Due to the success of Douglas' DC-3, Fokker's role in the global market for passenger aircraft was severely diminished. Whereas KLM was historically an important customer to Fokker, even they turned to other suppliers. When in 1938 KLM ordered the Douglas DC-5 in the USA and showed interest in the DC-4C, Fokker realised it had to come to terms with the new era.
In an attempt to revive the glory days, Fokker finally adopted an all-metal approach with a new design, dubbed Model 193. Intended to replace the obsolete and outdated F.XXII and F.XXXVI models, Fokker had to use new technologies instead of designs based on wooden wings and few metal parts in the fuselage. Later on, this model became known as the F.XXIV.
Whereas KLM was state-owned, Fokker used its political influence to force a sale from KLM. Finally in October 1939, KLM ordered four F.XXIVs. This sale was part of a broader package which also included the Douglas DC-4C, the Lockheed 44 Excalibur and another Fokker design known as Model 180.
The F24 as it was proposed, was a short-range all-metal twin-engine passenger aircraft. It was supposed to be powered by two Wright Cyclone radial engines of 1,193 kW (1,600 hp) each. Its fuselage was designed for 26 passengers. The single aisle cabin layout had eight rows of two abreast on the right and eight rows of a single seat on the left. A cargo bay was put between the passenger cabin and the cockpit. This cockpit had a layout for a crew of four. In the middle of the passenger cabin was a galley. At the aft side of the cabin was a toilet with another cargo bay.
Although KLM ordered four aircraft, the project never materialised as World War II broke out. During the war, design work was continued. After the war, Fokker could not deliver the planes on short notice as its factories were largely destroyed. Subsequently, KLM turned to American suppliers like Convair and Douglas. The F24 design attracted no other airlines and the project ended as Fokker turned to more modern designs.
In retrospect, the F.XXIV was a direct predecessor of the Fokker F27 Friendship built from the 1950s on. Its basic design layout was similar with the engine type as the main difference as the F27 had turboprops whereas the F.XXIV was designed to have radial engines. The F27 also was considerably larger.
Specifications (Fokker F.XXIV)
- Crew: 3
- Capacity: 24 passengers
- Length: 20.7 m (67 ft 11 in)
- Wingspan: 28.5 m (93 ft 6 in)
- Height: 5.2 m (17 ft 1 in)
- Empty weight: 8,500 kg (18,739 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 13,250 kg (29,211 lb)
- Powerplant: 2 × Wright Cyclone 9-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,193 kW (1,600 hp) each
- Cruise speed: 330 km/h (205 mph; 178 kn)
- Range: 1,200 km (746 mi; 648 nmi)
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