Part of the complex of buildings which make up Munich’s Deutsches Museum, Flugwerft Schleissheim boasts an impressive collection of full size and miniature aircraft displays spanning the history of German aviation.
A diorama of a WWI airfield features Fokker D VII fighter planes of Royal Prussian Fighter Squadron 18 lined up in front of the hangar at Montoy-Flanville, a former commune in northeast France. The squadron was stationed there from June 14, 1918 until the end of the war on November 11, 1918.
The plaque accompanying the exhibit tells us that Lieutenant August Raben was Squadron Leader, and that the planes were painted red and white to make it easier to distinguish them in aerial combat. Individual aircraft bear the personalized markings of their pilots.
The diorama artist canted the aircraft lineup at a pronounced angle to the perimeter of the base, making the scene much more visually dynamic and avoiding the dull grid-style layout often seen on museum displays. The wingtip-to-wingtip arrangement of the aircraft makes them come across as a single visual element: a dramatic red swoosh which immediately draws the eye into the scene.