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Type of aircraft
Country The Netherlands
Date 1936. drawing, not build
Crew 4
Wingspan 38.50 m
Lenght 25.80 m
Height 6.45 m
number of passengers 56
Enginetype 4
1000 hp each
Max. take-off weight 22500 kg
Cruise speed 315 km/h
Range 1520 km
Fokker F.56

Fokker F.56 design

Design for an air giant

In November 1935, Fokker for the first time published data on its design 127 which later was given the type designation F.56.

Although at that time no Fokker aircraft were being built in the U.S., Fokker adopted the American practice of numbering in Arabic figures.

There could be no more confusion therefore. Fokker personally chose the number '56' to give an impression of the size of the new aircraft as the figure stood for the number of passengers that could be carried.

The F.56 was big for its time. It was to have cabins on two decks, one above the other. The configuration of 56 seats was intended for the European services, and for the East Indies route 28 sleeping places were provided.


Unlike earlier Fokker aircraft, the F.56 was not going to be a high wing design; instead a mid position was chosen enabling the undercarriage to be retracted into the wing.

An attractive feature was the use of twin vertical stabilizers. To keep to acceptable delivery times, Fokker was forced to follow his proven construction method of wooden wings and a fuselage of steel tube and linen covering.

To switch to metal construction would take too much time. But following the success of Douglas, more and more airframe manufacturers were changing over to metal construction.
When Fokker offered the F-56 to KLM in 1936, the design had no chance of being accepted by the airline. In America, plans were already in existence for the Douglas DC-4E with a pressurized cabin and KLM asked Fokker to equip the F.56 with such a cabin also.

For a person such as Plesman who always wanted the latest and the best, this was an entirely realistic request. Fokker's only weapon in this headon contest with the DC-4E was the luxury that the F.56 had to offer.

In correspondence, Fokker did not fail to draw KLM's attention to the enormous space it provided for passengers. The four cabins on the upper deck were each to be equipped with eight seats or four beds. On the lower deck were two cabins with seating for 24 or beds for 12.

In addition there was a roomy kitchen plus two dressing rooms with two wash stands each.

On top of this, Fokker claimed that passengers in the F.56 would be considerably less troubled by noise than in the DC-4E. Plesman was not impressed however and the F.56 soon passed into oblivion.