Next aircraft

Netherlands, exported to the U.S.
Date first flight
number of passengers
twelve-cylinder water-cooled Packard Liberty
Napier Lion and Rolls-Royce Eagle
400 hp/450hp

Coast to Coast

Although the F.IV was never really used as a commercial airliner, it nonetheless performed important pioneering work in completing the first non-stop coast-to-coast flight across America, making Fokker a big name throughout the country.

The possibility of travelling from one ocean coast to the other had always been an important goal for American air transport. Even today, domestic airlines still have the requirement to fly their aircraft non-stop from coast-to-coast, for example New York - Los Angeles and San Francisco - Washington.

Fuel and oil for the coast-to-coast flight

The inspiration to use the F.IV for such a flight came from the Army test pilot Lieutenant Oakley G. Kelly who had tested both Fokkers after their assembly. Kelly had had the idea for such an overland flight for some time, and testing the F.IV convinced him that the aircraft was suitable for the job.

He got permission from the Army and together with his fellow test pilot Lieutenant john A. Macready, began preparations. The aircraft had to be radically rebuilt for the flight. Extra tanks in the fuselage and wings increased the fuel capacity to almost 620 gallons. A special door allowed access from the cabin to the cockpit so that the pilots could relieve each other every six hours.

This was not entirely sufficient however. The matter of the pilot's seat being next to the engine meant that the aircraft could not be flown while the one pilot left the cockpit and the other took his place. To enable the aircraft to continue being piloted, a second set of flying controls with instrument panel were installed in the left side of the cabin. in addition, the view from the cabin was improved by fitting larger windows extending down to the cabin floor.

Kelly and Macready in front of the F.IV.

The lieutenants were also thankful for the fact that the F.IV could carry a much heavier load than the prescribed take-off weight of 8,400 lb. Even at 10,850 lb., the take-off and flying characteristics were kept within safe limits.



The endeavors of Kelly and Macready did not immediately achieve success. They made their first attempt on 5 October 1922. From Rockfield, San Diego in California,. they took off in the F.IV for New York. After being airborne for 35 hours, 18 minutes and 30 seconds, fog forced the pilots to abandon this attempt. Even so, a world endurance record would have been established had the necessary barograph been on board for the flight to be registered and officially recognized.

On 3 November the two pioneers tried again and this time the flight ended after 25 hours and 30 minutes in an emergency landing near Fort Harrison in Indianapolis. An engine failure, the result of a crack in the water jacket, was responsible.

Kelly and Macready had used milk and soup in a vain attempt to cool the engine which had become dangerously overheated. Before risking a third attempt, the officers made sure that they would improve on the existing officially recognized world endurance record.

On 16 and 17 April 1923, they remained airborne for 36 hours, 14 minutes and 8 seconds. With this flight they also established a distance record, a weight record and eight speed records over specific distances. The official observer was the man who, together with his brother, had established the first world record in aviation: Orville Wright.

Two weeks later, on 2 and 3 May, they made their third attempt, this time in the opposite direction: from New York to San Diego. This had the advantage that, after take-off, the heavily-laden F.IV did not immediately and laboriously have to climb to clear the mountains surrounding San Diego. The aircraft could now climb quite gradually. This trouble-free flight of 2,521 miles took 26 hours and 50 minutes. America was madly enthusiastic and thousands witnessed the arrival of the aircraft at San Diego.

The newspapers filled their columns for days with the event, although the makers' name Fokker was mostly concealed as the U.S government was not so keen on foreign products.

People referred mostly to the 'Army T-2'. The fact that the flights had been made by a product of Fokker did not prevent the aircraft from becoming a valued national asset. The F.IV was soon transferred to non-active service and given a place of honor in a museum. Today it is in the National Air & Space Museum in Washington D.C.

The dramatic flights failed to make Fokker the box office draw he had hoped and production of the F.IV did not continue beyond the two aircraft.

Fokker F.IV

Fokker F.IV/T.2

Obviously it was not a secret, the recordflights from the aircrafts of the US Airforce, just have a look on the paintings on the side of this Fokker T2 (F.IV)

Fokker F.IV Ambulance

First export to U.S.


At the end of 1920, Anthony Fokker received an invitation to make a fact-finding visit to the United States. In particular, the American military authorities had a great interest in the famous builder of the renowned German war planes.

Fokker did not hesitate in accepting the invitation. He could smell interesting sales possibilities in this country where virtually no aircraft industry existed. The visit was a success for Fokker.

Without any form of bidding procedure, he got an order for two fighters of V.40 type (later designated the F.VI and PW-5) and two transport aircraft of F.IV type designation.

Fokker had nothing more than a few sketches of the F.IV with him. The F.IV was intended to be a commercial 'airliner for eight to twelve passengers, and had some of the characteristics of the F.III.
It had a cantilever wing, and the unusual placing of the pilot's seat next to the engine was especially reminiscent of the F.III. The was installed offset as in the F.III.

The pilot was positioned to the left of the engine. As with the F.III, the F.IV was designed by Reinhold Platz. As well as the Liberty engine, Fokker offered the F.IV for sale with the e.

Packed in crates, the aircraft were freighted by ship to America where they arrived in March 1922.

The F.IV could also be supplied with two separate cabins, each with their own entrance door. A striking novelty was a removable freight 'cabin' which when taken out, left space for a maximum of twelve seats. It was even more remarkable that the F.IV was available with metal-covered wings.

Potential customers were warned however that this made the aircraft more expensive. Although Fokker missed out on metal construction ten years later, this showed that he was involved in it at an early stage. The F.IV was the largest aircraft that Fokker had built so far.
But - impressive as it was with its just over 80 ft wing span - air travel was not yet ready for the F.IV and no orders emerged.

The American arrned forces however, saw its possibilities as a transport aircraft. The two F.IVs ordered by them were built in Veere in late 1921 and were test flown by Fokker himself.


Assembly took place at the McCook Field military base near Dayton, Ohio. The United States Army Air Service (USAAS) thereupon gave the F.IV its own designation of T-2. The 'T' stood for 'Transport'. Later the USAAS made one of the aircraft available for medical use and changed the type designation to A-2, 'A' indicating 'Ambulance'.