Red Baron and its history: Find your own miniature red airplane!

Cuno van der Feltz, Curator and Co-Founder Gallerease
Cuno van der Feltz
Curator and Co-Founder
32 Articles1 Curated artwork

This week in Curated Curiosities: the history behind the minature red Baron plane, available at our partner Wildschut Antiques & Oddities. This Red baron plane was once the fear of World War I. Built by Fokker after the design of Reinhold Platz, this airplane belonged to the mythic Manfred von Richthofen, who later became known as the Red Baron. What is the story behind this aircraft and this legendary Red Baron?

The Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen (1892-1918), was born in a Prussian noble family and started his army career when he was only 11 years old when he joined the cavalry.

When the war started he was an officer at the Königlich Preußisches Ulanenregiment Kaiser Alexander III von Rußland (Westpreußisches) Nr. 1. This uhlan regiment was known for its fearless battles at the beginning of the war. Von Richthofen left this regiment in 1915 to join the Air service (Luftdienst).

However, he would wear his ‘uhlanka’ coat throughout his whole pilot career, as a souvenir from his service in this regiment. 

Manfred von Richthofen ' the Red Baron'


His excellent flying skills were renowned in German military circles and soon he was promoted to squadron leader of the Jagdgeschwader I. This unit was known as the ‘Richthofen’s Flying Circus’ because of the colourful aircrafts. But they were feared as well. This was the elite pilot group of the Germans.

By 1918 Von Richthofen was the national hero of Germany and respected and admired by all his enemies. From that moment on the name ‘The Red Baron’ became notorious and feared by all Allied forces. Ironically, the later Nazi Reichsmarschall, Herman Göring became the commander of the Flying Circus in 1918. 


Manfred von Richthofen Flying Circus

Manfred von Richthofen and his Flying Circus


Manfred von Richthofen’s career ended 22 April 1918 on the Western front near Amiens (France). After more than 80 victories-never equalled by any pilot in WWI- he was killed in action and died with the last word “Kaputt”. 

the Red Baron plane after it has been crashed


Controversy and contradictory hypotheses continue to surround the identity of the person who fired the shot that actually killed Richthofen. Even his career and life became the subject of many books, films and other media.

The name Red Baron is still legendary; to be seen in films, video games, teddy bears and other plush figures etc. even songs are written about the Red Baron plane!

A great variety of model aircrafts – from small to real planes have been produced and have becomesought after collectables. This copy of a Fokker Dreidecker 1 is a very fine replica of the famous aircraft. It is a detailed copy of the DR1 Tri-plane and its construction is in perfect condition.

Although many copies of this plane are available through auctions and websites, the quality and dimensions of this copy are really rare. It's an unique handmade piece and a real must-have for the serious collector.

The Red Baron plane (Model WWI DR1 Tri-plane) is for sale at Wildschut Antiques and Oddities for a price of €1850.

Written by Cuno van der Feltz on 19 Sep 2018, 10:00 Category EducationalTagged Background information, Buying Art, Collecting Art