Fokker Turboprop Airliners
Fokker was a Dutch aircraft manufacturer which operated in various forms from 1912 through 1996. Anthony Fokker’s company began its life in Germany before World War I, and ended up in The Netherlands, headquartered in Amsterdam before closing in bankruptcy.
Fokker built a series of very successful turboprop airliners, with their FK-27 Friendship twin engine airliner’s first flight taking place in 1955. The final airframe was delivered in 1987, after 581 aircraft were built. The large Rolls Royce Dart engine and a pressurized cabin were noteworthy innovations in the world of airliners. Seven variants of the basic airframe were produced, and the U.S. Fairchild Hiller aircraft company built an additional 128 F-27s. A stretched U.S.-designed product, the FH-227 was also produced, and an additional 78 of these airliners were built.
Later in life, a number of F-27s and FK-27s were converted into freighters.
The successor to the FK-27 was the advanced Fokker 50. This airframe included more powerful and efficient engines and refined aerodynamics that led to a reported fuel consumption reduction in the order of 30 percent. The aircraft was externally very similar to the earlier FK-27 though. The first flight of the Fokker 50 occurred on December 28, 1985. Before the assembly line closed, 213 FK-50s were built. A stretched version of the FK-50, known as the FK-60, was hatched, but only four airframes were built before the Fokker turboprop line was terminated.
Military use of the FK-27 and FK-50/60 variants was rather widespread. Used as transports and maritime patrol aircraft, the Royal Netherlands Air Force was one of a number of air arms that employed the aircraft. The U.S. Army utilized a pair of Fokker 27s, known as C-31As, as the main parachute platform for the Golden Knights parachute team.