WWI Era Aircraft
The Nieuport model 17 was one of the best of the classic small, single-gun rotary engine fighters of the Great War. It was highly maneuverable and had a fast climb rate, making it superior to early German aircraft. In combat against enemy ballons, small rockets could be affixed to the wing struts. French, British, and American squadrons all flew the model 17 with great success. The museum’s plane is painted as a typical United States Air Service training aircraft.
Engine: LeRhone 9Ja Rotary
Horsepower: 110 hp
Max Speed: 110 mph
Empty Weight: 825 lbs
Max Weight: 1,232 lbs
Ceiling: 17,390 feet
Armament: 1 x .303 Vickers MG, 1 x Lewis MG on wing
The Fokker D.VIII was the last German aircraft to be designed and flown in the First World War. It was also the last German plane to score an aerial victory. Its slim profile earned it the name “The Flying Razor” from Allied pilots. Only 85 D.VIII’s were actually in front-line service before the Armistice, but the plane proved to be a worthy compliment alongside the D.VII. Agile and easy to fly, pilots found the D.VIII to be and excellent all around fighter.
This D.VIII is painted in the scheme of Gotthard Sachsenberg, a German ace with 31 victories to his name and winner of the “Blue Max”. After the war, Sachsenberg designed and built the museum’s “Cottbus” aircraft hangar.
Manufacturer: Fokker Flugzuegwerke
Engine: Oberursel UR.II Rotary
Horsepower: 110 hp
Max Speed: 117 mph
Empty Weight: 893 lbs
Max Weight: 1,334 lbs
Ceiling: 19,685 feet
Armament: 2 x 7.92 Spandau MG08M
First flown in 1918, the Fokker C.I was a slightly enlarged two-seat version of the highly successful Fokker D.VII intended for reconnaissance. The Great War ended before the plane was introduced into service, and Anthony Fokker smuggled finished examples and parts out of Germany. Fokker ultimately sold these items to the Danes, Dutch, and Soviets as observation and training aircraft.Over 250 examples were produced, and the last C.I left service in 1936.
Engine: BMW IIIa
Horsepower: 185 hp
Max Speed: 109 mph
Empty Weight: 1,885 lbs
Max Weight: 2,767 lbs
Ceiling: 13,123 feet
Armament: 1 fixed forward machine gun, one trainable machine gun firing rearward
The Sopwith 1 ½ Strutter , first flown in 1915, was a WWI multi-role biplane with either one or two seats. It was the first British fighter to enter service with a synchronized machine gun, and it’s forward-firing Vickers and movable Lewis gun in the rear packed a considerable wallop.The Strutter was the first Sopwith to make a resounding name for itself. First flown in 1915 and introduced in 1916, Sopwith could not build enough of them and production was contracted from two other firms.
The Strutter served with the Royal Flying Corps, the Royal Navy, the French, the Americans and others in fighter, bomber, and observation roles. The RNAS called it the “Ships’ Strutter” in service from naval vessels.
Engine:Clerget 9B Rotary Engine
Horsepower: 130 hp
Max Speed: 100 mph
Empty Weight: 1305 lbs
Gross Weight: 12149 lbs
Ceiling: 15,500 feet
Wing Span: 33′ 6″
S.P.A.D. S.XIII “Replica”
“The best ship I ever flew”, according to no less than American ace Eddie Rickenbacker, the “SPAD” was a French biplane fighter that became one of the most capable and most produced aircraft of WWI, requiring nine different companies to ensure production.
In the first six months after they got SPADs. Les Cigognes, the famous French Stork squadron, shot down more than two hundred aircraft, a feat unequalled in the war.
By the end of the war, the SPAD equipped 15 of 16 American Fighter Squadrons. The SPAD on display was built in 2004, and is painted in the colors of Major Charles Biddle of the Lafayette Flying Corps and Escadrille 73. It is a 75% scale replica.
Manufacturer: Societe Pour L’Aviation et ses Derives
Engine: Hispano Suiza 8Be (Rotax 503 DC)
Horsepower: 220 hp
Max Speed: 135 mph
Weight: 1,863 lbs
Ceiling: 21,815 feet
Wing Span:27′ 1″
The Waco Aircraft Company of Ohio produced a wide range of aircraft between 1919 and 1947, and several companies operated under that name. The company ceased operations in 1947, suffering the same fate as many companies that anticipated a large post-war interest in aviation that failed to materialize.
The Waco Classic Aircraft Company was founded in 1983 that started production of new planes based on the 1935 YMF-5, the last of the classic barnstorming aircraft. The company used plans filed by the original company with the Library of Congress.
