The Fokker M.1 was the first aircraft designed by Fokker for the German Army. Two aircraft were built, based on his Spinne (“Spider”) design. These were complex looking monoplanes, held together by a network of cables that came together at the wheels and at a point above the fuselage, forming a distinctive web. The wings were given a pronounced dihedral (tilting upwards in a V shape). The M.1 designation was adopted to satisfy a German Army requirement that all aircraft had a clear designation, and stood for militarisch 1 (military).
Two Fokker M.1s were built, each powered by a different engine. The first aircraft to be completed was powered by a 100hp Argus engine. In test flight conduced by Fokker himself it reached 2,000ft in nine minutes. On 2 March 1913 it was flown to the Army trials centre at Döbertiz to undergo official trials.
The second aircraft was powered by a 95hp Mercedes six-cylinder inline engine, and was not completed until the end of March. It too was then taken to Döberitz for tests.
After conducting their tests the army concluded that the type was not suited for military use. The aircraft was unstable in gusty winds, its cables were seen as vulnerable to damage, and it wasn’t safe for use from small airfields. Fokker’s next design for the army, the M.2 would see him begin to move away from his “spinne” design.