Fokker B.I (1922)

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B.I and B.III
Fokker B1 front.jpg
Fokker B.I
Role Reconnaissance flying boat
Manufacturer Fokker
Designer Walter Rethel
First flight 1922
Number built 2
Not to be confused with Fokker M.7, named Fokker B.I by the Austro-Hungarian armed forces

The Fokker B.I was a reconnaissance flying boat built in the Netherlands in 1922 and followed by an improved version, the B.III in 1926. It was a conventional biplane flying boat design, with staggered sesquiplane wings braced by struts arranged as a Warren truss. The engine was mounted pusher-wise on the top wing. The duralumin hull featured three open cockpits - one at the nose for a gunner, one in front of the lower wing for the pilot and engineer and one behind the wings for another gunner. The B.I was amphibious, equipped with main undercarriage that folded back along the hull, but this feature was omitted in the B.III.

The B.I was flown in the Dutch East Indies by the Naval Air Service for a number of years, and although it gave good service, no further examples were ordered from Fokker. The manufacturer hoped that the modernised and improved B.III would stimulate renewed interest in the type, and also designed it so that a passenger cabin could be installed within the hull, in the hope of attracting commercial customers. This was not to be, however, and the B.III remained unsold. It was eventually sent to Fokker's US subsidiary where the hull design served as the basis for the Fokker F.11, after which the aircraft finally found a buyer in Harold Vanderbilt.

Specifications (B.III)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Four - Pilot, engineer, two gunners
  • Length: 11.85 m (38 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 18.00 m (59 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 3.95 m (13 ft 0 in)
  • Wing area: 59.0 m2 (603 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1,870 kg (4,120 lb)
  • Gross weight: 3,070 kg (6,770 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Napier Lion piston engine, 336 kW (450 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 180 km/h (112 mph)
  • Service ceiling: 3,700 m (12,100 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 3.0 m/s (600 ft/min)

Armament

  • 1 × machine gun on flexible mount in bow position
  • 1 × machine gun on flexible mount in dorsal position

References[edit]