Next aircraft

F.XIV. cargo single engine
Type of aircraft
14.70 m
3.90 m
Date first flight
3 x Lorraine Algol 9Na
370 hp
cruise speed
197 km/h
Max take-off weight
5500 kg
1180 km
Empty weight
3300 kg

The F.XIV as an three-engined machine

Fokker F.XIV

The Fokker F.XIV Freighter in his first single engine design. Because of the financial depression this aircraft was without succes

Fokker F.XIVa-3M, a passengerversion of the F.XIV

The F.XIV found its final destination in a children's play ground at the 'Soesterdal' restaurant near the Dutch air force Soesterberg air base

The original single-engined F.XIV


An ill-starred freighter

In commercial aviation, the role of aircraft specially designed to carry freight has always been a limited one.

In the early days of Fokker, cargo aircraft comprised only a fraction of the total commercial air fleet and nowadays the situation remains the same. Most of the freight is carried by normal passenger aircraft or combi's.

Commercial aircraft specifically designed for freight transport are few and far between and most of the 'full freighters' are in fact versions of passenger-carrying types or adapted from military transport aircraft.

At the end of the 'twenties therefore, it is not surprising that Fokker with his F.XIV was soon to discover it was difficult to earn a living from developing dedicated freight transports.


The early European transport aircraft were designed to carry some luggage, usually in an area aft of the cabin. It was not long before this area was also used to carry letters and parcels.

The combined storage of luggage and mail proved impractical and so separate holds were introduced. Later the baggage space was enlarged, but large-size items were often carried inside the cabin which was not very convenient for the passengers.

Also, these items readily damaged the cabin walls and seats and removing and reinstalling the seats to increase the cabin space for freight was not helpful to maintaining the interior in good condition.

Despite this, by the end of the 'twenties the demand in Europe for special freight aircraft had increased, in particular for the transportation of gold.
Because of major fluctuations in the value of leading currencies, banks were in the habit of flying large amounts of gold to and fro the leading financial centers.

These movements had to be performed as fast as possible which meant that surface transportation was too slow.

Also, longer in-transit times meant increased costs for insurance and security. Under these circumstances it appeared that a market had emerged for aircraft manufacturers to produce special freighter aircraft. To meet this need, Fokker's designer Reinhold Platz conceived the F.XIV, construction of which was completed in February 1929. First flight of the aircraft powered by a 450 hp Gnome-Rhône Jupiter, followed on 22 February at Schiphol. Emil Meinecke was the pilot.

The cargo space of the F.XIV measured 16 ft 5 in long, 5 ft 11 in wide and 4 ft 11 in high, corresponding to 478 cu ft. Meinecke's first flight reports indicate that the aircraft behaved as a normal F.VII, but the cabin lining made "lots of noise" as a result of vibration.
After some changes to the machine, including enlargement of the ailerons and stabilizers, the aircraft made a further flight on 8 March 1929. The changes had hardly any effect except that the handling became heavier and the vibration remained.

In addition, the tail skid caused problems. if it had been designed to cut up the landing field, then the skid functioned excellently, the flight report of 21 March 1929 rather sneeringly commented. During taxying the aircraft could not be steered effectively at all. On 14 June 1929, the F.XIV made some flights with, among others, KLM pilot I. A. Aler who found the aircraft to be acceptable to the airline.

He was prepared to sign for the handover but only if the government's Rijks Studiedienst voor de Luchtvaart (Study Department for Aviation) had no objection to the aircraft. In the end however because of the world economic recession, the need for freighter aircraft disappeared and KLM never put the F.XIV into service.


Meanwhile the airline was working on a freight aircraft of its own design. KLM's director Albert Plesman thought that for his company to develop such an aircraft for itself would be less expensive than if a manufacturer undertook the work.

Plesman asked Joop Carley for such a design. Carley was a designer of genius who to-date had designed and built mainly small light aircraft, trainers and twin-engined commercial machines. For this pioneering effort he received very little recognition. After KLM accepted his freighter design, construction of the aircraft began at Werkspoor, a leading Dutch railway coach builder in Utrecht. Assistance was provided by KLM's technical department.

In August, test flying commenced at Waalhaven. The aircraft soon acquired the nickname 'Jumbo' because of its enormous dimensions and robust appearance.

Unfortunately the Carley jumbo became a victim of the rapidly declining demand for freight aircraft. The machine was soon taken out of service by KLM and was later used as a trainer for blind flying. After KLM rejected the F.XIV, Fokker was left with an unsold freighter on its hands. In the hope of increasing its sales chances, the aircraft was modified to a three-engined passenger configuration.

Because of the very simple construction methods used in those days, such a change was not so difficult to achieve. The Jupiter engine was replaced by three 370 hp Lorraine Algol 9 Na units. Each engine was fitted with a Townend ring and three-bladed propeller, and the cabin was furnished with windows plus seats for eight passengers.


Following its rebuild, the aircraft was given the designation F.XIV-3m. Its speed was higher than that of both the F.VIIa and F.VIIb-3m. Fokker invited KLM to test the F.XIV in its new three-engined form.

Aler flew the aircraft together with the Fokker test pilot Elkerbout and KLM's C. Wijdooge as observer. Their findings ranged form 'good' to ' average'. Fokker was unsuccessful in its bid to sell the aircraft to KLM - or any other airline - as the F.XIV was not an economically attractive proposition. The F.XIV found its final destination in a children's play ground at the 'Soesterdal' restaurant near the Dutch air force Soesterberg air base. Couturier, the owner of Soesterdal, took over the F.XIV-3m together with a C.V. and a C.Vw from Fokker for 800 Dutch guilders plus 35 guilders transportation costs.

The three Fokkers took part in an aviation exhibition near Soesterberg in 1936. The F.XIV-3m, which was given the name 'Watersnip' (common snipe), was eulogized in the exhibition brochure as "This famous three-engined passenger transport aircraft of KLM that in its time has flown over numerous countries and oceans, has landed now at the exhibition terrain to enjoy a well-deserved rest." In fact the aircraft had flown only over Schiphol and its surroundings.

During the invasion of Holland in May 1940, the Germans destroyed this one and only Fokker freighter.