Fokker Control Column 'Grip'

Acquired in 1996, this control column grip on the right remained a mystery for some time. While clearly of early Fokker design, it lacks the trigger button for a machine gun, shown on an identical grip on the left.  After I became much more familiar with German construction practices, I came back to these photos and realized that the machine gun firing controls on the left are assembled in a detachable harness, with the one conflicting item being the way it attaches to the top of the blip switch, which does look like a weld. 


I came across an article in the December 10, 1915, edition (page 966) of the British aviation magazine 'Flight' about a captured Fokker monoplane or 'eindekker'. The drawing above is copied from that article. The captured monoplane was the very early Fokker M.8, a two seater, also known as the A.1, which flew in small number as trainers and on reconnaissance, between the beginning of the war in August, 1914, and the introduction of synchronized machine guns in the middle of 1915. At least one other grip of exactly this type exists, along with a complete control column. To read more about it see "W.W.I Aero," No. 151, Feb. 96, Pages 74-76.

Below on the left is Leutenant Kurt Wintgens in the cockpit of a Fokker, likely an M 5L, with his hand on this control column grip, a n enlarged version of which is on the bottom left. The photo below on the right is courtesy of the Fokker - Team - Schorndorf and depicts the same grip but with a depressable machine gun tab added. The grips are sitting upside down on the table in this photo.  A detailed  photo study of the blip switch, itself, is available at the FTS web site.  The photo of the Fokker in the lower right hand corner was provided by Greg Vanwyngarden.