|The prototype - picture probably taken in 1913|
The Fokker M.5 was an unarmed single-seat monoplane aircraft designed and built by Anthony Fokker in 1913. It served as a light reconnaissance aircraft with the German army at the outbreak of World War I and was the basis for the first successful fighter aircraft in German service, the Fokker E.I.
Fokker's design for the M.5 was very closely based on that of the French Morane-Saulnier H shoulder-wing monoplane although the fuselage had a welded steel tube frame in place of the wooden structure of the Type H.
The powerplant was a 60 kW (80 hp) Gnome Lambda 7-cylinder rotary engine (built under licence by Oberursel as the U.0). As in the Morane original, the tail and elevators were fully movable, having no fixed section. There were two versions of the M.5: the long-span 'M.5L' and the short-span 'M.5K' ("K" for kurz meaning "short" in German). The M.5 was light, strong and manoeuvrable, capable of aerobatics (although, like all aircraft relying on the early style of Morane balanced elevators, it had very sensitive fore-and-aft control). Fokker himself performed in the M.5 at Johannisthal in May and June 1914, winning a number of awards.
German army adoption
The German army adopted the militarised long-span M.5L, manufactured by Halberstadt, designated the 'A.II'. A two-seat version, known as the 'M.8' also entered service as the 'A.I' which was built by Fokker. These aircraft were used on the Western and Eastern Fronts in the early stages of the war. In early 1915, 10 M.5Ks were ordered, designated the 'A.III', but before delivery five were modified, being equipped with a single 7.92 mm (.312 in) Parabellum MG14 machine gun, becoming the five Fokker 'M.5K/MG' production prototypes of the Fokker E.I.
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