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Type of aircraft
The Netherlands
Date first flight
Wingspan in metres
10.61 m
7.44 m
2.86 m
number of passengers
BMW III.a/Armstrong Siddeley Puma
185 hp/230 hp
max take-off weight
1170 kg
cruise speed
150 km/h


Fokker C.II

Fokker C.II

Fokker factory in Amsterdam, 1921. On the right the F.III is assembled, left the production of the C.II

Two persons cabin of the C.2 passengerversion of the C.1.

The C.2. was sold to KLM, North and South America and Canada, where it was used with skies as undercarriage

The passenger accomodation on the C.II, complete with stirrup

A C.II as an aerial photography aircraft over New York

Early airtaxi

Surprisingly soon in the history of civil aviation, travellers began to find the air services too limited. Flights imposed set times of departure and arrival, and airlines did not always fly to the destinations passengers
most wanted to reach.

There was also a growing demand for air travel from smaller places to airfields with international connections. The answer to this demand for greater flexibility was the air taxi.

Here, Fokker was quick off the mark and early on had delivered such an aircraft in the shape of the C.II biplane.
The C.II was a development of the Fokker C.1. reconnaissance aircraft which had originated as the Fokker V.38. The letter C was the German designation for an armed two-seat reconnaissance biplane. In fact the C.I was an enlarged Fokker D.7., one of the famous fighters of the First World War.

The German Army placed an order for the C.I but before the aircraft could attain combat status, the armistice had been declared. With official acquiesence, Fokker was able to transport 118 C.Is - plus 130 other aircraft and 400 engines - by train from Germany to Holland. The fuselage was slightly enlarged and the span was increased. In addition,

With all this material available, Fokker started development of the air taxi in 1920. its C.II designation is rather confusing as the aircraft was hardly a reconnaissance machine.

In the C.II, the observer's place behind the pilot in the C.1 was largely replaced by an enclosed cabin for two passengers.


the C.II was constructed using the now traditional Fokker method of fusion-welded steel tube fuselage. There were no bracing wires for the wing outer sections.

The upper and lower wings were connected simply by means of two "N" struts of streamline-section seamless tube. The wing profile was thick, but despite this the C.II could achieve quite a speed. The aircraft was powered by a 185 hp BMW engine, although later C.IIs were equipped with 230 hp Armstrong Siddeley Pumas.

At least twelve C.IIs were built, all based on reconstructed C.I military airframes. It was found that the C.II, as well as operating in the role of an air taxi, was also very effective for aerial photography.


When the ELTA exhibition opened on a piece of ground in the Dutch capital on 1 August 1919, Fokker had already adapted two C.I's for passenger joy rides. The exhibition, which lasted for six weeks, had been organised on the initiative of Albert Piesman and a former fellow-officer, Lieutenant M. L. J. Hofstee. At ELTA, many visitors made their first flight in one of the C.Is. In a report on the exhibition, the Dutch aviation magazine 'Het Vliegveld,' described the C.I as "a scout with a small partially-transparent hood over the passengers".

The magazine was very critical about the location of the aircraft's fuel tank which,



as on the definitive C.II, was positioned on the undercarriage.
It reported "Some argue that this arrangement is without fire risk - at least that is what they contend with a carburetor fire where the large flammable mass is at a safe distance. Against this is the danger that with a bad landing the aircraft will catch fire quicker. Alternatively, it is possible that they had to lower the center of gravity".
"Even so, the many hundreds of safe flights made with the Fokkers during the exhibition, proved to the world the practicality of the design and that really is what it is all about".


One of the original operators of the C.II was KLM which initially had plans to fly two of the Fokker air taxis.

This idea however was never carried out. Only one C.II was eventually purchased and used as an aerial photography machine. This particular aircraft, unlike other C.IIs, had an open cabin. The photographic service of KLM - known today as KLM Aerocarto - built up a big reputation in aerial photography during the inter-war years. The C.II was used to great advantage and was not disposed of until 1933.

Other C.IIs were sold to customers in South America, Canada and the United States. The German magazine 'Flugsport' in its 28 September 1921 issue describes the arrival of two C.IIs in Colombia where a priest baptised the aircraft in front of "an extremely large crowd."

Harry Rother, the Fokker test pilot sent out from the factory, made passenger flights to the accompaniment of a thunderous ovation from the gathering.



The Colombian airline LIADCA had bought the Fokker aircraft for domestic air services. Christened with the names 'Cali' and 'Medellin', the C.IIs were operated for only a brief period before they were destroyed in accidents.

With another C.II in Canada, the undercarriage could be replaced by snow skis. Here also the aircraft was used for aerial photography. In particular a Montreal photographic company Brook & Weymouth, was commissioned by the Canadian National Railway to photograph areas needing to be mapped for proposed new railroad routes.

Finally, among the C.IIs flown in the United Sates, one was used by the Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation for taking many thousands of photographs over New York for the purpose of making maps of this world-famous city. Some quarter of a century later, a descendant of this company was to become a major licensed-builder of Fokker's first and highly successful turbine transport, the F.27.