Mercedes D.III Engine
This Mercedes D.III Engine is in a private collection and the photographs were taken at Aerodrome 92 by Ernest Thomas. The photographs are mirrored from Mercedes DIII Engine and the Modeler's Aviation Reference Photos courtesy of Ernest Thomas.
History of this Engine
2000 Motor restored and ready for operation.
1991 Motor purchased from Jim Logan in Chicago.
1970? Logan purchased/inherited motor from Julius "Rosey" Head's widow.
1960? Rosey Head purchased the motor along with other Mercedes motors in Louisiana being used as Sugar Cane plantation irrigation water pumps. He sold other motors and kept this one for his own Fokker D.VII (Alb.) project which he builds with help from Charles Cash and others, (even writing then living Reinhold Platz asking about dihedral and sweep back, with Platz stating, "Dihedral would be good, and swept back wings would probably be a good idea as well.", demonstrating his loss of this minutiae or his grasp as to why you would want to build the aircraft as original when you could improve upon it). He nor Logan finished the (Alb) D.VII. I will use it as a "fun-flyer" trainer D.VII with a Gypsy-Queen Mk.IV.
1918-1960? I believe Kelly Field was a WWI era Military airfield in Texas and I believe the motor could have been sold as war surplus therefore explaining how it ended up in Louisiana. So far, I haven't been able to find a listing of the motor in any registry listings of interned aircraft.
1918 After going through Armee acceptance sheets from the Aviodome museum in Holland and visiting the Fokker archive before the demise of the Fokker factory a couple of years ago, I was able to determine that the motor was assigned to one of the first twenty built Fokker D.VIIs accepted in March. The month of March is missing but by the process of elimination, I took all of the deliveries of motors to Fokker from Mercedes, and subtracted all of the known acceptances and ended up with twenty aircraft and twenty motors that could not be accounted for thusly giving us the first twenty aircraft numbers that were accepted and the motors that went with them. After working with captured reports, etc. with Peter Grosz, Dan-San Abbott, Alex Imrie and others I have the list down to eight possible aircraft.
Early 1918 March 11th B.N. 711, M.N.1, Motor Number 37400 is shipped to Fokker Schwerin. When I discovered the motor was such an early shipment date to Fokker, (the Mercedes would have to go into a D.VII since this is the only aircraft Fokker built at this time utilizing a in-line six), I photo copied every shipment of every motor to Fokker. This allowed me to form a huge spreadsheet, and along with the Armee acceptance sheets, form a matching of every motor with every aircraft, except for the missing acceptance report for February and March. Most experts feel that no D.VIIs were accepted in February, but certainly by the end of March twenty were accepted from Fokker and I was able to recreate the Feb/March acceptance list.
This lead to me "restoring" the D.VII to go around the motor, utilizing all metric tubing as per original, etc. I am certain that with a couple more pieces of the puzzle, I will be able to nail down the particular aircraft number that the motor came out of. As of now, I am able to execute all aspects of the aircraft in the fashion of the most earliest built Fokker built Fokker D.VII. All of the instruments, fittings, guns, etc. have been collected, and the structure is well along with the fuel tank and ammo boxes as of yet to be made.
History courtesy of Dave Watts.