began to take a toll on the German B types which in turn mounted defensive weaponry in the front cockpit in similar fashion to the British BE2. The spring/summer of 1915 saw the introduction of three different attempts to provide a viable aircraft with which to knock down enemy aircraft. First, Morane Saulnier fitted steel deflector plates to the propeller to prevent the bullets from an mg bolted to the top of the bonnet hitting the prop. This meant the pilot aimed the aircraft at his opponent. The Germans reversed the crew positions in their recce types and provided the observer with a ring mounted mg that could shoot within a wide arc mainly to the rear and sides. The third solution was also German and was the Kampfflugzeug, a multi place, usually twin engined aircraft with mgs in nose and mid positions and would be called today an early gunship. The single seat Morane led to further development of a synchronisation device which allowed the mg to fire between the prop blades and the first example, the Fokker E type monoplanes, led to the Fokker scourge and subsequent development of the single seat fighter saw this format prevail for the next twenty years. The Kampfflugzeugs proved to be indifferent offensive fighters, von Richofens apple barges from his observer days, but the basic design was adapted to become an effective series of heavy bombers. Fokkers attempt at a K type flew just before the Fokker Eindekkers were tested. Designated the M9 it had two rotary engines mounted front and back in a modified Eindekker fuselage. Of biplane configuration two engineless fuselages were located as booms with a cockpit carrying an mg in the front. It flew badly because the booms werent fixed rigidly together and the wing warping controls twisted the booms as well. Here's an example.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?oe=UTF-8&gfns=1&q=fokker+m9&gws_rd=cr&hl=en&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ved=0CBQQsARqFQoTCK3j-9jIjccCFQjFFAodp5gMlA&tbm=isch

With the success of the Fokker Eindekkers with the synchronised mg the M9 was forgotten about. But at the time it was felt the design had potential and could have been further developed. As the other K types were being developed into successful G type bombers some of Fokkers junior engineers sought permission to adapt the old M9 to meet the needs of mid 1916. As the majority of Germanys latest aircraft were using inline engines Fokkers men felt that sufficient quantities of the less desired rotaries would be available for some time yet. The wing span was increased and two extra boom mounted rotaries were added to increase the lifting capacity. The gunners were relocated to the rear and the observer/commander had access to an mg within a centre section cut out which commanded a 180 degree field of fire. By using many existing parts four aircraft were quickly constructed and one was tested to destruction by Idflieg before the others were sent to the Eastern front for evaluation. The remaining six aircraft were built by Junkers, at this time in collaboration with Fokker, as an exercise ordered by Idflieg to test the Junkers company's capacity to build a series of aircraft other than test/prototypes. These proved to be extremely well built and thought of and were delivered from January 1917 to various observation units in the East and used as long range recce types with an additional welcome capacity for bombing. Early evaluation by the bomber staffels during the Rumanian campaign had reported the K.1 flew well and possessed a more than adequate performance but lacked the load carrying performance of the AEG and Gothas, hence it was recommended for recce duties.

Occasional references to fights, chases and sightings of twin or three engined aircraft are mentioned in Russian sources and could have been K.1s. The type remained in service for the remainder of the conflict in the East but attrition took its toll and no K.1s made it back to Germany after the cessation of hostilities in November 1917.

I have five Revell Fokker E111s in the stash and all were bought with conversions in mind. Three and a half should be enough for the K.1 including all four sets of wings.

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Regards, Steve

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Hi All,

Got a start on the wings and have cut out the fuselage sections. This gives me two pieces of 2.5ins to use as the outer sections and I have to cut down the other two sections to two inches to remove the reinforced metal standing plate and the shaped wing tips. This will give a wingspan of 54 feet which I believe will be sufficient for an aircraft of this type. Both wings will be constructed in the same manner and will be equal span. I’m going to drill holes in the sides and use plastic rod as retaining pins.

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Regards, Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Evening All,

Have got the wings assembled and the joints treated with filler. Ailerons were scored into the upper wing and a cut out was made in the lower centre section to accommodate the fuselage. A cut down E111 has had a second cockpit cut out and dry runs have shown that a rotary back and front should fit ok. Rear end will need building up with card but it should go together alright. To date.

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Regards, Steve

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Been soldiering on with the fiddly bits that won't be seen but still need to be done for peace of mind. Raised the rear decking of the centre nacelle to match the cowling. In my minds eye there are fuel tanks under here so I'll add a filler cap too. I've added the side fillets to the front engine cowling and filled the E111 wing gaps. I haven't added the fillets to the rear section as the main use seems to be to direct the waste oil below the aircraft and away from the crew section. Instead I added a sheet of plastic card to the rear of the cowling to block off any oil escape in the same manner as the Morane and Pfalz monoplanes. I was going to leave the cowling off but then thought the poor old rear gunners would get a good drenching of oil and that wasn't on hence the cowling to force the oil out into the slipstream. Internally the seats were fixed to the lower wing centre section and a generic instrument panel and a couple of bulkheads, the central one with a map table attached were added using plastic card. A bomber type wheel control column exists in the spares and with the crew will suffice.

