Although the air war had turned inexorably in favour of the Allies by the late summer of 1918, the Luftstreitkrafte were still able to introduce an aircraft which is generally considered to be the finest fighter of the Great War, the Fokker D.VII. German pilots had a saying that this new fighter could make a mediocre pilot good and a good pilot into an ace, but unfortunately this was to prove a case of too little, too late.
Fokker D.VII 4649/18 has to be considered one of the most flamboyantly decorated fighters of the Great War – adorning both sides of the aircraft’s fuselage, an elaborate scene featuring the ‘Seven Swabians’ from a famous Brothers Grimm German Fairy Tale must have made for an unusual sight. Brandishing an oversized spear which required all seven of the Swabians to carry, the story tells the farcical tale of this hapless group and their futile attempts to achieve greatness through performing great deeds.
Showing an incredible level of artistic talent, the artwork was slightly different on both sides of the aircraft, however, despite all this decorative effort, this particular fighter was to achieve no more than two aerial victories during its short service career.