appearance of the superlative Sopwith Triplane in early 1917 (first appearance
was actually June 1916, but squadron service began in Spring 1917) shocked
the German high command into action. Idflieg immediately instructed the
various manufacturers to come up with their own designs using the triplane
formula. Some made it to frontline service, the most famous of these was
that produced by Antony Fokker - the Fokker F.I/Dr.I. However, there were
many unsuccessful designs that never made it past prototpe stage - the
aircraft featured here is one of those.
The SSW DDr.I was unique in that it was a push/pull design. It looked like an early war pusher, but was in fact designed in 1917 around the innovative Siemens-Halkse rotary engine. . this featured a geared propellor which revolved in the opposite direction to the engine. However aerodynamics were not totally understood at the time, and the DDr.I crashed on its first flight on 21 November 1917. The project was not continued.
one of the oddest aircraft of the First World War, the DDr.I is now available
in resin and vacform from Roseplane. Starting with the resin pieces, these
are in three bags and consist of the nacelle, tailplane, rudders, engines,
cowls, propellors, wheels, Spandau machine guns, seat, upper nacelle decking
and undercarriage struts. The nacelle is molded with separate main body
and upper decking, this allows a degree of interior detailing to be done
- to which end the inside of the nacelle is molded with some structural
members in place. the external louvers on the nacelle are nicely done.
Two types of propellor are included, the two bladed one is the tractor,
while the four bladed one is the pusher. Looking over my sample I was
unable to find any pinholes in the resin.
wings are provided on a sheet of vacformed plastic and are up to Roseplane's
usual standard. A nice touch is the inclusion of a jig to allow construction
of the tail boom. I would recommend cutting away the area directly below
each join from the jig. This will allow the builder to affix the structural
members together without fear of it sticking to the jig.
No material for struts are included. These can be made from Contrail Struts, or slices of Evergreen strip.
No decals are included. These can be had from the spares box or any of the aftermarket suppliers.
Notes on construction as well as a set of drawings are provided to aid the builder in construction of this little beauty (it grows on you).
OOB this looks to be a nice kit, with a little extra work the Roseplane SSW DDr.I can be a contest winner - of that I have no doubt. Its unusual looks and excellent molding are an excellent starting point. Pattern maker Bill Marencik and Rosemont/Roseplane owner Barry Stettler are to be congratulated in their latest release .. now, lets have a Bregeut V.