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Typenumber F.26
Type of aircraft
Country The Netherlands
Date 1946, drawing, not build
Crew 3
Wingspan 18.20 m
Lenght 15.40 m
Height 4.00 m
number of passengers 17
Enginetype 2 x Rolls Royce RB 41 Nene
2265 LBS
Max. take-off weight 11500 kg
Empty weight 6300 kg
Cruise speed 800 km/h
Range 1000 km
Fokker F.26

Fokker F26 Phantom, C Thijs Postma

An ambitious project


IIn 1946, at the first post-war Paris Air Show, Fokker displayed the model of a remarkable new airliner.

Verging on revolutionary by its proposed use of jet engines, the aircraft was named the F26 Phantom. The model attracted quite some attention but it was not Fokker's idea to offer the F26 to the airlines.

It was essentially a study project and was never built, even as a prototype. The raison d'être of the F26 was that both Fokker and KIM wanted to know more about the economic feasibility of jet airliners. At that time, only a year after the Second World War, commercial aviation was not yet ready for jet equipment.

Nor were jet aircraft ready for commercial aviation: even so, the end of the piston engine era loomed. Fokker had determined that it would make its come-back in the airliner market and wanted to know at the earliest possible moment as much as it could about the pro's and con's of jet airliners.

Low wing


The F26 was a low wing all-metal aircraft seating 17 passengers. As a novelty for a Fokker aircraft, there was to be a pressurized cabin.

The proposed engines were Rolls-Royce Nenes, the most powerful turbojets at the time. To assist accessibility, the engines were positioned beneath the front fuselage - again an innovation. And the low-mounted wing was to be equipped with flaps. A three-man crew was envisaged: two pilots side-by-side, and behind them a wireless operator facing aft. The passenger cabin had a double row of seats on the starboard side and a single row on the port.

At the rear end of the cabin was a toilet as well as two cargo holds. The retractable landing gear was of tricycle layout. A cruising speed of 500 mph and a range of 620 miles were given in a brochure. Later descriptions in the aviation press refer to the F26 as a "praiseworthy effort to develop a jet airliner". KIM was quite interested in the Fokker concept as can be seen from the minutes of a meeting on 6 October 1948 when a number of Fokker specialists briefed KLM boss Plesman and technical director Henk Veenendaal. Encouraged by the airline's response, Fokker's Preliminary Design Department made a few more designs of twin-jet airliners which were discussed with KLM and the Netherlands Institute for Aircraft Development (NIV).

In Plesman's view however, the development of a jet airliner would be too much for Fokker to manage alone. He proposed cooperation with cle Havilland in England who were known to be working on a jet liner - later named the Comet.

Subsequently there was some contact and an exchange of information between the two companies as shown by design drawings in the Fokker archives. In October 1949 Ir. P. J. C. Vos, a director of Fokker, wrote to Professor Dr. Ir. H. J. van der Maas about a comparison between a jet and turboprop airliner.

This as yet undesignated turboprop was later to become the F27.