100 years of Fokker airplanes

Last Wednesday it was exactly 100 years ago that Anthony Fokker flew his first self build aircraft, De Spin or Spider around the St. Bavo church. A modest start, but a few years later Fokker would be the scourge of the Allied fighter pilots in World War I, the first to find out how to synchronise a machinegun with the engine to enable it to shoot through the propellor in the Fokker Eindecker. A slew of other fighter planes followed, including the famous triple decker Fokker Dr. I as used by the Red Baron.

After World War I Fokker would become one of the biggest manufacturers of civil airplanes, leading the way for companies like Boeing or Douglas who’d ultimately take over. The Fokker Trimotor, as used by Richard Byrd to fly over the North Pole, is probably the best known. Fokkers were often used in record attempts, including various races from Europe to Asia. On the military side of things, Fokker had modest successes building aircraft for the Dutch airforce, as well as various other European forces. The DXXI’s equiping the Finnish Airforce in the Winter War against the Soviet Union did the best out of all Fokker fighters, gaining impressive victories over planes both superior in number and capabilities…

Postwar Fokker was specialised in providing intermediate range transport planes and airliners, the turboprop F27 Friendship and jet powered F28 Fellowship, both very succesfull, followed a few decades later by the F50 and F100 respectively. However, too small to survive on its own and unlucky in having been taken over by DASA/Daimler Benz, Fokker declared bankrupcy in 1996. There are still quite a few Fokker planes flying however and plans to start production again and it all started with those three rounds around the church in Haarlem by Anthony Fokker in his Spin one hundred years ago.

That was the mother Fokker.