Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The company was founded on July 21, 1919 by Dutchman Anthony Fokker 1890–1939), one of the world's early aviation pioneers. At age 20, he had built his first plane, the Spinne (Spider), the first Dutch-built plane to fly in his home country. In 1912, he founded his first own company, Fokker Aeroplanbau in Berlin, Germany, later moving to Schwerin.
There, Fokker built planes for the German army during World War I, forced onto Hugo Junkers as a partner by the German government. He gained fame with his planes Fokker E.III, which used a mechanism that let pilots use machine guns on their planes without shredding their propellers (using interrupter gear), Fokker D.VII and Fokker Dr.I (triplane)
In 1919, Fokker separated from Junkers, returned to the Netherlands and founded his own company. He does not return home empty-handed: Fokker manages to smuggle an entire train's worth of D.VII and C.I military planes and spare parts across the German-Dutch border. This initial stock enables him to quickly set up shop.
After his company's relocation, its main success would lie with commercial, civilian airplanes rather than military ones, although Fokker would continue to design and build those, predominantly for the Dutch air force. A notable exception was the Finnish air force, which was largely equipped with C.V , C.X and D.XXI aircraft.
In the Twenties , Fokker's biggest success was the F.VIIa/3m trimotor passenger aircraft, which dominated the European market until the arrival of the all-metal American and German aircraft in the mid-Thirties .
The Fokker factories in the Netherlands were completely destroyed during World War II, and a new factory was built next to Schiphol Airport near Amsterdam, in 1951. There, a number of military planes were built under license, among which was Lockheed's F-104 Starfighter. A second production and maintenance facility was established at Woensdrecht.
In 1958, the Fokker F-27 "Friendship" was introduced, which became the world's best selling turboprop airliner (selling almost 800 from 1958 to 1986). The F-27 was followed by the Fokker F-28 "Fellowship", the Fokker F50, the Fokker F70 and the Fokker F100. Both an F-27 and later an F-28 served with the Dutch Royal Flight, Prince Bernhard himself being a pilot.
In 1969, the Fokker company agreed to an alliance with Bremen-based Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (representing ERNO) under control of a transnational holding company. They collaborated on an unsuccessful regional jetliner, the VFW-614. The European Space Agency ESA in June 1974 named a consortium headed by ERNO-VFW-Fokker GmbH to build pressurized modules for Spacelab.
In 1996 the Fokker company was declared bankrupt, but some parts of the company survived. The space division became an independent company currently known as Dutch Space . Those parts of the company that manufactured parts of planes and carried out maintenance and repair work were taken over by Stork N.V. ; it is now known as Stork Aerospace Group . Stork Fokker exists to sustain remarketing of the company's existing aircraft.
- The introduction of the Fokker E.I into the German air force in 1915 leads to the first Fokker Scourge
- Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron", flew a Fokker Dr.I triplane (1917–1918)
- The introduction of the Fokker D.VII into the German air force in 1918 leads to a second Fokker Scourge
- Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic (from the US to the small Welsh town of Burry Port) did so in 1928 in a Fokker F.VII
- The same year, Charles Kingsford-Smith completed the first trans-Pacific flight in another F.VII
- The Fokker S-14 "Machtrainer" is the first jet fighter training aircraft in the world specifically designed and built to that end (1951)
Planes designed and/or built by Fokker
- Fokker 50
- Fokker 70
- Fokker 100
- Fokker B-8
- Fokker C.V
- Fokker D.VII
- Fokker D.VIII
- Fokker D.XXI
- Fokker Dr.I
- Fokker E.III
- Fokker E.V
- Fokker F.VII
- Fokker F27 "Friendship"
- Fokker F28 "Fellowship"
- Fokker G.1
- Fokker XA-7
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