Fokker F.VII

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Fokker F.VII
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About the Fokker F.VII

The Fokker F.VII and its three-engined variants belong to the most important civil aircraft of the 1920s and early 1930s. The first airliners Fokker built were the F.II and F.III, with fuselages constructed of steel tubes and linen and wings made of wood. Fokker applied the same construction method on the larger F.VII, which made its maiden flight on 1 February 1924. This flight was not really a success and Fokker immediately started to improve the aircraft.
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On 11 April 1924 the aircraft flew again, with more success and a few months later, in October 1924, the aircraft, registered H-NACC, performed a pioneering flight to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta in Indonesia). Back in Holland (by ship) the Dutch airline KLM used the aircraft on its network and the airline ordered four more of the type.
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A much improved version was the F.VIIa. Fokker developed the plane without any orders. Differences were the completely new wing, with integral ailerons, the horizontal stabilizer and the landing gear. The first flight was on 12 March 1925. Fokker built 36 F.VIIa aircraft, plus KLM four from parts of crashed machines and spare parts. Ohter airlines flying the F.VIIa were CIDNA and STAR (both from France), LOT (Poland), Balair (Switzerland), Malet (Hungary) and DDL (Denmark).
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Fokker F.VIIa H-NACT was the first KLM aircraft of this model. The aircraft was destroyed at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in May 1940 by German bombs. The aircraft in the Dutch Aviodrome museum is a former Balair aircraft. It first carried the (fake) registration H-NACT, which has changed to H-NADP later.
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On 4 September 1925 a F.VIIa flew with three engines as F.VIIa/3m. This aircraft was soon dismantled and shipped to the USA for participation in the Ford Reliability Tour. The aircraft performed well in this contest and attracted the attention of the airlines. With the same aircraft the pioneers Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett flew over the North Pole in May 1926. For this flight the aircraft was equipped with skis.
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Two other F.VII aircraft were ordered by Sir Hubert Wilkins for an Arctic expedition. One aircraft was a F.VIIa, but the other was the forerunner of the F.VIIb/3m series. It had a F.VIIa fuselage but a larger wing and three 200 hp Wright Whirlwind engines. The expedition failed, but the three-engined aircraft was bought by Charles Kingsford Smith, who baptized his aircraft 'Southern Cross'. Kingsford Smith flew the aircraft over the Pacific Ocean with a flight beginning at Oakland in California on 31 May 1928. The aircraft arrived in Brisbane on 9 June after two stops and 89 hours and 11 minutes in the air.
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The first four real production aircraft of the F.VIIb/3m were built in 1928 for KNILM, the airline of the Netherlands East Indies. The F.VIIb/3m came in wide use with airlines in Europe and the USA. The Fokker C-2 was an American military variant and the F.10 was an American airline version, built by Atlantic Aircraft, the American aircraft factory of Fokker in the USA. The F.10s had a different fuselage, however, and the F.10a also a larger wing. Furthermore the F.VII was built under licence in Belgium, Poland, Italy and the UK. A total of around 250 aircraft has been built of all versions.
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H-NACC
The very first Fokker F.VII H-NACC.



Fokker F.VII

The H-NACT was the first KLM F.VIIa. Compared to the F.VII the aircraft has a simplified undercarriage and a new wing with integral ailerons.



Fokker F.VII Balair

A Fokker F.VIIa of the Swiss airline Balair. This specific aircraft is now in the Verkehrshaus der Schweiz Museum in Luzern.



Fokker F.VII
The Fokker F.VIIb/3m was in widespread use. This aircraft was built under licence Czecho-Slovakia and operated by Ceskoslovenska Letecka Spolecnost (CLS).



Fokker F.10
Fokker's factory in the USA, Atlantic Aircraft, produced an American version of the F.VII, designated F.10.





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