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Former Holt GP ready for take off in replica Red Baron plane

PUBLISHED: 10:03 30 July 2018 | UPDATED: 10:03 30 July 2018

The triplane on its test run. Pictures: Peter Brueggemann

The triplane on its test run. Pictures: Peter Brueggemann

Archant

It’s taken about 10 years but a replica of First World War German ace, Baron Von Richthofen’s triplane is now ready to fly.

The triplane. Pictures: Peter BrueggemannThe triplane. Pictures: Peter Brueggemann

The original soared daringly above the carnage on the battlefields, bringing conflict to the skies.

Now, more than a century later, a full-scale replica of the Red Baron’s vivid scarlet-coloured triplane will be launched next month.

Peter Brueggemann, from Briston, has painstakingly recreated the Fokker DR1 Dreidecker (triplane) Manfred von Richthofen.

The former Holt GP said: “It’s a dream come true. As a boy of 12 I was building a plastic model of it. I was fascinated by it.

Peter Brueggemann working on the replica.
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYPeter Brueggemann working on the replica. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

“When I came to England to work as a doctor I went to Duxford airfield to find out how to build it.”

All the original planes were destroyed or lost, so the doctor had to buy technical drawings created in 1976 by American aviation fanatic Ron Sands, who made detailed plans for several wartime planes.

Mr Brueggemann, 55, said: “There were about 25 pieces of paper on how to build the wings, fuselage and the engine.

“I’m not an engineer. I’m a doctor by trade, so a few things I needed help with, from an engineer.

Peter Brueggemann, pictured in 2016, has created a replica of The Red Baron's First World War flying Fokker Dreidecker. 
It is now ready to fly. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAYPeter Brueggemann, pictured in 2016, has created a replica of The Red Baron's First World War flying Fokker Dreidecker. It is now ready to fly. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

“I had to take it step by step and this year it all came together.

“The Light Aircraft Association inspected it and a test pilot carried out a five-hour test programme flight. It was checked for stalling, diving, landing, and it passed.

“Then they sent the paperwork to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

“I have not flown it yet. I need to wait for the right weather. It’s the same plane from 100 years ago but with a more modern engine. In 1917 flying was only just starting. I need to wait for wind to come down the runway. I don’t want any crosswinds or turbulence.”

Now an Aeromedical Examiner appointed by the CAA at Norwich Airport, the trained pilot has been preparing for the maiden flight in a 1930s Tiger Moth.

He is launching the triplane at Felthorpe Airfield, where it’s kept, on August 28. There will be other old aircraft also displayed there on the day.

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