Fokker F27 Friendship

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F27 Friendship
Busy Bee F-27 LN-AKB.jpg
Role Airliner
National origin Netherlands
Manufacturer Fokker
First flight 24 November 1955
Introduction 19 November 1958
Status Active, not in production
Produced 1955–1987
Number built 586
Variants Fairchild F-27/FH-227
Developed into Fokker 50

The Fokker F27 Friendship is a turboprop airliner designed and built by the defunct Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker.

Design and development[edit]

Design of the Fokker F27 started in the 1950s as a replacement to the successful Douglas DC-3 airliner. The manufacturer evaluated a number of different configurations before finally deciding on a high-wing twin Rolls-Royce Dart engine layout with a pressurised cabin for 28 passengers.

The first prototype, registered PH-NIV, first flew on 24 November 1955. The second prototype and initial production machines were 0.9 m (3 ft) longer, addressing the first aircraft's slightly tail-heavy handling and also providing space for four more passengers, bringing the total to 32. These aircraft also used the more powerful Dart Mk 528 engine.

In 1956, Fokker signed a licensing deal with the US aircraft manufacturer Fairchild for the latter to construct the F27 in the USA. The first U.S.-built aircraft flew on April 12, 1958. Fairchild also independently developed a stretched version, called the FH-227. Most sales by Fairchild were made in the North American market.

In the early 1980s, Fokker developed a successor to the Friendship, the Fokker 50. Although based on the F27-500 airframe, the Fokker 50 was virtually a new aircraft with Pratt & Whitney Canada engines and modern systems. Its general performance and passenger comfort were improved over the F27.

Operational history[edit]

Aer Lingus was the first airline to operate the F27 Friendship
Braathens SAFE F27-100 Friendship in August 1974

The first production model, the F27-100, was delivered to Aer Lingus in November 1958. Other early Friendship customers included Braathens SAFE and Luxair in Europe; New Zealand National Airways Corporation; Trans Australia Airlines and its Australian competitors Ansett and East-West Airlines; and Turkish Airlines.

Basic price for an RDa.6 powered F27 in 1960 was £239,000.[1] At the end of the Fokker F27’s production in 1987, 586 units had been built (plus another 207 F-27s and FH-227s in the USA by Fairchild), more than any other western European civil turboprop airliner at the time.[citation needed]

Many aircraft have been modified from passenger service to cargo or express-package freighter roles. The last major cargo user of the F27 in the United States was FedEx Express, as cargo "feeder" aircraft. These were retired and replaced by ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft by the end of 2009, with the last of the aircraft being donated to the Hickory Aviation Museum.[citation needed]

As of July 2010 a total of 65 F27s were in commercial service with almost 30 different airlines.[2] By July 2013 only 25 Friendships remained in service, operated by 13 different airlines; most were F27-500s, with two -400s and a solitary -600 series aircraft in service. Italian cargo airline MiniLiner operated six F27s and Air Panama had four in its fleet.[3] The United States Army Parachute Team has used a C-31A Troopship for its skydiving exhibitions since 1985.[4]


F27-300M Troopship of the Royal Netherlands Air Force in the mid 1970s
  • F27-100 - was the first production model; 44 passengers.
  • F27-200 - uses the Dart Mk 532 engine.
  • F27-300 Combiplane - Civil passenger/cargo aircraft.
  • F27-300M Troopship - Military transport version for Royal Netherlands Air Force.
  • F27-400 - "Combi" passenger/cargo aircraft, with two Rolls-Royce Dart 7 turboprop engines and large cargo door.
  • F27-400M - Military version for US Army with designation C-31A Troopship, still in use in 2015.
  • F27-500 - The -500, had a 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) longer fuselage, a return to the Dart Mk 528 engine, and accommodation for up to 52 passengers. It first flew in November 1967.
  • F27-500M - Military version.
  • F27-500F - A version of the -500 for Australia with smaller front and rear doors.
  • F27-600 - Quick change cargo/passenger version of -200 with large cargo door.
  • F27-700 - A F27-100 with a large cargo door.
  • F27 200-MAR - Unarmed maritime reconnaissance version.
  • F27 Maritime Enforcer - Armed maritime reconnaissance version.
  • F-27 - license-built version manufactured by Fairchild Hiller in the United States
  • FH-227 - stretched version of the F-27, independently developed and manufactured by Fairchild Hiller in the United States


Map of F27 operators. Light blue indicates civilian use only. Dark blue indicates both civilian and military use. Red indicates military use only.

