The Fokker Eindecker was a warplane used by German forces during the First World War in their many air battles against the Royal Flying Corps. The RFC, as well as the Royal Naval Air Corps, lost many of their ranks to the plane. Britons now have the same reverence for the model that anyone might have for a particularly inimitable foe. One man in particular has so much reverence for the Fokker Eindecker that he has decided to create his own.
Mike Clark is a pilot from West Sussex with a degree of skill in airplane mechanics. He is not simply proud of the plane he has built because of its role in the war, but its role in history overall. No one-man fighter plane came before it, at least none worthy of mention to most pilots. The Fokker Eindecker E.III was not only a scourge of the skies in the eyes of the Allied forces, but it was also a relative feat of engineering for the time. This meant that most pilots were unable to stand against it. By creating his own, Clark has enabled himself to fly a piece of history as if it were brand new, rather than 100 years old.
Since it is a replica plane, Clark’s model is not exactly the same as those used during the First World War. For instance, his machine gun is not fully functional. The most that Clark’s Fokker Eindecker can really do is fly, but it must do so fairly well for he is often seen in the cockpit, flying over the open air of West Sussex. The plan does not fly much faster than most automobiles, but in a way this helps Clark save money; he is able to use regular gasoline rather than jet fuel.
It only took Clark about a year and a half to build his replica. This is because he did not have to find the parts himself, but rather found a kit for sale that came with everything he needed to build a completely functional Fokker Eindecker. Just because it is functional does not mean, however, that it is easy to fly. As a commercial airline pilot, Clark has noticed a great difference in the way his replica plane handles turbulence. As a result, he can only fly at certain times, the Mail Online reports.
The Fokker Eindecker was known as an adversarial masterpiece during the First World War, but now it has become the hobby of a West Sussex man who is the adversary of no one. The fact that anyone can build such a replica if they so choose makes it highly accessible as a hobby. Anyone with the ability to fly and a reverence for the Fokker Eindecker would likely gain quite a bit from owning a kit similar to Clark’s.