In the spring of 1915 a deadly new war-machine would make an appearance in the skies over the Western Front-This was the German Fokker Eindecker (Monoplane) which was fitted with an innovative interrupter gear (invented by the talented Dutch engineer Anthony Fokker) which allowed the pilot to fire his Maxim-type LIMG 08/15 ‘Spandau’ machine guns through the propeller arc without endangering the propeller blades. The Eindecker was soon playing havoc with the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c units of the Royal Flying Corps in what became known as the ‘Fokker Scourge’-a period up to the summer of 1916 when Allied Fighter Aircraft would, at last, be able to counter the threat.
Of braced mid-wing configuration, the first of the single-seat Eindeckers was the (M.5k/IMG based) E.1 powered by an 80 hp Oberursel U.0 engine. This was followed by the M.14 E.II and M.14 E.III (100 hp Oberursel U.1 nine-cylinder rotary engine), and finally the M.15 E.IV (160 hp Oberursel U.3 and twin machine-guns).
Service Eindeckers had a maximum speed of 87 mph; a service ceiling of 11,480 ft; and an endurance of 1 hour 30 minutes. About 300 Fokker Eindeckers were produced.
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