Historic summary of KLM and Dutch aviation history from 1900 till now.

Just make your choice for the year of your interest in the mainmenu above or on this page on the right!

From each year you can easily navigate to another year, clicking "next".



Some special items

... the national airport of The Netherlands and what kind of an airport!

Started as a small airfield at the beginning of the last century by way of operating as a small, regional European airport during the mid 60s and 70s and now rapidly transformed to an ultramodern major hub for Europe and all the rest of the world to serve the new 21th century.

A safe homeport on the ground, home for aircraft taking the blue skies and reliable transitpoint for aircraft crossing Schiphol far above the clouds.








Thrilling adventure of a emergency landing in the Northsea. When Iwan Smirnoff just started as pilot by KLM in 1923, he was forced to make a emergency landing on the sands in the middle of the Northsea (in Dutch), carrying several passengers and a very valuable load. Read more..




Adventure of KLM pilot Hofstra on a flight from Amsterdam to London. Flying blind without blindflying instruments...
Read more..



Join me on a adventure journey to the Dutch East Indies!

During the flight crew and passengers didn’t have to complain about a lack of variation...









Schiphol 1930

Schiphol 1998


Iwan Smirnoff




The Pelican poststamp 2009

Jan Olieslager 1900-1913
Almost a month before Bleriot completed his first historic flight over the English Chanel, the first flight over Holland took place.
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The ELTA Aviation Exibition in Amsterdam was official opened at 1 august. It was a resounding succes for Albert Plesman.
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First flight from Amsterdam Schiphol 1920
Pilot Jerry Shaw brought a small bundle newspapers from London to Amsterdam and opens KLM's first services to London and Hamburg
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Fokker F3 1921
The re-opening of the service to London and Hamburg was attended by Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands.
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June 1st, 1922, scheduled flights to Brussels commenced. Nobody wanted to be left out of the official photo recording the event  1922
By the end of 1922, KLM had flown one million accident-free kilometers and was flying in winter, but still not on sundays
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KLM flew summer and winter. The full year services were applied with regularity and security that the Dutch aviation would give his excellent reputation abroad
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The KLM called itself "Royal Dutch Airlines for the Netherlands and its colonies". Great plan?
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In this year
KLM took the icy plunge...a winter service with heated cabins
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KLM regularly added new destinations to its network
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Van Lear Black and crew back in Amsterdam, 1927 1927
Van Lear Black came from Baltimore, via London, to the Low Countries. He came to fly...to Batavia
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Refeulling in the early days, all by hand 1928
The six experimental journeys of this year to Batavia took 12 days each, with 9 flying hours per day
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Fokker FVIIb-3M 1929
KLM was encouraged to commence regular but experimental scheduled services..
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On september 25 1930 finally the moment was there to start a regular two-weekly service to the East-Indies
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The comfortable seats from the F.XII 1931 
By now, KLM offered a weekly service to Batavia. The first flight for KLM was on 5 March 1931.
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The F-XVIII was introduced in 1932. This Fokker whittled down the travelling time to Batavia to nine days
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Captain Iwan Smirnoff, Co-pilot Piet Soer, Flight engineer Sjef Grosveld and Radio Operator Cees van Beukering, flying the Fokker F-XVIII 'Pelican' 1933
During a special Christmas flight, Captain Iwan Smirnoff flying the Fokker F-XVIII 'Pelican', set a new record
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The 'Uiver' crew 1934
Albert Plesman entered the first KLM DC-2, the 'Stork', for the great London-to-Melbourne race, which was to be held in the autumn of 1934
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On May 23, 1935 the first official Indië-flight in a Douglas DC2 was flight 238 with PH-AKK “Koetilang”. It left Schiphol with 325kg mail.
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Once again KLM led the field in Europe, scoring another first with the successor to the DC-2, the DC-3 1936
In 1936, the DC-2 was succeeded by the DC-3 for flights to the Orient
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In this year flightfrequentcy increased to three flights a week
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KLM introduced mail- and passengerservices directly to Australia
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In the tense wartime situation in European skies all KLM aircraft still operating had 'Holland' painted in large letters on their fuselage to identify them as neutral 1939 
As the 1930s drew to a close, the era of the 'great flights' came to an end in a turmoil world
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Schiphol 1940 after the bombing 1940  
The bombardment of Schiphol Airport brought KLM services to an abrupt end
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