Thursday, June 22, 2017

The "Monstrosity", the Fokker V.8


This aircraft would fall into the category of quintrupriplane. If there is such a word?
Historians debate why Fokker built such a craft and even one source, I’ve read, feels it may have been built on a bet to prove that five wings were no better than three.
Reinhold Platz, chief engineer for Fokker, most likely was involved in the design but it appears it may have been reluctantly. He would later refer to the V.8 as a monstrosity.

Regardless of the who, what and why of the crafts being it was/is an interesting “one of a kind”.
Using the successful Fokker Vl (prototype for the famous Dr.1 Triplane) fuselage as a platform Platz designed it with three wings at the extreme front of the aircraft and a pair of wings midway along the fuselage. As you can see from the picture the upper mid-fuselage wing is notched at the cockpit and the leading edges are in front of the rear of the cockpit.
Control surfaces were fitted to the upper wings, those at the front acting as conventional ailerons and those in the rear working with the elevators.
The V.8 was powdered by a water-cooled Mercedes engine, either a 120 hp or a 160 hp. I’ve seen both mentioned.

In October 1917 it made a short flight manned by Anthony Fokker himself. Evidently, corrections were in order, modifications were made and two weeks later another short flight was made. This was to be the V.8's last flight and the project was abandoned and the craft scrapped.

Unfortunately, like so many experimental prototypes the real reason behind the design has been lost in history.

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