THE FLIGHT OF THE RED BARON

800px-Anthony_Fokker_1912

 

Most of us have heard of the Red Baron of World War I through the antics of Charles Schulz cartoon character, Snoopy.  The persistent beagle dons his leather pilot’s helmet, goggles and white silk scarf, ascends to the top of his doghouse and begins to take battle with the Red Baron.  What you may not know is that the designer of the Fokker Triplane, used in World War I by flying ace,  Manfred von Richtofen was Anthony Fokker, who was born on this day in 1890.

Anthony was born in what is now known as Indonesia, the son of a Dutch coffee plantation owner.  When he was only four the family moved back to the Netherlands so their children could have a Dutch upbringing.  The boy was not studious and didn’t finish high school, but he had a mechanical mind and loved experimenting with steam engines, model trains and airplanes.

When he turned twenty, the Wright Brothers were gaining public attention with their flying machines.  In France during that year, Fokker was witness to Wilbur Wright’s flying exhibition and became impassioned with flying.  He was sent by his father to Germany to receive training as an automobile mechanic, but his interest was in flying, so he transferred to the Erste deutsche Automobil-Fachschule in Mainz.  That same year Fokker built his first aircraft which was destroyed by his business partner who flew it into a tree. He gained his flying certificate  in his second “Spin” aircraft, which shortly thereafter was also destroyed by the same business partner.  That ended the partnership.

When World War I broke out, the German government took command of Fokker’s factory, but the aviator remained in charge as director and designer of most of the aircraft that came out of it.  After the war’s end, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles  forbade Germany to build any aircraft or aircraft engines.  In 1919 Fokker returned to the Netherlands and started a new aircraft company.  His nickname became “the flying Dutchman.”

In or about 1926 or 1927, Fokker moved to the United States, where he established the North American branch of his company, the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation. He eventually sold his American aircraft plants to General Motors, where they became the company’s General Aviation division.

Fokker died at age 49 in New York in 1939 from pneumococcal meningitis, after a three-week-long illness.

And to think, without his design of the Fokker Tri-plane, Snoopy would simply sitting idly on the roof of his dog house.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANTHONY FOKKER!

 

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About atimetoshare.me

As I reach the end of my years, I find I have a lot of good information stored up in this old decrepit mind of mine. If I don't write it all down, it may vanish and no one will have the advantage of my thoughts. This is why this blog exists. I love the Lord, Jesus with all my heart and soul. I know I'm undeserving of all He's done for me, but I also know that His love is beyond my comprehension. I've always wanted to write. I never kept diaries, but tucked my thoughts in my head for future reference. I use them now in creating stories, plays, poetry and my blog. I continue to learn every day. I believe the compilation of our time spent with God will have huge affect on the way we live. I know I'm a sinner and I need a Savior. I have One through Jesus, Christ. My book, "Stages - a memoir," is about the seven stages of life from the perspective of a woman. It addresses all the things girls and women go through in life as they travel it with Jesus, and it is available on Amazon.com.
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4 Responses to THE FLIGHT OF THE RED BARON

  1. Oh my gosh!!!!!—how ironic is this…today while I was dusting, I picked up a book that had been my dad’s and originally my granddad’s — The Red Knight of Germany: The Story of Baron von Richthofen by Floyd Gibbons. I picked up the yellowed paged book, published in 1927, and thumbed through it and decided I’d use a quote from the book, working it into tomorrow’s post…
    Great minds or what!!!!????
    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. hatrack4 says:

    Yes, sitting idly on the roof of his doghouse. Love it.

    No, I actually fell in love with biplane and triplane models as a freshman in high school. I had the Fokker monoplane, biplane, and triplane. When I took World History as a sophomore, we did the contract thing (experimental at the time in MS for just a few schools). I took the A-contract. For WWI, a friend (who ended up at West Point) and I built a sandbox with a full battle scene. I had my great uncle’s trench warfare military text (an LT in the Army during that time), so we had two different styles of trenches, accurate to the time period. Complete with green army men, tinker toy artillery, jacks and crafting wire in no-man’s land, etc.

    We used clothes hangers to suspend the airplane models in mock dogfights above the trenches.

    Of course, we never got any of it back. The teacher wanted to use it for future years.

    Liked by 1 person

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