Koolhoven F.K.55

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F.K.55
Role Fighter
National origin Netherlands
Manufacturer N.V. Koolhoven Vliegtugen
First flight 20 June 1938
Number built 1

The Koolhoven F.K.55 was a Dutch fighter prototype of the 1930s. Designed as a high-performance aircraft, it never made it past the prototype stage.

Development[edit]

Design on a Koolhoven high-performance aircraft first started late in 1937. The result, finished in early 1938 was the F.K.55, a single-seat fighter of radical design with contra-rotating propellers and an engine housed behind the pilot. It had initially been proposed to do away with ailerons on the wings, and replace them with "slot-spoilers" for lateral control, however this idea was abandoned early in the project.

Of mixed metal and wood construction with wooden wings, the F.K.55's front fuselage was made of steel tube while wood formed the tail and rear fuselage. Its Lorraine Pétrel engine afforded just enough energy to take off and to stay in flight, and many designers thought that it should be upgraded to a supercharged Lorraine 12R Sterna engine which would have afforded greater performance, however this never happened.[citation needed]

Operational history[edit]

The aircraft flew for the first time in June 1938. It flew for two minutes then landed. Its performance and lack of ability to stay in the air due to its weak engine resulted in the project being cancelled in the same year.

Specifications[edit]

Data from [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 9.25 m (30 ft 4 in)
  • Wingspan: 9.60 m (31 ft 6 in)
  • Height: 2.60 m (8 ft 6 in)
  • Wing area: 16.00 m2 (172.23 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 1600 kg (3527 lb)
  • Gross weight: 2208 kg (5026 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lorraine 12Hrs Pétrel V-12, 640 kW (860 hp)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 510 km/h (317 mph)
  • Cruising speed: 450 km/h (280 mph)
  • Range: 850 km (528 miles)
  • Rate of climb: 13.1 m/s (2580 ft/min)

Armament

  • 1 x 20 mm cannon firing through the propellor
  • 4 x wing-mounted .303 machine guns

References[edit]

  1. ^ Green & Swanborough, pg 323
  • Green, William; Gordon Swanborough. The Complete Book of Fighters. Godalming, UK: Salamander Books. p. 415.