The company was founded on July 21, 1919 by Dutchman Anthony Fokker, one
of the world's early aviation pioneers. At age 20, he had built his first
plane, the Spin (Spider), the first Dutch-built plane to fly in his home
country. In 1912, he founded his first own company, Fokker Aeroplanbau in
Berlin, Germany, later moving to Schwerin.
There, Fokker built planes for the German army during World War I, forced
onto Hugo Junkers as a partner by the German government. He gained fame
with his planes the Fokker Dr.I (triplane) and the Fokker D.VII, with a
mechanism that let pilots use machine guns on their planes without
shooting their propellers.
In 1919, Fokker separated from Junkers, returned to the Netherlands and
founded his own company. From then on, his main focus would be on
commercial, civilian airplanes rather than military ones, though he would
build those until World War II.
In December, 1939, Anthony Fokker died in the United States, where the
American branch of his company was very successful.
The Fokker factories in the Netherlands were completely destroyed during
World War II, and a new factory was built next to Schiphol Airport near
Amsterdam, in 1951. There, a number of military planes were built under
license, among which was Lockheed's F-104 Starfighter. A second production
and maintenance facility was established at Woensdrecht.
In 1958, the Fokker F27 Friendship was introduced, which became the
world's best selling turboprop airliner (selling almost 800 from 1958 to
1986). The F27 was followed by the Fokker F28 Fellowship, the Fokker F50,
the Fokker F70 and the Fokker F100. Both an F27 and later an F28 served
with the Dutch Royal Flight, Prince Bernhardt himself being a pilot.
In 1969, the Fokker company agreed to an alliance with Bremen-based
Vereinigte Flugtechnische Werke (representing ERNO) under control of a
transnational holding company. They collaborated on an unsuccessful
regional jetliner, the VFW-614. The European Space Agency ESA in June 1974
named a consortium headed by ERNO-VFW-Fokker GmbH to build pressurized
modules for Spacelab.
In 1996 the Fokker company was declared bankrupt but some parts of the
company survived. The space division became an independent company
currently known as Dutch Space. Those parts of the company that
manufactured parts of planes and carried out maintenance and repair work
were taken over by Stork N.V.; it is now known as Stork Aerospace Group.
Fokker F27 Friendship
Fokker F28 Fellowship