FOKKER

Anthony Herman Gerard Fokker, son of Java coffee planter, was sent to school in native Holland, avoided army conscription but cunningly got on aviation course at Bingen, Germany. Designed, built and flew aeroplane December 1910 at Baden-Baden. Was soon paid display pilot, and making aircraft as 'Fokker-Aeroplanbau'. Company registered 22 February 1912 as Fokker Aviatik GmbH at Berlin-Johannisthal, mainly family finance, but larger firm registered 1 October 1913 as Fokker Flugzeugwerke with factory at Schwerin, near Baltic coast. Original monoplanes called Spin (spider) developed in many versions, civil for private sale and use at Fokker pilot school, military with M designations. Gradually Fokker delegated design to outstanding hires Martin Kreutzer and Reinhold Platz. Shown bullet-deflecting wedges on propeller of shot-down Morane in April 1915, Fokker quickly devised interrupter gear enabling machine-gun to fire ahead past blades of propeller. Tested on M.5k monoplane, led to E (Eindecker = monoplane) series, first effective fighter. Subsequent wartime designs included D biplane fighters, Dr. triplane fighter and various prototypes, plus 400 AEG C.IV trainers. After Armistice wily Fokker continued design and manufacture at Schwerin, including F.I and F.II passenger aircraft, latter flown October 1919. These in production at Schwerin and also by Grulich when Allied restrictions prompted move to own country. D.VII specifically named as every example to be confiscated, but Fokker smuggled to Amsterdam 6 trains of 60 boxcars each packed with D.VII hardware, drawings and material, plus 150 skilled workers!

Read 65 times