Wings of Honor
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Dawn Of Aces - Tutorials




Flying the Fokker Dr.I in DOA


by =skrp=
DoA Training Staff



FOKKER DR.I STATS:

Top speed: 109mph
Best climb speed: 60mph
Guns: 2 MG, Spandau 7.9mm, fixed forward

The Fokker Dr1 was a small, nimble fighter that saw service between September 1917, and June 1918. Less than 330 Dr1's were produced, and the number serving at the Front, at any given time was never large. It's main claim to history, is as the last mount of Manfred von Richthofen. It also earned a lasting reputation as a formidable dogfighter.

That reputation is borne out in the performance of the Dr1 available to pilots in Dawn of Aces. A well handled Dr1 is a deadly attacker, and a difficult target. It is easy (and fun) to fly and fairly forgiving if you make an aerial blunder. It is wonderfully maneuverable, and capable of the sort of acrobatic kills that leave you with a grin from ear to ear.

However, it does have some serious limitations that need to be taken into consideration, if you wish to get it back to your aerodrome. A short listing of stengths and weaknesses will help in understanding.


STRENGTHS:

1) Manoeuverability. The Dr1 has excellent overall maneuverability. Given enough Energy, it has the turning ability to acquire a firing solution on any other aircraft in the arena. It performs well in both the horizontal and vertical.

Level turns
(in seconds)
LH Deg./Sec. RH Deg./Sec.
90 Deg. Full Power 3.50 25.71 3.00 30.00
180 Deg. Full Power 5.50 32.72 5.25 34.28
360 Deg. Full Power 10.25 35.12 10.00 36.00

 

Turn Performance at Corner Speed (125mph IAS)
Level turns
(in seconds)
LH Deg./Sec. RH Deg./Sec.
90 Deg. 2.75 32.72 2.75 32.72
180 Deg. 4.50 40.00 4.50 40.00
360 Deg. 9.00 40.00 9.00 40.00

 

Sustained Turn Performance
Left Hand 12.50 28.80
Right Hand 12.25 29.38

 

2) Visibility. The views are good in all directions. If you can keep your adversary in sight, your odds of surviving and prevailing are enhanced. SA, or Situational Awareness, is extremely important to the quick decisions that need to be made in the thick of a fight. The Dr1 has outstanding SA potential.

3) Rudder response. No other plane in the arena can match the Dr1's abilty to use it's rudders to help prolong a tracking shot, or create a firing solution you didn't think you could aquire. Care must be taken however, not to over do it, or you will end up accelerating Energy loss. Pick your spots. If you are pelting through a furball, on a high speed B&Z, don't do anything to degrade your Energy state. Take a snap shot and keep on going. If, however, you are in a 1v1 and have a chance to end it NOW, by stomping on the rudder,by all means, do so.


WEAKNESSES:

1) Power. The 110hp rotary modeled in the Dr1, is the least powerful engine of the six aircraft available in version 1.2. Acceleration, top speed, and climbrate all suffer as a result. The Camel can easily outclimb the Dr1. The Spad VII can as well.

2) "Energy" retention. The three thick wings of the Dr1, coupled with it's relatively weak engine, cause it to 'bleed' energy more quickly than a Camel performing an identical maneuver. Great care must be taken to ensure that you don't degrade your energy state with unnecessarily violent maneuvers. Once you get 'low and slow', your list of options shrinks dramatically.

3) Roll rate. The Dr1 has a rather slow roll rate. The Camel has ailerons on both the upper and lower wings.  The Dr1 has them only on the upper wing. Avoid getting into a 'flat scissors' with a Camel. You will consistently 'lose' in the turns. The same thing applies to turning fights, down low, where a well flown Camel can jump inside your reversals.

Roll Perfomance
Aileron Rolls LH Deg./sec RH Deg./sec
90 Deg. @ 109 mph 2.50 36.00 2.50 36.00
90 Deg. @ 125 mph 2.25 40.00 2.25 40.00
180 Deg. @ 109 mph 5.00 36.00 5.00 36.00

 

The trick of course is to fly in a way that will use your strengths to best advantage, and mask your weaknesses.

TACTICS:

1v1. It is always a good idea to try to secure an altitude advantage, before engaging your opponent. The relatively weak engine of the Dr1 makes this more important than ever.

