Fokker S.11 Instructor: The way ahead.

In 1945 even if the war had devastated Fokker company’s Schipol plant, the Dutch Fokker company was determined to restart its own aviation activities. Back to the basics. The design team came up with the idea of a very simple elementary trainer which could be produced employing the simple tooling available while the company was being rebuilt. The S.11 prototype had its maiden flight in 1947 and was soon in production for the Royal Netherlands AF. A few other air forces soon followed. The type was also produced under licence in Italy and Brazil. The later produced its own local variants, one of them with a tricycle undercarriage: the S.12.

The pedestrian Instructor and the superb S.14 Machtrainer prototype. With this pair Fokker was able to offer air forces a neat training package from primary to jet. Only the Dutch took it.


Fokker F.10: We are all the same, but not equal.

The American-built Fokker F.10 was an larger more powerful version of the classic Fokker F.VII airliner built in the late 1920’s. Like their forebear they were quite prolific (more than 60 built) and turned out to be real money-makers until that fateful day. On March 31, 1931, the wooden-wing of a Transcontinental and Western Fokker F.10 failed catastrophically and it crashed in the Kansas prairie, killing, among others, a popular football hero of the era: Knute Rockne. That accident, and the huge publicity it produced, meant the end of wooden airliners in the United States and also brought radical changes in the regulations and operations of the airlines. The American commercial aviation technology supremacy achieved from the middle 1930’s was the result.

Gorgeous machines they were. We can no deny the splendor of that era.

Fokker S.14 Machtrainer: Always hard the first time.

The Dutch resumed their aviation activities after the dark WW2 days with a vengeance. Their S.14 Machtrainer was, in fact, the first purpose-built jet trainer to see the light. The origins of this sadly quite forgotten aircraft was in fact in Britain. The Rolls-Royce wanted to take a piece of the lucrative postwar jets aircraft market, and specially they wanted something where to put their engines to compete with the then flourishing de Havilland jet engines. After trying in the UK they approached the Fokker company with a possible RR Derwent-powered jet trainer concept. The Fokker found the idea agreeable and their S.14 became just that. First flown in 1951, this superb aircraft was aggressively marketed, but proved to be just too big and, above all, way too expensive for its role. Only 21 in total were produced and those  saw service mainly with the Dutch AF.

Superb photo of the original prototype, long “spear” pitot tube included. Gladly, the K-1 (PH-XIV) is among the three surviving S-14’s. It resides nowadays at a museum in the Lelystad Airport.

Fokker C.1: Past and desired future.

The Fokker C.1 two-seat recon-attack aircraft was developed from the seminal Fokker D.VII fighter. Too late to saw action at WW1, these efficient biplanes served as basis, somehow, to Anthony Fokker new start in his own country -Fokker smuggled a number of them, with other types, to Holland just in the nick of time. New built C.1’s and their descendants followed.

Really durable aircrafts, one of them (PH-APL, c/n 527) was equiped in the spring of 1937 with this superb looking propeller, an invention of Adriaan Dekker. According to some sources PH-APL did achieve a sort of short lift off. The Germans took posesion of it in 1940 (when this pic was taken: jackboots) at Holland surrender, after that…. no info.

Fokker B.II: Such a damn shame.

Precious Dutch light reconnaissance flying boat of 1923. This sesquiplane carried a crew of just three in open cockpit. The B.II have one characteristic very dear to me: its tractor 360hp RR Eagle engine was mounted upon de upper surface of the top fabric-covered wing (the lower was plywood-covered). The unique prototype was tested by the Dutch Navy, sadly no production followed.

Stupendous cutaway interpretation of the neat B.II. The artist, no doubt, knew this photo….