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Type of aircraft
The Netherlands
30.00 m
21.52 m
4.90 m
number of passengers
3 x Pratt & Whitmey Wasp T1D1
500 hp each
Max. take-off weight
13000 kg
Empty weight
8100 kg
Cruise speed
225 km/h
1350 km
Fokker F.XXII

Fokker F.XXII

Fokker F.XXII Kwikstaart from KLM in the final assembly in the Fokker factory

KLM Fokker F.XXII Kwikstaart on the foreground and behind it a Fokker F.XXXVI, the KLM Arend

Replica of the Spider with two Fokker's F.XXII

Fokker F.22 ready for take-off from Schiphol

The F.XXII of ABA, with large landing lights in the fuselage nose

Final pre-war airliner

The F.XXII was the last design of commercial aircraft that Fokker built in the period prior to the Second World War. Despite its low type number, the aircraft was build later than the Fokker F.XXXVI. The F.XXII was in fact a reduced-scale version of the F.XXXI.

At the time that the latter aircraft was being built - it was quite large for that period - Fokker was in contact with the Swedish airline ABA which was very interested in the basic layout of the F.XXXVI. The Swedes however found the aircraft far too big.

Discussion focused on a requirement for a smaller four-engined aircraft that ABA wanted to introduce on its European network. In response, Fokker designed the F.XXII for 22 passengers.

The type number in this case corresponded with the number of passengers that could be carried, excluding the crew.

With the F.XXXVI, the type number included the crew. At Fokker it was realised that having just one customer for a new type of aircraft was insufficient to warrant launching the F.XXII.

The company therefore tried to get Plesman interested. At the time, Fokker and KLM were negotiating a possible fourengined version of the Fokker F.XVIII with the engines mounted in the leading edge of the wing.

As rebuilding the F.XVIII would be quite expensive, it was not too difficult to interest Plesman in the F.XXII.

Moreover ABA was an airline that KLM cooperated with on some European routes. Plesman ordered two F.XXIIs immediately and a third aircraft was added later.

From Fokker's point of view, he preferred to develop the F.XXII first in order to gain experience with the four-engined concept ahead of building the bigger F.XXXVI. However, the F.XXXVI was more or less imposed on him by KLM and it was not possible to complete the smaller aircraft first.

Fokker could not - and did not want to - start work on the F.XXII before both customers had confirmed their orders in writing. Fokker had to have this security.


This led, yet again, to arguments between the two Dutch industrial leaders. Plesman was angry about the lack of progress at Fokker and threatened not to accept the F.XX.

This was at a time when there was the possibility of selling three new types to KLM: the F.XX, the F.XXII and the F.XXXVI. Eventually it was ABA that was first to confirm its order for the FXXII, which consequently was built prior to the F.XXXVI.

Chief pilot

In the F.XXII the chief pilot's seat was located in the nose of the fuselage, as was the case in the F.XXXVI. The second pilot sat behind him, offset to the right.

The wireless operator sat somewhat lower, and the fourth crew-member, the steward, was provided with a kitchen worktop behind the cockpit. The passenger cabin was divided into four compartments, the first three with six seats and the fourth with four seats. The interior was luxuriously outfitted and the scats were upholstered in leather.

For lunch, tables were placed between the facing scats. There was also the possibility of converting the four


seats into two beds, thus creating an air ambulance. Four F.XXIIs were built, three for KLM and one for ABA. They were used solely on the operators' European routes.

One of the KLM machines, named 'Kwikstaart', crashed at Schiphol on 14 July 1935, just three months after delivery. Four crew members and two passengers died in the blazing aircraft.

Other passengers escaped. The cause was a fault in the aircraft fuel system. This accident occurred during an infamous week when altogether three KLM aircraft were lost.


In June 1936, as the result of an unfortunate pilot error, the F.XXII delivered to ABA crashed during a landing at Malmö airfield. Instead of pushing the propeller pitch handles forward, the pilot opened the throttle with the engines in weak mixture, and all four stalled. There were no fatalities, but the aircraft was damaged beyond repair.

In 1939 the remaining F.XXIIs of KLM - the 'Papegaai' (Parrot) and 'Roerdomp' (Bittern) - together with the large F.XXXVI, were sold to airlines in Britain.

The Roerdomp went into service with the British American Air Service and the Papegaai with Scottish Aviation Ltd. Two years later, in October 1941, both F.XXIIs were impressed in the Royal Air Force and operated by the Air Observers Navigation School.

The former Roerdomp, was later transferred to No. 1680 Flight at Abbotsinch, near Glasgow where it was renamed 'Sylvia Scarlet'.


On 3 July 1943, the aircraft experienced a fire in flight and crashed, blazing, in Loch Tarbcrt near Kintyre. Around the same time, the other F.XXII also had to contend with fire.

During take-off on 3 April 1943, one of the engines caught fire. The aircraft remained out of service at Prestwick airport until the end of the war when it was returned to Scottish Aviation. On 18 October 1946 this airline put the Dutch aircraft back in airline service following a thorough refurbishing program.

The aircraft flew in the livery of Scottish Aviation but was in fact leased by British European Airways (BEA) who operated it on its Prestwick-Belfast route until August 1947. This sole remaining F.XXII was demolished and burned in 1953.

The aircraft was first offered to Holland to be exhibited in a museum but, at the time, there was insufficient money and storage space to allow its return.