Fokker

Fokker was a Dutch aircraft manufacturer named after its founder, Anthony Fokker. The company operated under several different names, starting out in 1912 in Schwerin, Germany, moving to the Netherlands in 1919. During its most successful period in the 1920s and 1930s, it dominated the civil aviation market. Fokker went into bankruptcy in 1996, and its operations were sold to competitors. History Fokker's first airplane, the Spin (Spider) (1910) At age 20, Anthony Fokker built his initial aircraft, the Spin (Spider)the first Dutch-built plane to fly in his home country. Taking advantage of better opportunities in Germany, he moved to Berlin where, in 1912, he founded his first company, Fokker Aeroplanbau, later moving to the Gorries suburb just southwest of Schwerin, where the current company was founded, as Fokker Aviatik GmbH, on 12 February 1912.[1] [edit]World War I Fokker capitalized on having sold several Fokker Spin monoplanes to the German government and set up a factory in Germany to supply the German army. His first new design for the Germans to be produced in any numbers was the Fokker M.5, which was little more than a copy of the Morane-Saulnier G, built with steel tube instead of wood for the fuselage, and with minor alterations to the outline of the rudder and undercarriage and a new aerofoil section.[2] When it was realized that it was desirable to arm these scouts with a machine gun firing through the propeller, Fokker developed a synchronization gear similar to that patented by Franz Schneider.[3] Fitted with a developed version of this gear, the M.5 became the Fokker Eindecker which, due to its revolutionary armament, became one of the most feared aircraft over the western front, its introduction leading to a period of German air superiority known as the Fokker Scourge until the balance was restored by aircraft such as the Nieuport 11 and Airco DH.2. During World War I, Fokker engineers were working on the Fokker-Leimberger, an externally-powered 12 barrel Gatling gun in the 7.92x57mm round capable of firing over 7200RPM.[4] Later during the war, the German government forced Fokker and Junkers to cooperate mor closely, which resulted in the foundation of the Junkers-Fokker Aktiengesellschaft on 20 October 1917. As this partnership proved to be troublesome, it was eventually dissolved again. By then, designer Reinhold Platz had adapted some of Junkers design concepts, what resulted in a visual similarity between the aircraft of those two manufacturers during the next decade. Some of the noteworthy types produced by Fokker during the second half of the war included the Fokker D.VI, Fokker Dr.I Dreidecker (the mount of the Red Baron), Fokker D.VII (the only aircraft ever referred to directly in a treaty: all DVII's were singled out for handover to the allies in their terms of the armistice agreement) and the Fokker D.VIII. [edit]Return to the Netherlands In 1919, Fokker, owing large sums in back taxes (including 14,250,000 marks of income-tax),[5] returned to the Netherlands and founded a new company near Amsterdam with the support of Steenkolen Handels Vereniging, now known as SHV Holdings. He chose the name Nederlandse Vliegtuigenfabriek (Dutch Aircraft Factory) to conceal the Fokker brand because of his WWI involvement. Despite the strict disarmament conditions in the Treaty of Versailles, Fokker did not return home empty-handed. In 1919 he arranged an export permit and brought six entire trains of parts, and 180 types of aircraft across the Dutch-German border, among them 117 Fokker C.I's, D.VII's and D.VIII's. This initial stock enabled him to set up shop quickly. After his company's relocation, many Fokker C.I and C.IV military air-planes were delivered to Russia, Romania and the still clandestine German air-force. Success came on the commercial market too, with the development of the Fokker F.VII, a high-winged aircraft capable of taking on various types of engines. Fokker continued to design and build military aircraft, delivering planes to the Dutch air force. Foreign military customers eventually included Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Hungary, and Italy. These countries bought substantial numbers of the Fokker C.V reconnaissance aircraft, which became Fokker's main success in the latter part of the 1920s and early 1930s.