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Type of aircraft
Date first flight
October 1919
17,6 m
10,3 m
3.7 m
number of passengers
181 hp
Empty weight
1650 kg
Take off weight
2300 kg
Max. speed
150 km/h
Cruise Speed
130 km/h
Landing speed
70 km/h
4000 m
600 km
Service with

Reinhold Platz

Designer of the F.II was Reinhold Platz, chief designer at Schwerin. Born in 1886 in Kottbus, in the province of Brandenburg in eastern Germany, Platz joined Fokker in 1912 as a fitter and welder.

Reinhold Platz

He had learnt fusion welding in Berlin in 1904, based on a system developed by a French inventor, Mons. Fouché. He gained experience that same year in welding aircraft fuselages for freelance pilots including Poulain, Wettphal and Dorner.

The Fokker factory was later to benefit considerably from his knowledge and experience in welding. Welded joints normally caused a lot of problems, and after 1914 the German military aviation authorities would not accept aircraft with welded fuselages except those from Fokker.

After a large number of load tests on actual aircraft components. Fokker had managed to convince a special committee of the soundness of his welded joints.

In 1915 Platz was made manager of Fokker's Experimental Department which gave him a big say in component manufacture and new designs. in the following year he was appointed chief designer. From then on, many aircraft of his design were built, from the V.1 to the V.45. In 1917, Fokker gave Platz management of the entire plant. The Fokker company at that time had 1,600 employees.

Platz gained a major reputation in the aviation world with designs like the Dr.1 triplane, the D.VII biplane and the D.VIII monoplane.

Fokker F.II

The Fokker F.II was rebuilded several times. Here we see the aircraft without nationalitymarks

The prototype of the Fokker F.2 being build in Schwerin. Clearly visible is the military camouflage material used for the linnen of the tailarea

Unique photo of a Fokker F.II with two baby's, the Holland I and the flying bicycle of the Dutch aircraft designer Joop Carley

The first KLM F-II with Siddeley Puma engine

The first KLM Fokker F-II with registration H-NABC

Fokker F2

Fokker F.II

FII crashlanded after stolen from the German company

First comfortable passengerplane

It doesn't often happen that a worker receives instructions from his boss to steal an aircraft from his own company. However, this was the unusual assignment given to Bernhard de Waal - friend of Fokker and an employee from the earliest days when he was sent to Schwerin in Spring 1920.

So that he would not be unnecessarily conspicuous, he arrived there in disguise.
From de Waal's initial telephone contact with the factory, Platz thought he was dealing with a customer.

De Waal introduced himself and said he had been instructed to fly the prototype of the F.II to Holland. Because export of aircraft from Germany was forbidden at that time by the Allies, it had to appear that it was being stolen. So while Platz departed for "business" in Berlin, three Fokker employees - Messrs Wichmann, Bolkow and Dungel - assisted with the departure of the F.II.

To make the whole event even more illegal, de Waal took the opportunity to smuggle out a German Gritzner sewing machine. This was at a time when sewing machines were very scarce in Holland. The take-off, made directly from the hangar, signalled the start of a bizarre flight.

On the way, engine failure twice forced de Waal to make emergency landings on German soil. On the first occasion he managed to restart the engine himself.

The second time however was rather more exciting when two policemen came by to check up on things.

In broken German, de Waal explained that he was Dutch and had become lost over German territory. Because the police were not normally faced with such situations, one of the officers departed to seek instructions from headquarters as to how to handle this problem.

Fokker F.II, C Arvo Karin

Fokker F.II

One of the two prototypes of the Fokker F.2.

The first F.2. prototype

Poster in the Fokker F.II in which ao smoking is declared prohibited because of the danger

Poster in the Fokker F.II

Not wanting to wait for his return, de Waal persuaded the remaining officer to swing the propeller for him. He convinced the worthy official that it was necessary for him to test run the engine.

When to de Waal's relief the engine started, he took off immediately, leaving the dumbfounded officer stranded. This was not the end of de Waal's bad luck however. Landing near the Dutch Frisian town of Surhuisterveen, he broke his undercarriage. This time it was impossible to takeoff again, so he phoned Anthony Fokker who immediately jumped into his car and drove to Friesland.

First time

Here, Fokker saw his F.II for the first time, unhappily not in the best of conditions. The aircraft was dismantled and transported by train and boat to Amsterdam. The foregoing story was confirmed in 1973 by two eyewitnesses who were located after an appeal in a Dutch local newspaper by Mr C. Wydooge, an early employee of KLM.

