Great War Flying Museum – 4 x WWI Warbirds

Fokker Dr.I

For most of its life this aircraft was painted to represent an all red triplane as flown by Manfred von Richthofen, also known as the Red Baron, although it incorrectly wore the serial Fok. Dr I 103/17. In the winter of 2005 the aircraft was given all new fabric and repainted in more authentic colours to represent Fok. Dr I 477/17. Some controversy surrounds the question of particular serial numbers on the Baron’s all red triplanes. That being said, the museum decided to attempt to replicate the aircraft shown in the famous photographs at Lechelle with the propeller wrapped in a tarp.

Sopwith 1-1/2 Strutter

This aircraft is somewhat of a rarity amongst WWI replicas in that it represents a two-seat fighter/observation aircraft. It is interesting that the main role of aircraft in the Great War was for observation, and yet the vast majority of replicas built today represent single seat fighters. The Strutter is constructed with a steel fuselage, but externally conforms to original dimensions. The standard position for the rear seat is facing rearward so as to allow the gunner to operate the Scarff ring mounted Lewis gun, but can also be turned around to allow for a more conventional forward facing seating position. Already popular for film work due to its second seat this aircraft significantly increases the ability of the museum to replicate scenes from World War One. It is currently painted to represent the colours of Strutter 9739 as flown by Flight Sub-Lt. R.F. Redpath of the Royal Naval Air Service.

Nieuport 28

This N28 replica is constructed of a welded steel fuselage with wood wings, and powered by a Continental R670 radial. Acquired as an unfinished project the museum completed the aircraft and it painted it in the colours of the 94th Aero Squadron. These “Hat in the Ring” colours represent the serial 6159 as flown by Eddie Rickenbacker.

Royal Aircraft Factory SE5a

The full scale SE5 is the second aircraft built completely in house at the GWFM. Externally it was built to correspond to original Royal Aircraft Factory drawings, yet the fuselage is actually of welded steel construction. Originally powered by a Ford truck engine running a propeller speed reduction unit, this was abandoned in favour of a Ranger aircraft engine. Only one paint scheme has been worn on this aircraft, namely C1904 as flown by William Avery Bishop, VC. It wore these colours and can be distinguished clearly in The Aviator from the large ‘Z’ on the fuselage.