The early Fokker years | 1911 - 1919
Fokker capitalized on having sold several Fokker Spin monoplanes to the German government and set up a factory in Germany to supply the German army. His first new design for the Germans to be produced in any numbers was the Fokker M.5, which was little more than a copy of the Morane-Saulnier G, built with steel tube instead of wood for the fuselage, and with minor alterations to the outline of the rudder and undercarriage and a new aerofoil section. When it was realized that it was desirable to arm these scouts with a machine gun firing through the propeller, Fokker developed a synchronization gear similar to that patented by Franz Schneider.
Fitted with a developed version of this gear, the M.5 became the Fokker Eindecker which, due to its revolutionary armament, became one of the most feared aircraft over the western front, its introduction leading to a period of German air superiority known as the Fokker Scourge until the balance was restored by aircraft such as the Nieuport 11 and Airco DH.2.
During World War I, Fokker engineers were working on the Fokker-Leimberger, an externally-powered 12 barrel Gatling gun in the 7.92x57mm round capable of firing over 7200RPM.
Later during the war, the German government forced Fokker and Junkers to cooperate more closely, which resulted in the foundation of the Junkers-Fokker Aktiengesellschaft on 20 October 1917. As this partnership proved to be troublesome, it was eventually dissolved again. By then, designer Reinhold Platz had adapted some of Junkers design concepts, what resulted in a visual similarity between the aircraft of those two manufacturers during the next decade.
Some of the noteworthy types produced by Fokker during the second half of the war included the Fokker D.VI, Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker (the mount of the Red Baron), Fokker D.VII (the only aircraft ever referred to directly in a treaty: all DVII's were singled out for handover to the allies in their terms of the armistice agreement) and the Fokker D.VIII.