Flying Circus Vol 2 has increased its aircraft count to two thanks to the most recent IL-2 patch. The latest aircraft to arrive? That would be the Fokker D.VIII and here are my first impressions of this aircraft.
A shared lineage
The Fokker D.VIII arrived on the frontlines in the summer of 1918 and had little opportunity to make much of an impact on the air war along the western front. It still represents an interesting and fascinating aircraft design, and it would also be the last to arrive in service from Fokker-Flugzeugwerke during the war.
The thing that surprised me most was how much this aircraft represents a blend between the Fokker D.VII and the Fokker Dr.I. The type’s rotary engine, engine cowling, and parts of the tail section remind me more of the Fokker Dr. I than the Fokker D.VII while the fuselage and overall construction owe more to the D.VII in my estimation.
I’ll admit some degree of ignorance of the type. I never owned it in Rise of Flight and when it comes to WWI aircraft that I could readily describe, the D.VIII is just not on the list of types that I know well. Still, I have done some digging and I’m learning all kinds of interesting facts.
I’ve only had about an hour in the Fokker D.VIII so this is my early impressions of the type that may change as time goes on.
First, the Fokker D.VIII feels a fair bit like its bi-plane cousin, the D.VII in basic manners. The aircraft is relatively smooth to manage and easy to fly circuits and other basic aircraft maneuvers. Put it into combat and it remains relatively straightforward to manage in most circumstances although it does have a sharp stall if provoked.
The use of a rotary engine on this aircraft does mean that it’s a bit more of a handful than the inline D.VII but it’s still far better behaved than the Dr.I in my experience.
Gunnery seems easy in the aircraft and the iron sights are as usable as usual while the availablereflector sights are nice to have. Not everyone will use them but they do make aiming a bit easier in my experience.
Turning with aircraft like the Sopwith Camel (or the Dr.I for that matter) seem like a bad idea and this aircraft seems to do better with hit and run style attacks than getting into a tight turning battle. In this way it feels similar to the Fokker D.VII but it doesn’t quite have the power to pull it through some of the more extreme maneuvers that the D.VII can do. It does have good aerodynamics thanks to having a mono-plane design so that can be used to your advantage.
How are you finding it?
These are my first impressions of the Fokker D.VIII. A full review will arrive later when I’ve had a chance to write it. What are your thoughts? How are you finding the newest aircraft in the series?