The museum’s aircraft was built in 1989, and was operated for 14 years carrying untold numbers of delighted passengers on sightseeing flights that introduce them to the sheer joy of the open cockpit flight of the classic biplane era.
Engine: Jacobs R755B2 Radial
Horsepower: 275 hp
Max Speed: 214 mph
Weight: 2,050 lbs. typically equipped
Upper Wing Span: 30 feet
Lower Wing Span: 26 feet 11.5 inches
Length: 23 feet 10 inches
Height: 8 feet 6 inches
The Albatros D.V single seat fighter was a single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Imperial German Air Service during WWI. By 1917, earlier versions of the series were being outclassed, and the D.V was delivered in May of 1917.
This type experienced a series of fatal crashes, caused by a tendency of the lower wing to begin fluttering and ultimately disintegrating in flight during sustained dives from high altitude.
After extensive aerodynamic testing, a field modification was developed. But even then the plane had little to offer. The Baron von Richthofen said of the D.V that it was “so obsolete and so ridiculously inferior to the English that one can’t do anything with this aircraft.”
Manufacturer: Albatros Flugzeugwerke
Horsepower: 200 hp
Max Speed: 187 mph
Weight: 2066 lbs
Ceiling: 18,045 feet
Armament: 2 x 7.92 mm lMG 8/15
Frenchman Louis Bleriot was intrigued by the possibility of flight ever since seeing experimental flying machines at the 1900 Paris Exhibition. Described as enthusiastic if not much of a planner, Bleriot built ten aircraft (all failures) including perhaps the most interesting failure – the wing-flapping “ornithopter”.
In 1908, the Daily Mail offered a prize of one thousand pounds sterling for the first person to cross the English Channel. Bleriot collaborated with Raymond Saulnier on the construction of the model XI, which first flew at the Paris Air Show in 1908.
The model XI was the worlds first successful monoplane, and Bleriot became the most celebrated man in Europe in 1909 by crossing the channel in bad weather, without even a compass , and “landing” in England after a flight of just under 37 minutes.
Engine: Anzani Three Cylinder
Horsepower: 25 hp
Max Speed: 75.6 mph
Weight: 1838 lbs
Ceiling: 3280 feet
Wing Span: 25ft 7in
Height: 8ft 10in
Fokker Dr.I – “Replicas”
The Fokker Dr.I collection of the museum may be the largest number of “Dreidecker” (meaning three wings) replicas in one place.
The Dr. is perhaps the most recognizable aircraft of WWI. It was thought by some to be too slow and too small until it became obvious that its superior maneuverability made it a potent weapon. Flying a prototype, Werner Voss shot down 10 British aircraft in six days of combat.
Baron von Richthofen shot down his last 20 aircraft in Dr.I’s and the Baron told Tony Fokker that it “climbed like a monkey and maneuvered like the devil”.
There are many replicas of the Dr.I flying, but no originals survive.
Manufacturer: Fokker Flugzeugwerke
Engine: Oberursel Ur.II 9-cylinder
Horsepower: 110 hp
Max Speed: 115 mph
Empty Weight: 895 lbs
Weight: 1,292 lbs
Ceiling: 12,000 feet
Armament: 2 x 7.92 Spandau IMG 08 MGs
Halberstadt CL.IV- “Replica”
Introduced in 1918, the Halberstadt CL.IV was designed to improve on the successful ground attack design of the CL.II. Design changes in the CL.IV gave it much greater maneuverability, and allowed it to better avoid ground fire.
In addition to the single machine gun controlled by the pilot, the rear gunner, sitting in his own ring-mount cockpit, fired a slightly different gun that had a superior rate of fire that could be directed at ground targets as well as air-to air defense.
The plane could also carry bombs and hand grenades arranged around the rear ring for the gunner to drop on targets of opportunity. Flights of four to six aircraft would fly as low as 100 feet from the ground to precede an infantry attack.
Engine: Mercedes D.III
Horsepower: 160 hp
Max Speed: 104 mph
Empty Weight: 1,605 lbs
Max Weight: 2,354 lbs
Nieuport 11 - “Replica”
The Nieuport model 11 was a French biplane of World War I, most often referred to as the “bebe” or the Nieuport Scout. It is famous as one of the aircraft that put an end to the first “Fokker scourge” by putting more formidable planes in the sky against the Germans.
The type reached the French front in 1916, and 90 were placed in service within a month. During the course of the Battle of Verdun in February of that year, the Nieuport 11 inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy, forcing a radical change in German tactics.
The Allies at the time did not have synchronized guns that fired through the propeller arc , so the gun was mounted on the top wing, which was problematic when the gun jammed or needed more ammunition.
Max Speed: 116 mph
Weight: 1200 lbs
Ceiling: 18,200 feet