ACE-23 Fokker EIII, 246/16, Max Immelmann, KeK Douai, June 1916
The Fokker E.III was the main variant of the Eindecker (monoplane) fighter aircraft of World War I. It entered service on the Western Front in December 1915 and was also supplied to Austria-Hungary and Turkey.
In April 1915, the Eindecker (“Monoplane”) was the first purpose-built German fighter aircraft and the first aircraft to be fitted with synchronizer gear, enabling the pilot to fire a machine gun through the arc of the propeller without striking the blades. The Eindecker granted the German Air Service a degree of air superiority from July 1915 until early 1916. This period was known as the “Fokker Scourge,” during which Allied aviators regarded their poorly armed aircraft as “Fokker Fodder”. The Eindecker was based on Fokker’s unarmed A.III scout (itself following very closely the design of the French Morane-Saulnier H shoulder-wing monoplane) which was fitted with a synchronizer mechanism controlling a single Parabellum MG14 machine gun.
Anthony Fokker personally demonstrated the system on 23 May 1915, having towed the prototype aircraft behind his touring car to a military airfield near Berlin.