Only 320 Fokker Triplanes were built and the impact of the aeroplane on the air war was not as great as has been generally believed. Entering service in August 1917, the triplane’s debut was somewhat blunted by several wing failures. Once this had been overcome, the little fighter became the darling of the top German aces; in the hands of Voss and von Richthofen – the legendary ‘Red Baron’ – it achieved a kind of immortality out of all proportion to its qualities. It was relatively slow but had an exceptional rate of climb and was extremely manoeuvrable, vital factors in air combat. It equipped some of Germany’s most elite fighting units and as a result was flown by many legendary fighter aces. The Baron’s blood-red Triplane remains the most iconic image of the first air war.