JUNKERS CL1 AND FOKKER TRIPLANE
A German two-seater armoured ground attack aeroplane development of the D-I all-metal fighter monoplane, the Junkers CL-I, presented a deceptively simple appearance, but was years ahead of its time in construction. To facilitate the movement of the observer’s ring-mounted machine-gun, the rear cockpit was built up level with the rounded top decking.
A pair of forward firing Spandau machine guns was provided for the use by the pilot, while the observer had a Parabellum gun. Racks for signal cartridges were positioned on each side of the fuselage.
Strong, agile and fast, with a good field of fire for the observer, the Junkers CL-1 was probably the best of the German CL (ground attack) category aircraft, and would have made a name for itself had the war lasted longer. At the Armistice, only forty-seven examples had been delivered; they were issued in ones and twos to various Schlachtstafeln (Attack Squadrons) for evaluation.
Interestingly, it was a CL1 with which Mick Mannock was engaged immediately before he was shot down by ground fire.
After the war, the Junkers CL-I saw service with volunteer units fighting against the Bolsheviks in Finland, Estonia and Lithuania, where they were flown by veteran German pilots such as Jacob’s, Sachsenberg and Osterkamp.
Both aircraft are based on the Bowers Fly Baby, and were built and converted by John Day and Bob Gauld-Galliers. The aircraft represented with the Leaders Streamers on the wing tips – CL1 1803/18 – was operated by the Imperial German Air Service, and then the Republic of German Air Service, until captured by the Red Air Force, when it was operated by them until the early 1930s.
The Fokker Triplane was built by John Day in 2005/6, and 2007 will be its first full season with the Team; it replicates Fokker Dr.1 403/17. This aircraft was flown by Ltn Johann Janzen [13 victories] of Jasta 6, of JG1.