Re: Interesting Fok DVII Color Scheme

Bill Shatzer (
Wed, 25 Oct 1995 23:03:42 -0700

> I noticed an interesting picture in Windsock Datafile 9.
> On page 5 the bottom picture shows the only ply-covered fuselage
>Fokker DVII built (w/n 2268). The wings and horizontal tail seem to be
>covered in a small hex pattern lozenge pattern. I can't tell the colors
>from the BW picture, but the haxagons are small and regular (ie even sided
>and even angled) much like Naval lozenge. Only the upper wing surface is
>visible. The fuselage looks like its only laquered (sp?). The work numbers
>are not visible.

Neat! I've probably looked at this photo a dozen times and I
never really noticed this before. I've spent a half hour looking
at this photo and its like those 3-D pictures - sometimes I see
the 'hex' pattern and sometimes I'm convinced its just a lozenge
camouflage with the light playing tricks. There is a photo of the
Fokker V.38 on page 41 of Nowarra's 'The Fokker Dr.1 and D.VII in
World War I" which is clearly in some type of lozenge pattern but,
if you kinda squint, sorta gives the same effect as the photo you
referenced. And, counting out and scaling out the 'dark' areas
seems to give about the same spacing.

But, ultimately, I think you're right - it _is_ some sort of hex pattern.
So, the question is "why"? AFAIK, Fokker didn't built any naval
aircraft - why would they have a 'naval-type' fabric pattern fabric
laying around to cover this aircraft? Is it, in fact, naval 'hex'
camouflage? It looks just a triffle small to me. Maybe a 'test'
fabric sample that was rejected in favor of the adopted 4 and 5
color lozenge fabrics? Heck if I know - this is one of the things
that makes WW1 aircraft so fascinating.

And, your observation that the forward 'center-section' strut is mounted
higher on the fuselage than on a 'normal' D.VII is correct as well -
again, something I hadn't picked up on before. (it seems to be
slightly further aft as well) Again, the question is 'why'?
If you look at the photos of the D.VII with the engine panels removed
on page 21 of the Datafile, its obvious that the strut has to be
attached to the curved fuselage 'stringer' (or whatever its called)
immediately above the straight stringer the forward 'center-section'
strut is attached to in the 'normal' D.VII. I can't figure out any
rational reason for this change.

Hmmm! I do love a mystery and I think you've uncovered one. Anyone
else have any speculations?


Bill Shatzer - - -