|As I understand the man, he was somewhat of a playboy, who couldn't be bothered with hassles. He was best at test flying airplanes; took them up for a hop and told you what had to be changed - and was right, too.
Most info on Fokker is in Dutch, naturally. Bio: Born in Dutch Indonesia in a wealthy Dutch family. He never finished high school. Was fascinated by the young art of flying and burned a lot of his family's money trying to get his own airplanes built, flown and sold. In World War I, building aircraft in Germany, he made a fortune, which he quite illegally moved to Holland. There he started building aircraft, not only for KLM. For over ten years, Fokker aircraft were the best in the world, built in concession all over. Three American Fokker factories adapted and built models developed in Holland.
With the advent of the all-metal planes from the USA, Fokker's days as an aircraft manufacturer seemed to be over, as he stubbornly stuck to wooden construction. He died in 1939 in the USA. The Fokker factories kept building aircraft well into the late 1990s.
There's much more to the story than this standardized version.
|In his time, quite as famous in Holland as director of KLM as Fokker, but very different in character. Born and raised in Holland with a rigid religious background. His stubborn and unyielding attitude led to many problems with his collaborators.|
As an army officer he was the main force behind KLM's 1920 start, Amsterdam-London with De Havilland DH-16. They were very soon replaced with four passenger cabin Fokker F-II, and from then on KLM used almost exclusively Fokker aircraft, till the introduction of the Douglas DC-2.
In WWII KLM was kept alive mainly by the West-Indian division, and then made an amazing come-back flying Douglas, Lockheed and Convair aircraft. The F-27 Friendship was the first Fokker KLM used again.
|1920 ||Anthony Fokker moves his factory from Germany to Amsterdam|
Albert Plesman starts KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for Holland and Colonies
|1921||Fokker sells first F-II to KLM|
|1922||KLM gets 4-year subsidy;|
Fokker exports 200 aircraft at ƒ5M.
|1924||After a quarrel on the design competition for a tri-motor Plesman calls Fokker|
Not totally responsible for his remarks
First East-India flight, Fokker F-VII
|1925||Fokker builds F-VIIa tri-motor|
KLM starts explosive growth
|1929||Due to The Crash, Fokker America goes to General Motors|
Amsterdam produces only 67 aircraft
KLM continues growing, an international exception.
|1930||First KLM strike; Fokker F-IX|
|1931||Fokker F-II/F32, 30 passengers|
F-XVIII, last model based on F-VII.
|1933||Fokker F-36 32 passengers 4 engines|
KLM orders Douglas DC-2
|1934||KLM wins Melbourne race with DC-2 Uiver|
Fokker acquires European licensing rights from DC-1 up
|1935||KLM first trans-Atlantic mail, start West Indian operations|
with Fokker F-XVIII Snip
|1939||KLM orders DC-5 and F-24|
first all-metal Fokker plane; Anthony Fokker dies in Manhattan
|1940-1945 ||KLM flies Bristol-Lisboa and West-India.|
Fokker factories work for German war industry
|1946||KLM orders Convair Liner, not F-24|
|1958||Fokker F-27 Friendship based on F-24|
KLM buys three
|1986||KLM buys ten Fokker F100 with options on five more|
to phase out Douglas MD-80s.
|~1995||Fokker goes bankrupt|
|2004||KLM taken over by Air France|
|to sum up
Before World War II, there have been at least nine aircraft manufacturers in Holland. The most important of these were Koolhoven of Rotterdam, Pander den Haag and of course Fokker. The only Dutch airline was KLM.
While KLM bought almost exclusively Fokker aircraft, personality clashes between Plesman and Fokker ultimately led to a refusal of Plesman to deal with him anymore, and he switched over to all-metal Douglas planes.
Because Fokker had bought the European rights for these, he made a lot of money and did start out manufacturing all-metal aircraft. In 1939 KLM bought, under Dutch government pressure, four each of the virtual twins DC5 and F-24 (which were never built).
|would be nice to know
According to the official story on the DC-2 licensing rights, Fokker's letter to Douglas got there two weeks before KLM's and Plesman was furious. But was he? His son innocently relates when and how Plesman gave away the secret to Fokker, who must have sent Douglas a cable that same night.
Plesman probably did this to help along what was, after all, a long-time business companion. Why the furious act in public? Maybe because he'd rather not have the Dutch tax-payer know how come he had to pay the extra money Douglas asked for Fokker's commission.
All in all, this matter wants some serious investigation.