The Fokker G.I was a Dutch twin-engined heavy fighter aircraft comparable in size and role to the German Messerschmitt Bf 110. Although in production prior to World War II, its combat introduction came at a time the Netherlands were overrun by the Germans. The few G.Is that were mustered into service were able to score several victories. Some were captured intact after the Germans had occupied the Netherlands. The remainder of the production run was taken over by the Luftwaffe for use as trainers.
The G.I, given the nickname le Faucheur (“The Reaper” in French), was designed as a private venture in 1936 by Fokker chief engineer Dr. Schatzki. Intended for the role of jachtkruiser, “heavy” fighter or air cruiser, able to gain air superiority over the battlefield as well as being a bomber destroyer, the G.1 would fulfill a role seen as important at the time, by advocates of Giulio Douhet‘s theories on air power. The Fokker G.I utilized a twin-engined, twin-boom layout that featured a central nacelle housing two or three crew members (a pilot, radio operator/navigator/rear gunner or a bombardier) as well as a formidable armament of twin 23 mm (.91 in) Madsen cannon and a pair of 7.9 mm (.31 in) machine guns (later eight machine guns) in the nose and one in a rear turret.
Role Heavy fighter
Designer Erich Schatzki and Marius Beeling (after 1938)
First flight 16 March 1937
Luchtvaartafdeling / Luftwaffe
Number built 63
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Fokker G1 The Reaper "Heavy Fighter"
On 10 May 1940, when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands, 23 G.1 aircraft were serviceable while production of Spain’s order of the G.1 Wasp variant continued with a dozen aircraft completed, awaiting armament.
The German invasion started with an early morning (03:50 hours) Luftwaffe attack on the Dutch airfields. While the 4th JaVA received a devastating blow, losing all but one of its aircraft, eight 3rd JaVA G.1 fighters of the Waalhaven airbase in Rotterdam, that were already fully fuelled and armed, scrambled in time and successfully engaged several German aircraft.
At the conclusion of hostilities, several G.Is were captured by the Germans, with the remainder of the Spanish order completed at the Fokker plant by mid-1941 in order for the G.1s to be assigned as fighter trainers for Bf 110 crews at Wiener Neustadt. For the next two years, Flugzeugführerschule (B) 8 flew the G.1 Wasp until attrition grounded the fleet.[8
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