At the merge, if you have an altitude advantage, offset to one side or the other, so your opponent does not have a clear head-on shot on. When you have the advantage there is no need to give them a chance to kill, or damage you. Start a shallow dive, and let your speed build to pproximately 150 mph IAS. Just before you cross, go into a vertical lead turn. Use your view to keep them in sight, as you go over the top. If they were climbing to meet you, they will be meat on the table, slow and wallowing about. At the top of your loop, you can roll out on their six, and finish them quickly. If a Camel follows you up until he stalls watch for him to fall off to HIS right. Do a 'hammerhead' stall and drop down on him. You can also continue your vertical until near the stall, (a touch of left rudder will keep you from twisting right, as you get real slow), chop the throttle when you get to about 10mph and you should simply swap ends and drop nearly straight down.

If they also dive at the merge, you will have to be careful about your relative Energy states, before you make your move. They may try to zoom and nail you at the top of your vertical turn. Instead of going straight over the top, make a climbing turn in the direction opposite of your offset. This will deny him an easy shot at a straight climbing target, forcing him to prolong his zoom to try to get his guns on you. When he runs out of sky and falls out his climb, drop on his six and finish him. Again if it is a Camel, watch him to drop of to HIS right at the stall.

If you are forced to engage from a lower altitude, avoid climbing to meet them head-on. If you fail to kill them on the first pass, you will be slow and vulnerable as they zoom above you. Instead, drop into a shallow dive to get your speed up, and force them to steepen their dive. (Always remember that net lag will mean they are about d1-d1.5 closer to you than they appear to be. If you wait ill the last second to make an avoidance move, it may be too late.) Make small moves to spoil their aim, until they have to commit to a secodary solution. When they make their next move break into them, crowd them, and force them to make hard energy draining manevers. Try to stay out of the same geometric plane as your opponent to deny him a tracking shot. Always remember, the object of defense is to survive long enough to return to an offensive posture.


MATCH-UPS:

Dr1 vs. Camel

These two are fairly evenly matched, with both being highly maneuverable. The significant power advantage of the Camel, gives it an edge, in a fight between evenly matched opponents, provided neither had an advantage going in. The Dr1 is far from helpless however. If you are careful not to engage from a disadvantagous position (ie. a lower altitude), you will stand a good chance in any encounter.

Don't rush off toward the fight right after takeoff. Take a few seconds to trim for level flight, and climb to altitude away from the action. You always want to be above a Camel opponent, when the action begins. The two fighters are so evenly matched in their ability to maneuver, that the higher pilot at the merge, has a REAL advantage. A higher Dr1 using a vertical lead  turn at the merge should be able to lay it's guns on almost any Camel jockey you meet in the arena.

If you get into a low turning fight with a Camel (and you will!), use reverses to try to get back on the offense. Many times your move will be masked by that godawful top wing he carries. This can negate his ability to beat you in the turn. Many Camel pilots over react to a reversal and end up in a spin, too low to recover. A good pilot will end up with a fair number of 'Maneuver Kills'.

If he sees you make the move, and reacts well he has the ability to gain on you in the turn. A patient skilled Camel pilot on your six, down low and slow will be one of your toughest challenges in the arena.  If you keep turning in one direction for too long, a good Camel pilot will wear you down and plant you in a shell hole. Keep trying to gain the initiative if he gets distracted by one of your buddies, or makes a mistake, you can turn the tables on him.

Be careful following a Camel in a dive or 'Defensive Spiral'. Watch your airspeed, don't let it get above about 160mph (IAS). You will lose your wings before he will. Don't let your natural desire to close the gap on him, get you in trouble. Stay in control and let him bottom out. If he decides to zoom climb, before he gets all the way down, don't pull too sharply, as you follow.  Your wings are under tremendous strain, and will snap if you yank the stick.

Your absolute, last ditch, desperation,'Ace-in-the-hole' move is the 'Split-S', in a lowlevel fight. The Dr1 can pull one off at the absurdly low altitude of six hundred feet! I don't recommend it in the normal course of action, but if find yourself, with two or three Camels on your six, chewing you to bits, it might be worth a try.


Dr1 vs. Spad VII

An INTELLIGENTLY flown Spad is the most difficult kill in the arena. Fortunately the number of pilots that use it properly can be counted on one hand. If you run into one of the good ones, you will have to be patient, and avoid mistakes. Because you are more maneuverable, you should be able to deny him any decent shot. Meet him head-on, and use lead turns to get off fleeting snap shots at his radidly departing tail. If he goes into a climbing spiral, be patient. If you try to force your nose too high to get a shot, you may end up falling off in a stall and vulnerable to the the Spad as he pounces on you.

If a Spad tries to dogfight with you, just smile, and use your superior turning ability to get him lined up and polished off.

The very best thing the Dr1 has in it's favor is that it is a blast to fly! If you are interested in having fun, you will probably enjoy the Dr1.

=skrp=
DoA Training Staff