After the F.XXXII and F.XXXVI it seemed as if - at least for the time being - Fokker no longer had a role to play as a producer of commercial aircraft.
Between 1935 and 1939 Fokker did offer a number of new designs to KLM, but none of these reached the hardware stage. As Fokker was aware, he was late in switching from wood to metal construction. His response was to design the all-new, all-metal F24 which could have been the start of a fresh era for Fokker.
During the late 'thirties, KLM acquired no aircraft from the Dutch aircraft industry. The airline felt that better equipment was available from abroad and at shorter delivery times.
This led to KLM announcing, on 13 January 1939, that it had ordered DC-5s from Douglas in the 'States.
As a result of this complaint, the government appointed a committee to investigate the possibility of Fokker building airliners. This committee in turn appointed the 'small contact committee'. Its chairman was Dr. Ir J. A. Ringers, general manager of the Ministry of Waterways as well as being a member of the KLM board. Other committee members included representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Dutch airworthiness authority. During negotiations with KLM, Dr. Ringers succeeded in persuading the Dutch airline to order what was at that time known as Fokker design 193 and soon became designated F24.
This was to be an allmetal airliner for short-haul routes. Official confirmation of this order came on 6 October 1939 when the Ministry of Waterways gave KLM permission to order six Douglas DC-4E long-distance aircraft, four Lockheed 44E Excaliburs, four Fokker F24s as replacements for the airline's DC-2s and DC-3s, and one Fokker design 180 long-distance airliner. This latter aircraft was an allmetal design with twin booms not unlike the Fokker G. 1.
It was to carry 26 passengers. The government made 800,000 Dutch guilders available for development of the F24, plus a further 400,000 for tooling-up for production of the aircraft.
The F24 was to be a high wing twin-engined airliner initially with a twin fin and rudder layout similar to the Fokker T.IX bomber.
This military aircraft also used all-metal construction, and design 175 - an early version of the F24 - was actually a derivative of the T.IX, having the same wing, engines and tail. The fuselage of course, was different, being designed to accommodate 18 passengers. Subsequent market analysis showed however that a somewhat bigger aircraft would have better prospects and so design 193 was prepared for 24 passengers.
Originally it retained the twin tail layout until wind tunnel tests showed that the longer fuselage had sufficient longitudinal stability to allow use of a single fin and rudder.
The undercarriage was an innovation for Fokker, being of tricycle design as well as retractable. The main gear, which retracted forwards, had twin wheels and the nose gear a single wheel.
Two Wright Cyclones were envisaged as the powerplants, each delivering 1,600 hp and driving three-bladed Hamilton propellers. The flight crew consisted of two pilots, a wireless operator and a flight engineer.
Immediately aft of the cockpit was a cargo hold with a loading door on the starboard side. The crew could enter the cabin via the cargo hold and a door between the cargo hold and the cabin. There were eight double seats on the right side of the passenger cabin and eight singles on the left, but these seats were not in continuous rows.
At the location where the wing passed through the fuselage, the ceiling was lower. The floor was also lowered in this area so as to allow sufficient standing height for the cabin crew working in the pantry postioned there. Two small cargo holds were planned for the wing center section. The F24 was provided with an integral stair which folded into the side wall opposite the pantry. Aft of the cabin was a toilet plus another cargo hold. There were hatracks which was not unusual - and, as a novelty, each passenger had a reading light and a bell to call the steward.
The fuselage underside was specially reinforced to protect the passengers in case of an emergency wheels-up landing. At the time that detail drawings of the F24 were being prepared, experience with building metal aircraft at Fokker was still very limited. The one and only example of the T.IX bomber was all-metal and so were some parts of other Fokker aircraft such as the G.1 twin-boom fighter but that was all.
The outbreak of World War Two meant that the F24 never got beyond the drawing board. Despite ongoing hostilities, design work on the aircraft continued on a limited scale as it was hoped to deliver the F24 to KLM after the War. But when the war did finally end, Plesman wanted aircraft immediately and bought them from American surplus military stock.
Talks between KLM and Fokker on the F24 continued until 1946. However as the company's factory had been completely destroyed during the war and had to be rebuilt, Fokker had great difficulty in quoting prices and delivery times. So KLM decided to order Convair 240s in America and development of the F24 was hatted.
The Convair aircraft were delivered much later and at a considerably higher price than had been originally agreed - but that is another Story.