Fokker E.III

The Fokker E.III was the main variant of the Dutch Fokker Eendekker (monoplane) fighter aircraft of the First World War. It entered service on the Western Front in December 1915 and was also supplied to the allied Central Powers of Austria-Hungary and Turkey.

Fokker E.III
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Fokker
Origin Germany
Country Name Origin Year
Germany 1915
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Bulgaria View
Germany View
Turkey (Ottoman Empire) View
Austria-Hungary 1915 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Fokker 249 View

The E.III was basically an E.II fitted with larger, newly designed wings that had a slightly narrower chord of 1.80 meter (70-7/8 in), compared to 1.88 meter (74 in) on the earlier Eindeckers, going back to Fokker's original M.5 monoplane aircraft. The E.III retained the same 75 kW (100 hp) Oberursel U.I engine, and therefore also used the larger diameter "horseshoe" pattern cowling that also mandated the inclusion of the E.II's soffit-like extensions to the sides of the upper nose sheet metalwork, but had a larger 81 l (21.5 gal) drum-shaped main fuel tank just behind the cockpit, which increased the Eindecker??'?s endurance to about 2¬Ĺ hours; an hour more than the E.II. Most E.IIIs were armed with a single 7.92 mm (.312 in) Spandau LMG 08 machine gun with 500 rounds of ammunition; however, after the failure of the twin-gun Fokker E.IV as a viable successor, some E.IIIs were fitted with twin guns.

Fokker production figures state that 249 E.IIIs were manufactured; however, a number of the 49 E.IIs were upgraded to E.III standard when they were returned to Fokker's Schwerin factory for repairs.

The E.III was the first type to arrive in sufficient numbers to form small specialist fighter units, Kampfeinsitzer Kommandos (KEK) in early 1916. Previously, Eindeckers had been allocated singly, just as the E.I and E.II had been, to the front-line Feldflieger Abteilungen that carried out reconnaissance duties. On 10 August 1916, the first German Jagdstaffeln (single-seat fighter squadrons) were formed, initially equipped with various early fighter types, including a few E.IIIs, which were by then outmoded and being replaced by more modern fighters. Standardisation in the Jagdstaffeln (and any real success) had to wait for the availability in numbers of the Albatros D.I and Albatros D.II in early 1917.

Turkish E.IIIs were based at Beersheba in Palestine while others operated in Mesopotamia during the Siege of Kut-al-Amara.

Role Fighter
Manufacturer Fokker-Flugzeugwerke
Designer Anthony Fokker
First flight 1915
Introduction December 1915
Primary user Luftstreitkr√§fte
Produced 1915-1916
Number built 249
Variants Fokker E.I - Fokker E.II

General characteristics

  • Crew: one, pilot
  • Length: 7.30 m (23 ft 11 in)
  • Wingspan: 10.04 m (32 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 2.49 m (8 ft 2 in)
  • Loaded weight: 349 kg (770 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 x Oberursel U.I 9-cylinder air-cooled rotary engine, 100 hp (75 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 150 km/h (93 mph)
  • Range: 220 mi (360 km)
  • Service ceiling 3,600 m (11,810 ft)
  • Endurance: 2 hr 45 min


  • 1 x 7.92 mm (0.31 in) MG 08 machine gun

End notes