The eyewitnesses were able to say exactly in which field de Waal had made his final landing. They also remembered the sewing machine which de Waal had apparently intended for an old army friend in Surhuisterveen.

But why did this extraordinary theft have to be undertaken in the first place? In October 1919 the Royal Airline Corporation of the Netherlands & Colonies - known today as KLM - was formed.


Under the inspiring leadership of its administrator, Albert Plesman, a former pilot with the Dutch military, the airline was to open the first regular air service between Amsterdam and London. Anthony Fokker saw in this company a potential customer for his first civil aircraft, the F.II.

To catch Plesman's interest, he wanted to demonstrate the aircraft on the day of KLM's first regular flight. Not only would the founders of KLM be present at Schiphol with their business associates, but so would the Press. So the adventure of de Waal was well worthwhile. Demonstrating the F.II helped with an order for two aircraft which KLM placed two months later. And that was the start of a long and close co-operation between Fokker and the national Dutch airline.


Work on the F.II under its original designation of V.45, started in Schwerin in December 1918. The aircraft embodied many of the characteristic features to be seen on Fokker civil aircraft in coming years.

It had a high wing and the fuselage was constructed using the Fokker method of a fabric-covered welded tubular steel structure that had been proven during the war.

The thick wooden wing was covered with plywood. The aircraft had seating for four passengers and a crew of two. There were windows on both sides of the fuselage and thanks to the high wing the passengers could enjoy a perfect view.

Powered by a 185 hp BMW IIIa engine, the F.II reached a speed of 80 mph. A technical peculiarity was the absence of a vertical stabilizer. The rectangular fuselage effectively provided enough stability on its own. Another unusual feature was the way in which the ailerons protruded beyond the wing tips. The pilot was seated in an open cockpit, with the seat next to him being intended for the navigator or flight mechanic.
These crew members seldomly flew however, and when necessary it was possible for a fifth passenger to occupy this seat. Without doubt, travelling in the cockpit was an interesting experience if the passenger was not afraid of shivering in the cold, wind and rain. As with the pilot, protection was hardly the word.

In October 1919 the F.II made its first flight.

Fokker's test pilot Adolf Parge, a former test pilot with the German Army, quickly became familiar with the new machine and was very enthusiastic about it. During its test program, the F.II made a seven-hour flight from Berlin to St. Petersburg (now Leningrad) in Russia, with seven passengers on board. Once Parge even took off with nine passengers plus 140 gallons of petrol and 11 gallons of oil.


With the limited power of the BMW IIIa engine, that was a real achievement. While testing the F.II, Parge attempted another daring maneuver. On Platz' instructions, he tried to perform a loop. This proved to be impossible however, even when Platz and Parge attempted it together.

The wing stalled long before the F.II reached the top of the loop, and as the nose dropped the aircraft continued on its normal way.

Before the F.II could enter passenger service, Fokker had to show that the aircraft was safe enough. In this connection, new regulations had been introduced in Germany after the First World War. Civil aircraft that satisfied these requirements received what was effectively a certificate of airworthiness. This was issued after the aircraft had been thoroughly tested by the DVI, - the German government's Department of Civil Aviation - in Adlershof.

Platz feared this test. He was worried that his strength calculations would be declared inadequate because of his common-or-garden methods. So it was with some hesitation that Platz asked the DVI, to send an expert at the company's expense to come and carry out the necessary strength analysis. Happily things worked out differently from Platz's expectations. The DVI, representative, Herr Bethge, was very impressed at the way the F.II was built. T

he aircraft was not only strong enough, but he also found that Fokker was very economic in the way it used materials. No part was made too large or too heavy. Bethge was critical only concerning the strength of the undercarriage - a comment that Platz was able to refute with the help of his own calculations.

Alltogether, the strength analysis turned out better than Platz had expected. The certificate of air worthiness was duly awarded.

KLM test

It was not only the DVL which carefully inspected the F.II.

A month later, following the demonstration to KLM at Schiphol, the aircraft was put through its paces at Soesterberg by the airline's pilot, W. G. R. Hinchliffe. He put his findings in a report in which he praised the performance achieved despite the aircraft's limited engine power. The F.II could take-off without payload in just 120 ft, and climb to 3,300 ft without effort. Hinchliffe found the controls so light that it was like flying a scout. He ascribed the aircraft's good qualities to its monoplane wing and excellent lift characteristics. By contrast, virtual all other civil aircraft in those days were biplanes. Hinchliffe did however find some negative points.

