Fokker DR.1 Triplane 213/17 'K', Lt. Friedrich 'Fritz' Kempf, Jasta 2 'Boelcke', Proville by Cambrai Aerodrome, France, May 1917
The pace of aviation development throughout the First World War was nothing short of astonishing and saw the aeroplane become a critical component of any future military planning. Initially required to allow accurate observation of enemy positions and troop movements, it quickly became apparent that denying the enemy the ability to obtain this type of reconnaissance information would be vital and the �rst aerial duels began to take place. Early exchanges were nothing more than pilots shooting at their adversaries using their service revolvers, but specially designed �ghter aircraft soon began to appear, determined to gain superiority of the air. Perhaps the most famous German �ghter of the First World War was the Fokker Dr.1 Triplane, or Dreidecker, which was produced to counter the British Sopwith Triplane introduced so successfully during the Battle of Arras in April 1917. Produced in relatively small numbers, the DR.1 was operated by elite units and in the hands of such ace pilots as Manfred von Richthofen, earned the aircraft a fearsome reputation.