Dornier D.I

The Dornier D.I was considered during its development as one of the most advanced aircraft of its time. Almost completely clad with sheet metal and a cantilevered upper wing, however, the plane came too late to be used during the war.


Development and construction:

1917 began the aircraft designer Claude Dornier as head of the Zeppelin Werk Lindau GmbH (only in 1922 he founded the Dornier-Werke GmbH) with the development of a single-seat fighter pilot for the German army.

In particular, the Donier D.I distinguished two features from other aircraft. For one, the upper wing was attached to the hull without tension wires with four struts, making it one of the few self-supporting biplanes of its time. On the other hand, the aircraft was mostly covered with duralumin, which should protect it especially against enemy fire.

The first flight took place on 4 June 1918, but could not convince many German officers and pilots, as these were deterred by the very advanced construction. A deadly crash of Captain Wilhelm Reinhard in July 1918 and the disappointing performance during the third D-Type competition made sure that this aircraft was no longer in production.


Dornier D.I


Dornier D.I




Use in the First World War:

Due to the bad economic situation at the end of the war and the unconvincing performance of the aircraft, this was no longer built in series. Even the few prototypes were no longer used at the front.

After the war, however, two aircraft were confiscated by the United States and tested there by the Army Air Corps and the US Navy to gain experience for their own aircraft. The only copy remaining in Germany was destroyed during World War II in a bombing raid on the Dornier Company Museum.




Technical specifications:

Designation: Dornier D.I
Country: German Empire
Typ: Fighter plane
Length: 6,4 meters
Span: 7,8 meters
Height: unknown
Mass: 725kg empty
Crew: Max. 1
Engine: Water-cooled 6-cylinder in-line engine BMW IIIa with 185 hp
Maximum speed: 200 km/h
Reach: unknown
Armament: 2 x synchronized machine guns 7,92 mm LMG 08/15






You can find the right literature here:


Fokker Dr I Aces of World War 1 (Aircraft of the Aces)

Fokker Dr I Aces of World War 1 (Aircraft of the Aces) Paperback – Bargain Price, August 25, 2001

Undoubtedly the most famous fighter type to see service on either side during World War 1, the Fokker Dr I was a revelation when it entered service on the western front in 1917. Manfred von Richthofen’s JG 1 ‘circus’ was the first Jasta to completely re-equip with the new fighter, and in the skilled hands of its numerous aces the Dr I proved a formidable opponent. The Dr I remained in service on the Western Front until replaced by the superior Fokker D VII in May 1918. Just weeks prior to that, however, Germany’s leading ace, the great ‘Red Baron’, had been killed at the controls of a Dr I.

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Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI: A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes (Great War Aviation) (Volume 21)

Friedrichshafen Aircraft of WWI: A Centennial Perspective on Great War Airplanes (Great War Aviation) (Volume 21) Paperback – February 16, 2016

This book describes and illustrates the development of Friedrichshafen aircraft of WWI with text, 540 photos, 18 in color, 37 color profiles, production quantities and serial numbers of aircraft, and aircraft dimensions and performance specifications. In addition, there are 26 official SVK drawings and 11 aircraft are illustrated in scale drawings to 1/48 (4) or 1/72 (7) scales. The book has 312 pages and is of interest to aviation historians, enthusiasts, and modelers alike.

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German and Austro-Hungarian Aircraft Manufacturers 1908-1918

German and Austro-Hungarian Aircraft Manufacturers 1908-1918 Paperback – December 15, 2010

Much has been written about the British aircraft of the First World War, but little has surfaced about the aircraft of the Axis powers, Germany and Austria. Here, Terry C. Treadwell tells the story of the aircraft from companies such as Fokker, builder of the famous triplane, as fl own by Baron von Richthofen's Flying Circus, AEG, Albatros, Junkers and Hansa. From reconnaissance aircraft to state-of-the-art bombers that could reach London, this is the definitive guide to aircraft of the Axis powers during the First World War. The aircraft are explained in detail and a history of each company is provided, making this an excellent source book for aircraft enthusiasts, model makers and those interested in the air war over the trenches of France and Belgium, as well as further afield in the Italian campaign.

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The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division

The Zeppelin in Combat: A History of the German Naval Airship Division Hardcover – January 9, 1997

The standard reference now revised and expanded. Dr. Robinson has opened up his vast photo archives to enhance this new edition of his classic work. Much of the new photographic material is published here for the first time.

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