DR1 vs Camel

Discussion in 'World War I' started by palidian, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. palidian

    palidian New Member

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    I am having some problems with consistent or reliable statistics The DR1 seems to have a top speed of 115mph at sea level, and 102mph at 13k feet. The camel seems to be all over the place, depending on engine type and person you talk to. I have speed ranges that tend to be around 115-117, however some break it down by engine, and give speeds in the 120's. The camel is heaver and has more drag then the DR1. Generally speaking heaver planes with more drag do not fly faster. Camels had engines from 100 HP to 150 HP. I cannot find any production numbers.

    Ideas? Comments?
     
  2. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    Can I ask where your information came from re the drag of the DR1? With an extra wing I would expect it to have a lot of drag.
     
  3. palidian

    palidian New Member

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    I found it a couple places, they seem to go along with wiki. The total wing area on the DR1 is less, the camel had two longer wings, in addition the camel used cables to hold the wings together. The problem I am having is finding a reliable speed for the camel.
     
  4. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    My source, Ray Wagner's "American Combat Planes", list the Camel F-1 with 130 hp Clerget 9-bc engine with a top speed at 113 mph at 6500', 106.5 (??) mph at 10000', and a service ceiling of 19000'.

    "The Illustrated Directory of Fighters", by Spick says, for the same plane, a top speed of 115 mph at 6500', and 113 mph at 10000'

    I am sure both are well within the measurement and manufacturing error of WW I, so you don't need to get too serious about accuracy. Take an average.
     
  5. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

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    I am pretty sure that top speeds would be calculated from time trials over a measured distance. In which case, you have to factor in atmospheric conditions, factors affecting weight such as fuel load and pilot's body mass, and the fact that someone with a stopwatch and eyeball would have been taking the measurements. All told, there is quite a margin of error present, certainly enough to account for the discrepancies you have recorded.

    From a purely personal point of view, I don't think top speed is all that useful an indicator in any combat aircraft. In order to reach that speed in level flight, the aircraft would would have to fly without maneuvering for some time and distance. In combat, that would make it a dead plane very quickly...
     
  6. Civettone

    Civettone Active Member

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    That seems a bit simplistic. First, top speed is important when trying to intercept an enemy aircraft. Second, even in a manoeuvre the faster fighter will close in on the enemy fighter making that same manoeuvre.

    Kris
     
  7. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I was surprised to learn today that at least one German Ace actually flew a captured Camel in combat and scored at least one kill while doing so. The pilot was Otto Kissenberth who had 20 kills to his name when he was badly hurt in a flying accident. The plane he shot down in the Camel was an SE5a.
     
  8. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Interesting. Is there any information on his thoughts on the aircraft?
     
  9. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I am afraid not, all I can add is that his unit was equipped with the Albatros DVa which wasn't the hottest plane in the air, so it could simply be that he believed the Camel to be a better fighter. Had he flown the Camel in preference to a Fokker D VII, that would have been really interesting.
     
  10. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I think you're thinking of wing area only when considering wing drag and not ever remembering the much greater interferance drag of a triplane verses a biplane.
    Plus the triplane has more total wing span, so more lift drag also.
     
  11. Rivet

    Rivet Member

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    One observation I'd like to make here is regarding performance as dictated by conditions. The wooden framed, fabric covered aircraft of the period soaked up water with alacrity, even from ambient atmospheric humidity. Weight. Also, fuels of the period were anything but standardized- The engine horsepower ratings mentioned in a post above might be from measurements from the same engine with fuels of from 40 to 60 octane and Castrol lubricant that varied in viscosity from near water to molasses. It took British engineer Samuel Heron to sort out the fuels and lubes, this not until years after the first war ended. Regards
     
  12. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I just cannot help thinking that if the DR1 was as good as its reputation it would have been built in greater numbers. At the end of the day it was only kept in the front line for a short time and built in very limited numbers.

    Only 320 were built compared to the 2,500 ish Albatros DV which according to legend was inferior. Germany wouldn't have made that choice without good reason.
     
  13. looney

    looney Member

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    IIRC The DR1 was a copy of the sopwhith triplane. In the hand of a capable pilot (M.v Richthofen, his brother, Voss etc etc) it was a great fighter. But it could only outturn and outclimb the camel. A camel pilot could always run away, allthough it would take a while. The Spads where even faster.

    The Dr1 is in fact a 3.5 wing plane the .5 wing is between the landing struts.
     
  14. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I think you will find that the concept of a triplane was caused by the Sopwith Triplane, but the design itself is very different.
     
  15. looney

    looney Member

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    I reread some of my old recourses, the german command demanded a dreidecker, or the pilots did. And the other group, didn't like it. Thus it got old real fast and they got better designs.

    It was a true fokker design. no vertikal tail only rudder etc etc
     
  16. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    The Dr I was initially designed as a biplane by Reinhold Platz, Fokker's chief designer. He finished the design as a triplane at Anthony Fokker's request.
    The origional design was finished as the D VI, it was faster and had a better rate of climb than the triplane. About 60 produced.

    I think the reason neither the Dr I, or D VI were produced in quantities was that Fokker came up with a much better mousetrap, the D VII.
     
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