The Scourge of Allied Airmen
With its mid-wing monoplane design and distinct comma tail, Fokker's E-series fighter is of the most recognizable aircraft of World War I. The Fokker E.III Eindecker -- meaning "single wing" -- was born when a machine gun and relatively dependable interrupter gear were mated with an existing airplane.
The E.III deserves a significant place in aviation history, not necessarily because of its aerial prowess, but because it was the first combat aircraft in the world to be equipped with a forward-firing, fixed machine gun synchronized to fire between the propeller blades. Looking back, however, historians note the result was nothing too amazing. The Eindecker was notoriously weak structurally and the firing mechanism was prone to failure _ sometimes causing a pilot to blow off his own propeller! But seen in the context of the air war at the time -- in the last days of 1915 -- the Eindecker meant everything.
German flyers like Max Immelmann and Oswald Boelcke flew these Fokker Eindeckers, hunting Allied machines and developing the groundwork of the fighter tactics that are still employed today.
The Museum's Fokker E.III was built in 1981 by Jim and Zona Appleby.