Anthony Fokker modified the French Morane-saulnier H as a single-seat light reconnaissance aircraft, designated the M.5. First flown in 1913, the M.5 became the prototype of Fokker’s famed Eindecker fighter. Improvements over the French design included a lengthened fuselage, with a chrome-molybdenum steel tubing covered by fabric rather than a wooden frame. The rudder was reshaped to resemble a comma, and the fixed undercarriage and landing gear were constructed with the bracing pylons below the wings. The primary production E.III variant was improved over earlier designs, with its larger horseshoe cowling and wings with narrower chord, or distance from the leading to trailing edge. Sheet metal surfaces were distinctive with ‘engine turning’, the appearance of machined geometric patterns.
The Fokker Eindecker was a menacing sight in 1915. It was a challenge to fly, but in the hands of skilled pilots it dominated the air during the ‘Fokker Scourge’
German ground crewmen pose with their Fokker Eindecker
RIGHT: Anthony Fokker designed successful aircraft for the German armed forces during WWI, including Eindeckers, the D.VII biplane and the famous DR.I triplane