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Fokker 50

Fokker 50
(In this photo: a Fokker 50 after landing)

Historical facts, aircraft information, facts and figures about the Fokker 50:

Fokker was a reputable Dutch aircraft manufacturer founded in 1912, which was named after its founder, Anthony Fokker, who built his first airplane at the age of 20. That aircraft, known as the Fokker Spin was the first Dutch-built plane to ever fly. As the company (founded as Fokker Aviatik GmbH) grew, it became an influential part of Europe’s early aviation history. Manfred von Richthofen, the top scoring German fighter ace during World War One, flew a red Fokker Dr.I triplane (Dreidecker). During the 1920s the F.IV, and F.VII, crossed both oceans and continents, piloted by some of aviations earliest sky pioneers and explorers.

Fokker 50 engine
(In this picture: Fokker 50 engine, propellers and wing)

Fokker was the world's largest aircraft manufacturer in the late 1920s, and by 1936, Fokker had captured around 40 percent of the American aerospace market too, thanks to its highly successful Fokker F.VII (trimotor) civil passenger airplane. After the Second World War, in 1958, it introduced a very successful commercial turboprop airliner, called the F-27 Friendship.

Fokker F-27 Friendship
(In this photo: the Fokker 27 Friendship and two DC-3's)

With around 586 units built, the Fokker 27 was a very successful replacement for the Douglas DC-3 aircraft. The airplane had a pressurized cabin capable of accommodating 28 passengers and was powered by two, wing mounted, Rolls-Royce Dart engines. Following many more projects, contracts, and risky collaborations, Fokker started development of the Fokker 50, in the 1980’s (the aircraft production lasted from 1987 to 1997). The F-50 was designed as an updated and modernized version of the F-27 Friendship, and Fokker ambitiously decided to attempt to produce it concurrently with the Fokker 100 airliner.

(In this video: Fokker 50 take-off and landing)

The Fokker 50 has a stretched fuselage based off the F-27-500 Friendship, but with a larger number of smaller windows, a two-wheel nose gear, and a 12% higher cruising speed, thanks to two Pratt & Whitney Canada PW125 (replacing the RR Darts) turboprop engines, featuring six blade Dowty Rotol propellers. Each powerplant produces around 2500 horse power. The Fokker 50 also incorporates the use of composite structure, a new avionics system (EFIS + a special integrated crew warning system), a glass cockpit, and small winglets, which are termed Foklet’s. The F-50 does not have an autothrottle however the propellers and mixture and managed by the Electronic Engine Control (EEC) system.

Here are some Fokker F-50 cockpit photos:

Fokker 50 cockpit throttles

Fokker 50 throttles

Fokker 50 cockpit

Fokker 50 cockpit

Fokker 50 overhead panel

Fokker 50 overhead

With a maximum cruising speed of 532 kilometers per hour, the F-50-100 series has a maximum operating altitude of 25,000 feet, and a range of 2,055 kilometers, with two flight crewmembers and about 50 passengers on board (the maximum passenger number for the F50 is 58 and the standard seating layout is 2 by 2 seats). The Fokker 50 has a wing span of 29 meters, (95 feet 2 inches), a length of 25.25 meters, (82 feet 10 inches), and a height of 8.32 meters, (27 feet 4 inches). The Fokker F-50 has a maximum takeoff weight of 20,820 kilograms, (45,900 pounds.)

Fokker 50: A video showing the Fokker 50 takeoff seen from the passenger cabin

The first Fokker 50 prototype took to the skies on December 28th 1985, while the first production aircraft flew on February 13th 1987. Following certification in May 1987, the first customer delivery was made to Lufthansa Cityline (DLT), that August.

Some more detailed photos of the Fokker 50 cockpit:

Fokker F-50 captains panel

F-50 captain's panel

Fokker F-50 cockpit

F-50 cockpit

Fokker F-50 copilots panel

F-50 copilot's panel

There were about 213 Fokker 50’s built, with the last aircraft delivered in May 1997. The previous year the Fokker Company was declared bankrupt, and entered liquidation. Despite the corporate failures however, Fokker’s successful F-50 airliner continues to fly and serve passengers and operators. As of 2009, 168 Fokker F-50s were still in operational use with airlines throughout the world.

Fokker 50 passenger cabin
(In this photo: Fokker 50 passenger cabin)

The Royal Netherlands Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force use the F-50 for both passengers and cargo, the latter of which has added two AGM-84D Harpoon missiles as armament. The Fokker 60 (Fokker 27 Mark 0604) derivative is 1.62 meters (5.31 feet) longer than the F-50, and has a large cargo door on the right side behind the cockpit. All four of them were delivered to the Royal Netherlands AF.

Fokker 50 tail
(In this photo: Fokker 50 tail)