By Colin Ballantine
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Extra resources for Vintage Russian: Props and Jets of the Iron Curtain Airlines
92 mm machine guns immediately forward of the cockpit FIRST FLIGHT DATE: December 1917 OPERATOR: Germany PRODUCTION: 2000+ 35 Created by Fokker's highly talented design team, the prototype D VII was completed in great haste in late 1917 so that it could enter the German D-Type standard fighter competition held at Adlershof in January/February 1918. Emerging the clear winner, the D VII design boasted a simple, yet strong, welded-steel tube fuselage and cantilever wing cellule. It was put into widespread production by Fokker, as well as licensees Albatros and its subsidiary OAW.
The soundness of the design was proven the following month when two pre-production prototypes were tested at the front by Richthofen and fellow ace Werner Voss. An incredibly manoeuvrable aircraft about all axes, and very tiring to fly, the Dr I proved formidable with a skilled aviator at the controls, despite being rather slow and restricted to combat at lower altitudes. Briefly grounded in November 1917 due to a spate of wing failures caused by poor workmanship, the aircraft had all but disappeared at the front by August 1918.
Von Ziegesar wrote the following in May 1933 VICTORY for a memorial volume that von Hantelmann's sister was writing about her late brother. He describes the action of 6 June 1918, when Jasta 15 attacked a flight of seven DH 4 bombers, probably from the RAF's No 27 Sqn, near Chaulnes. He erred in recalling their opponents as 'Frenchmen', a common enough mistake (aircraft identification 'Like a steer unbound, the was abysmal on both sides in World War 1). ' had two more DH 4's badly shot up, returning with wounded For some reason, photographs of Ltn d R Georg von Hantelmann are scarce.