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Fokker
F.VII, Trimotor "1924"

The VFW 614 was produced in small numbers during the early- to mid-1970s by VFW-Fokker, a company resulting from a merger between VFW and the Dutch aircraft company Fokker. However, the program was officially cancelled in 1977, the anticipated sales and thus production having not been achieved.


Fokker

Fokker
Fokker F.VII, Fokker Trimotor "1924"

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Fokker
F.VII "1924"

The F.VII was designed as a single-engined transport aircraft by Walter Rethel. Five examples of this model were built for the Dutch airline KLM. One of these aircraft, registered H-NACC, was used in 1924 for the first flight from the Netherlands to the Dutch East Indies. In 1925, while living in the US, Anthony Fokker heard of the inaugural Ford Reliability Tour, which was proposed as a competition for transport aircraft. Fokker had the company’s head designer, Reinhold Platz, convert a single-engined F.VIIa airliner to a trimotor configuration, powered by 200 hp Wright Whirlwind radial engines. The resulting aircraft was designated the Fokker F.VIIa/3m. Following shipment to the US, it won the Ford Reliability Tour in late 1925. The Trimotor’s structure consisted of a fabric-covered steel-tube fuselage and a plywood-skinned wooden wing.[1]

 

Design

The Fokker F.VIIb/3m had a slightly increased wing area over the F.VIIa/3m, with power increased to 220 hp per engine, while the F.10 was slightly enlarged, carrying 12 passengers in an enclosed cabin. The aircraft became popularly known as the Fokker Trimotor.

Operational history

The eight- to 12-passenger Fokker was the aircraft of choice for many early airlines, both in Europe and the Americas, and it dominated the American market in the late 1920s. However, the popularity of the Fokker quickly waned after the 1931 crash of a Transcontinental & Western Air Fokker F.10, which resulted in the death of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne. The investigation revealed problems with the Fokker’s plywoodlaminate construction, resulting in a temporary ban from commercial flights, more stringent maintenance requirements, and a shift to all-metal aircraft such as the similar Ford Trimotor and later Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2.

Fokker F.VII, Fokker Trimotor

Role Passenger & military transport
Manufacturer Fokker
First flight 24 November 1924
Introduction 1925
Status Retired
Primary users: SABENA / KLM
Polish Air Force / Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT
Produced 1925-1932
Developed from Fokker F.V
Variants Fokker F.10

Variants & Operators

 Netherlands
  • KLM received all five F.VII aircraft and 15 F.VIIa.
 Poland
  • Aero operated six F.VIIa aircraft for a short period in 1928. Since 1 January 1929, all aircraft were handed over to PLL LOT airline.
  • Polskie Linie Lotnicze LOT operated six F.VIIa and 13 F.VIIb/3m between 1929 and 1939.
 Portugal
 Romania
 Spain
  Switzerland
 United States

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Fokker Trimotor: Specifications

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 8 passengers
  • Length: 14.50 m (47 ft 7 in)
  • Wingspan: 21.71 m (71 ft 3 in)
  • Empty weight: 3,100 kg (6,834 lb)
  • Gross weight: 5,300 kg (11,684 lb)
  • Powerplant: 3 × Wright J-6 Whirlwind 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 220 kW (300 hp) each
  • Maximum speed: 210 km/h (130 mph, 110 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 178 km/h (111 mph, 96 kn)
  • Range: 1,200 km (750 mi, 650 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 4,400 m (14,400 ft)
  • Takeoff and landing runs: 225 m (738 ft)
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The eight- to 12-passenger Fokker was the aircraft of choice for many early airlines, both in Europe and the Americas, and it dominated the American market in the late 1920s.

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