Next job was to cut off the engine sections from the two E111 fuselages that are to become the booms. About a mille and a half behind the undercarriage cut out. These will receive the cowling, engine and fillets but the fuselages need to be lengthened by the wing chord which is an inch. I used 60 thou card with the bottom edges shaped to match the wing curvature as best as i could. Thank the lord for filler. Two bulkheads to assist rigidity and the top decking will be laminated card filed to shape before the remainder of the fuselages are reattached. Will need to ponder proceedings before I progress any farther so I'm going to paint the lower wing surfaces next as I find brushwork strangely thereputic.

Regards, Steve

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This one is taking shape nicely. I still can't imagine how it will look once complete and that makes each of your updates all the more interesting :)

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Got some more done. Under sides of wings are a nice pale Spanish Blue which looks quite close to Fokker's turquoise to my eyes. Uppers are to be red brown and dark green The booms have been lengthened with card and the fuel tanks are within these sections. The booms need the engines added and then can be attached to the wings. Finally, made the hole in the upper wing for the gunner. Drilled a pilot hole and then larger drills until I could get a circular file into it. Mine is from my chainsaw set and eats plastic. The gun ring is copper wire wrapped around my tyre pressure gauge which is spot on for size.

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Regards, Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the comments. Starting to come together now with the booms connected to the wings. Cockpits got a seat from cut sprue and some round plastic was used to create a couple of mg mags.Observer/gunners will fill the rest of the space up. Some filler is needed where the booms joint to the wings but I've got the rigging holes already drilled in this area. Had a bit of a think about the rear elevators and tail area. At first, having read that Anthony Fokker was impressed with the Albatros tail surfaces, I thought about adapting an Albatros D111 tail unit I have lying about gathering dust. But the more I looked at it made me decide it would have been too big and cumbersome for an aircraft of this size. So I took a look at the Ago C.1 which also sported twin booms and used this design as my template and kept the familiar Fokker comma rudders with a tail fin copied from those added to the early Fokker D type fighters.

Regards,

Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for all the comments. Quite a bit steady progress since last time with the tail unit complete. Tail skids are from the kits as are the rudders. Bit of detail in the rear cockpits which is not easy to see. Some round sprue was cut up to represent ammunition drums and some more sprue was used to make a couple of crude cameras, one for each pit. Theory is that while one camera is in use the other two gunners are on watch. Decided to dry run top wing installation but I couldn’t get anything to stay in place long enough to check it out. So a dab of glue was added and the upper wing is now in place with most of the cabane struts doing the work. There’s plenty of room so shouldn’t have much bother getting the inside rigging wires in place. At least that’s the theory. Painted the fuselage undersides and had my usual trouble of not being able to match a home made colour a second time despite making a note of the proportions. I suppose my three drips off the end of a cocktail stick to one of another isn’t really scientific enough. The white drips must have been bigger this time or perhaps the lunar eclipse had something to do with it. Although on second thoughts the wings were supplied by Fokker pre-painted but Junker had to find more paint to do the fuselages hence the difference. Still can see the finishing line now.

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Regards, Steve

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have made a start on the rigging using invisible thread. Limited myself to the inner sections as I was still in two minds as to the outer strut arrangement. I had intended a simple two bay two single strut layout but I had forgotten about the upper wing ailerons which had reduced the width of the chord available. In the end I went for simplicity and narrowed the gap between the struts but not before a bit play about with the outer struts, First I made a V strut but decided it would need extra rigging to stop the leading edge fluttering before adding another leg to create the Fokker N strut of later renown. Extra rigging, voluntarily, oh no. Next was a trial run with the undercarriage. Again in two minds as I intended to use rod and construct a V type but I got to thinking that with other E111 conversions I was going to end up with six or seven spare undercarriages. So I decided to use a couple on this build. Rest of rigging to finish off and I’ve sorted the mg gun rails and some small bombs. If life doesn’t interfere too much shouldn’t be long now.

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Regards, Steve

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Thanks Stew. Try to keep them within the bounds of realism.

Got the rigging finished and now to paint the struts and undercarriage. Light grey I think. Rear gun rails in place and made from Evergreen plastic rod. Even managed to make some mgs from plastic strip. Bit crude but will do when observed using the six foot rule. Wheels will be a bit different and will be wood reflecting on the rubber shortage in Germany as the war went on and the reality of my spares box.

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Regards,

Steve

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Hi All,

Not far to go now. Paint needs touching up and one of the wing crosses has lifted and will probably have to be punctured to get the air from out under. Made the upper gun ring from copper wire and the bomb racks are plastic strip which the bombs will hide. Fiddly bits still to do include windscreens for the rear gunners, a couple of spare barriers to keep flying ice and oil at bay, footsteps, bombs and mgs. Not forgetting the props. Had intended to add fuel pipes from hss from the wing tanks to the motors etc but had to give up. Should have located them before the rigging. Just cannot get at them now without breaking something. Doh! Never mind I have a good imagination.

Regards,

Steve

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