The engine was too small, resulting in a poor speed performance - and it overheated easily because of inadequate cooling.

In addition, he thought that the cabin windows were too small, and felt it should be possible to open them. He found it unpleasant that because of incorrect aircraft streamlining, the pilot experienced a constant draft.

Also, for such a light aircraft, Hinchliffe preferred a control stick to a steering wheel which was more appropriate to heavier machines. Finally, Hinchliffe thought it better for the pilot to sit right inside the cockpit. This probably was a personal whim as he was blind in his left eye.

In Hinchliffe's view, the advantages of the F.II more than outweighed its disavantages:


there was scarcely a better aircraft in those days. And so on July 10, 1920, KLM officially ordered two F.IIs for an amount of 45,000 Dutch guilders. The machines were both handed over on August 25, 1920.

On September 30 that year, Hinchliffe made KLM's first operational flight with the F.II to London airport Croydon. On board the aircraft were Albert Plesman, the aviation journalist of the moment Henri Hegener, and the Fokker mechanic S. Ellerman. Plesman was more than a little irritated that it had required five attempts before they succeeded in reaching London.

They also took the opportunity to make demonstration flights from Croydon where representatives from the British Air Ministry and Press were present. Later, they flew to Cricklewood to show the F.II to the managements of Handley Page and Aircraft Transport & Travel. KLM leased its first aircraft from the latter company, and the demonstrations led to extensive coverage in the UK aviation press. Because the F.II cooling problems identified by

Hinchliffe continued to be experienced, KLM, as a test, equipped one of its F.IIs with a 178 hp Mercedes engine. This suited neiher the F.II nor the engine, and the German power unit was subsequenty replaced by a 240 hp Armstrong Siddeley Puma. In response to the increased power, the speed went up to 93 mph. Despite the arrival of the newer F.III, the F.II remained in service with KLM until 1927. The aircraft were then sold to Sabena in Belgium.


The first F.IIs were built in the Fokker factory in Schwerin from where Bernhard de Waal had stolen the prototype.

This factory was closed in 1921 when production was transferred to Holland for relocation in the village of Veere in the province of Zeeland. It was not for some years after this that production of the F.II really got underway.

Of the few F.IIs built in Schwerin, it is possible that the Deutsche Luft Reederei (DLR) was the customer for the second aircraft. Later, in 1925, Fokker concluded an agreement with Deutsche Aero Lloyd AG for licensed manufacture of the F.II in Germany.

This company built at least twenty aircraft under the management of its technical director Karl Grulich, known during the First World War as designer of the Grosz-Flugzeuge (large aircraft) of Gothaer Waggon Fabrik AG.
The licensed aircraft were known as Fokker-Grulich F.IIs or FG.IIs. Deutsche Aero Lloyd built their F.IIs at Staaken which had been the Berlin Zeppelin airport during the War. Albatros Flugzeugewerke acquired the license to build the wing.

The Fokker-Grulich F.IIs differed in a number of ways from the aircraft built by Fokker. The German aircraft were equipped with different cabin windows,


a closed cockpit reached via a door in the cabin, and single larger main wheels in place of the double main wheels of Fokker F.IIs. Also, as the take-off weight was higher, the licensed machines were fitted with 230 hp BMW IV engines.

These F.IIs were used intensively for many years on German domestic routes. In 1926 the aircraft were transferred to the newly-formed Deutsche Lufthansa (DLH), which was a merger of Deutsche Aerc, Lloyd and Junkers Luftverkehr. Fourteen F.IIs were later re-engined with the 230 hp BMW Va, and were redesignated F.IIb, DLH named its F.IIs after rivers, and the last of its aircraft were in service until at least 1934.
Longest in service, surprisingly, was the first F.II to be built.
After being used by Fokker as a demonstration aircraft, the V.45 prototype was sold in December 1920 to the RSL (Rijksstudiedienst voor de Luchtvaart) - the predecessor to the present NLR (Nationaal Lucht- en Ruimtevaartlabora-torium), Hollands national aerospace laboratories.

In 1936 Fokker bought the F.II back to save it for the projected national aviation museum at Schiphol airport - but it never reached this far. During the Second World War this historical aircraft was demolished, probably after it was badly damaged during a bombing raid on Schiphol in May 1940.