Fokker D.XXI Replica (221) as used by the Dutch Army Aviation Group (LVA) at the Military Aviation Museum, Kamp Zeist (the Netherlands)
The Fokker D.XXI fighter was designed in 1935 for use by the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force
(Militaire Luchtvaart van het Koninklijk Nederlands-Indisch Leger, ML-KNIL). As such, it was designed as an inexpensive and small, but rugged aircraft, which had respectable performance for its time. Entering operational use in the early years of World War II, it provided yeoman service for both the Dutch Army Aviation Group (Luchtvaartafdeling or LVA) and the Finnish Air Force, and a few were built by the El Carmolí factory before it fell into rebel hands during the Spanish Civil War. The Fokker D.XXI was a low-wing monoplane with a fixed spatted undercarriage. Following standard Fokker design practice of the period, it had a steel tube fuselage covered in large part by fabric, with wooden cantilever wings. Power was provided by a Bristol Mercury radial driving a three-blade two-pitch propeller. When it entered service in 1938 it was a significant leap forward for the Dutch Army Aviation Group, whose fighter force had until that time consisted of ageing biplanes with open cockpits. The new Fokker proved to be an extremely sturdy aircraft capable of attaining a speed of 700 km/h (435 mph) in a dive. The Fokker D.XXI, although much slower and more lightly armed than the Messerschmitt Bf-109, performed surprisingly well in dogfights, due to its manoeuvrability. It was also one of the few aircraft that could follow a Stuka bomber into its dive. Nonetheless, the numerical inferiority of the Dutch Army Aviation Group (Luchtvaartafdeling or LVA) compared to the Luftwaffe resulted in the destruction of most Dutch Fokker D.XXI fighters during the campaign.
No complete Fokker D.XXI's are in existence, but the Fokker D.XXI Replica, which is displayed at the Military Aviation Museum (MLM), is an airworthy aircraft. It was especially build in 1988 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF). The construction was a cooperation between the the Airforce Electronics and Technical School (Luchtmacht Electronische en Technische School or LETS) and Fokker Aviation. The plane on display has flown a few hours, just to see how it flies. It was on display at the static show of the 75th anniversary Airshow at Deelen Air Base in 1988. It was flown in from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and afterwards flown to Soesterberg Air Base. After touchdown it was transported over the road from the air force base to the museum, where it is on display ever since.
- Matthijs van Wageningen
- Created on
- Wednesday 28 May 2008
- 221, airplane, aviation, Camp Zeist, D.XXI, Dutch Army Aviation Group, Fokker, Kamp Zeist, Luchtvaartafdeeling, LVA, Militaire Luchtvaart Museum, military, Military Aviation Museum, MLM, museum, Nederland, Netherlands, replica, Soesterberg
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