Articles Blog


October 15, 2019

Hello and welcome to a new episode by Flyboys
Aviation! Today’s episode is about the history of
Fokker aircraft. Whilst having an unfortunate name for the
English-speaking world, they definitely have a place in aviation history. Let me take you back more than 100 years to
the very beginnings. Anthony Fokker made his first aircraft in
1910, called the Spider. Although he was a Dutchman he founded his
company Fokker in Germany in 1912. His timing couldn’t have been better as
World War I was about the break out. The Fokker Eindecker he supplied to the German
air force was extremely successful and reigned supreme over Europe’s battlefields. It was not until the introduction of newer
French and British designs that this supremacy ended. Later aircraft such as the iconic triplane
flown by Manfred von Richthoven were also successful. After the treaty of Versailles, Anthony Fokker
returned to the Netherlands. In 1919 he founded the company again. He had managed to gain an export licence for
airplanes and supplies and therefore didn’t have to start from scratch. The 1920s and 30s were the most successful
years for Fokker. The Fokker trimotor that was introduced in
1925 was sold to 54 airlines around the world and had a whopping 60% of the American market
in 1936. Pioneering aviators such as Richard Byrd and
Charles Kingsford Smith also used the Fokker trimotor on their travels. The 1931 crash of one of the types somewhat
harmed the reputation of Fokker in the United States. The introduction of all-metal aircraft such
as the Ford Trimotor, Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2 ended its dominance. After WWII Fokker had difficulties. The market was flouded with a surplus of ex-military
aircraft that could now be used for commercial aviation. They had some success in supplying trainer
aircraft and manufacturing aircraft under licence such as the Gloster Meteor. It was not until 1958 that they introduced
an all-new commercial airraft design: The Fokker 27. It was a huge success. Their first jet-powered commercial airliner,
The Fokker 28, was a modest success as well. In the late sixties they signed up with German
aircraft manufacturer VFW and produced the VFW-164, which was a commercial disaster. They also set up a modest space division that
became quite successful and later became a stand-alone corporation. Further work was secured during the seventies
and eighties by building the F-16 Fighting Falcon under licence. During that same time Fokker developed the
Fokker 50 and Fokker 100. They were the successors to the Fokker 27
and 28. The development costs spiralled out of control
and they had to be bailed out by the Dutch government in 1987. Initial sales of the two new models were good,
especially the Fokker 100. It later had strong competition from
the American manufacturers. The shortened Fokker 70 that was launched
in 1991 was only a moderate succes. During the final decades of its existence
Fokker had been searching for a suitable partner. In 1992 they signed up for a partnership with
Deutsche Aerospace. When their parent company, Daimler-Benz, decided
to focus on their core business of building cars it cut ties with Fokker. When talks with Bombardier fell through they
were declared bankrupt in March of 1996. Nowadays most airlines have retired their
Fokkers, altough quite a few of them are still flying around. This is a testimony to their build-quality
and the craftsmanship of the people who worked there. Thanks so much for watching! If you liked this video don’t forget to give
it a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel! On my channel you will find a new video every
week that delves deeper into the fascinating world of aviation and offers you new insights! See you around!

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