The Fokker D.III, Fokker designation M-19, was a direct development of the Fokker D.I, (Fokker designation M-17) and the Fokker D.II, (Fokker designation M.18).
These aircraft were designed by the chief designer Martin Kreuzer. Kreuzer was killed in a crash in june 1916 after a test flight with a Fokker D.I. He was succeeded by Reinhold Platz.
An explanation of the German designation at that time: First the name of the factory, than the type and type number, separated by a dot. So the official designation is in fact Fokker D.III; so naming like Fokker D-3, D-III etcetera are, from a historical point of view, incorrect.
The Fokker M.19 was in fact a modified Fokker D.II, equipped with an Oberursel U.3 engine, rated 160 hp and a wing area of 20 m2 . The Fokker D.I and Fokker D.II had a wing area of 22 m2 and 18 m2 respectively.
Initial the D.III was not equipped with ailerons. These early type D.III were designated M.19F (Flächenverwindung). Later the M.19 was modified with ailerons, which improved its manageability. This improved version was designated M.19K (Klappenverwindung). Most of the Fokkers D.III buyilt were of this latter type.
The Fokker D.III had a much better performance than it predecessors.
In September 1916 the well known German pilot Boelcke received a Fokker D.III. Initially he was very satisfied with the aircraft. He triumphed six times with the machine.
He noted soon that the aircraft was more sluggish than the Sopwith and much slower than the Nieuport Scout.
This caused him to replaced the aircraft with the faster Albatros D.I.
The D.III was withdrawn from the front and only used at home defence.
Several sources state that the Oberursel engine was an unreliable engine. Frits Gerdessen is not sure about this and states that merely the availability of this engine was a problem because of production capacity.
|Length:||6,3 m||Wingspan:||9,05 m|
|Height:||2,25 m||Wing area:||20 m2|
|Empty weight:||452 kg||Max. start weight:||710 kg|
|Max. speed:||160 km/u||Climbing speed:||- m/min|
|Cruising speed:||- km/u|
|Range:||220 km||Service ceiling:||4725 m|
|Engine type:||1 Oberursel U.3 van 160 pk|
|Armament:||Twee 7,9 mm Spandau LMG 08/15 mitrailleurs|