World War I Biplane Replica Makes First Oshkosh Appearance
The Fokker D.VII was one of the most formidable German aircraft in the sky.
By Meg Godlewski
July 27, 2022
There is something special about bringing an aircraft to EAA AirVenture for the first time—especially when that aircraft is a one-of-a-kind replica of the Fokker D.VII.
The Fokker D.VII is a German biplane designed in 1918 by Reinhold Platz of the Fokker-Flugzeugwerke. During World War I, it was one of the most formidable German aircraft in the sky and a favorite of Germany’s Aces.
The Uniqueness of the Fokker
The replica aircraft at this year’s AirVenture is owned by Buck Toenges, a medical professional from Fort Wayne, Indiana. He became interested in aviation as a child—especially aircraft from World War I—after watching the movie, The Blue Max. A 1966 drama, the movie tells the story of a German foot soldier who aspired to become a fighter pilot and win Germany’s highest medal for valor, the Blue Max, for which he must shoot down 20 aircraft.
Toenges, who is not a pilot, started building the airplane in 1993 but wasn’t able to complete it by himself. Realizing the project was more than he anticipated, he reached out to the replica aviation community. The aircraft became a team effort as he called on experts in the replica aircraft world to help with the project. The search for help took him all over the world.
Story credit: Flying Magazine; https://www.flyingmag.com/world-war-i-biplane-replica-makes-first-oshkosh-appearance