Notable accidents and incidents[edit]

  • Trans Australia Airlines Flight 538 - 10 June 1960 Mackay, Queensland, Australia: 29 fatalities - this is still the deadliest civilian Australian aircraft accident in history. The investigation was not able to determine a probable cause of this accident. The accident was critical in the development of the flight recorder to record parameters to aid investigations of future airliner accidents.
  • On 7 May 1964, Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 crashed into a hill in San Ramon, California, after a suicidal passenger killed both pilots and then turned the gun on himself. All 44 people on board were killed.
  • On the evening of November 15, 1964, Bonanza Air Lines Flight 114 was flying from Phoenix, Arizona, to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada, in poor weather conditions when it crashed into the top of a hill in open desert country about 10 miles (16 km) SSW of Las Vegas. All 29 aboard -- 26 passengers and a crew of three -- died instantly when the plane exploded on impact, no more than 10 feet (3 m) below a ridge crest. It was Bonanza's only crash with fatalities during the airline's 23-year history.
  • On 6 August 1970 a Pakistan International Airlines Fokker F27 turboprop aircraft crashed while attempting to take off from Islamabad in a thunderstorm, killing all 30 people on board.
  • On 30 January 1971 Indian Airlines Fokker Friendship aircraft Ganga was hijacked by Hashim Quereshi and his cousin Ashraf Butt and was flown to Lahore, Pakistan where the passengers and crew were released and plane was burnt on February 1, 1971.[5][6][7]
  • Pakistan International Airlines Flight 631 crashed on 8 December 1972 Gilgit, Pakistan: 26 fatalities.
  • On 15 September 1978 a Philippine Air Force F27 crashed due to windshear. 15 of the 24 people on board were killed, as well as 17 people on the ground.
  • On 29 March 1979 the F27 operating Quebecair Flight 255 crashed minutes after taking off from Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport. 17 people died and 7 were injured.
  • On 26 May 1980 a Nigerian Air Force F27 crashed due to a thunderstorm, killing all 30 people on board. The aircraft was carrying a delegation of military and government officials on a diplomatic mission.
  • On 20 July 1981 Somali Airlines Flight 40 crashed near Balad Somalia. All 50 passengers and crew on board were killed.
  • On 5 August 1984, a Biman Bangladesh Airlines Fokker F27-600 crashed into a marsh near Zia International Airport (now Shahjalal International Airport) in Dhaka, Bangladesh while landing in poor weather.[8] With a total death toll of 49 people, it is the deadliest aviation disaster to occur on Bangladeshi soil.[9]
  • On 16 August 1986 a Sudan Airways F27 was shot down by the SPLA, killing all 60 people on board.
  • On 23 October 1986 a PIA Fokker F27 crashed while coming in to land in the northwestern city of Peshawar, killing 13 of the 54 people on board
  • On 8 December 1987 the Alianza Lima air disaster in which a Naval F27 that was transporting the Alianza Lima football club crashed in Lima, Peru, killing the whole team.
  • On 19 October 1988 thirty-four died in a Vayudoot F27 crash near Guwahati, India.[10][11][12]
  • On 25 August 1989 a PIA Fokker carrying 54 people disappeared after leaving Gilgit in northern Pakistan. The wreckage was never found.
  • On 8 November 1995 an Argentine Air Force F27, tail number TC-72, operating a LADE civilian flight from Comodoro Rivadavia to Córdoba, crashed on mount Champaquí in Córdoba, killing all 52 people, many of them children.[13]
  • On 11 November 2002 Laoag International Airlines Flight 585 crashed into Manila Bay. 19 of the 34 people on board were killed.
  • On 20 February 2003 a military F27 crashed in northwestern Pakistan killing Pakistan Air Force Chief, Air Chief Marshal Mushaf Ali Mir, his wife and 15 others.
  • Pakistan International Airlines Flight 688 carrying 45 people crashed 2–3 minutes after take off from Multan airport on 10 July 2006. There were no survivors. Engine fire was suspected as the cause of the crash.[14]
  • On 6 April 2009 an Indonesian Air Force F27 crashed in Bandung, Indonesia killing all 24 occupants on board. The cause of the incident was said to be heavy rain.[15] The plane reportedly crashed into a hangar during its landing procedure and killed all on board. The casualties include: 6 crews, an instructor and 17 special forces trainee personnel.[16]
  • On 21 June 2012 an Indonesian Air Force F27 crashed into a housing complex in the capital Jakarta, setting 6 houses on fire and killing at least 11 people.[17]

Aircraft on display[edit]

The first production Fokker F27 in NLM colours at an airshow in 2006
  • (PH-FHF) The first production Fokker F27 Friendship preserved at the Aviodrome Lelystad, Netherlands marked in colours of NLM.
  • Air UK - G-BHMY Preserved at the Norwich Aviation Museum.
  • Aircraft painted as first prototype PH-NIV, marking the entrance of the Fokker Logistics Park as Fokker Tribute, the former factory location at Schiphol/Oude Meer
  • Fokker F27-200 TF-SYN, c/n 10545, formerly of Landhelgisgæsla Íslands (Icelandic Coast Guard) is on permanent display in Flugsafn Íslands (Icelandic Aviation Museum), Akureyri Airport, Akureyri, Iceland.
  • F27-100 ZK-BXH, cn 10190 National Transport and Toy Museum, Wanaka, Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand.[18]
  • F27-100 ZK-BXG, cn 10189 at Ferrymead Aeronautical Society, Ferrymead Heritage Park, Christchurch, New Zealand in NZ National Airways Corporation colours.[19]
  • F27-100 ZK-BXI, cn10286 at Chatham Islands Aviation Museum. Under restoration.
  • F27-109 VH-CAT at South Australian Aviation Museum, Adelaide, South Australia in CSIRO Atmospheric Research configuration.[20]

Specifications (F.27)[edit]

F27-400M of Thai Navy in 2012.
F27 Rolls Royce Dart

Data from [21]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2 or 3
  • Capacity: 48-56 passengers
  • Length: 25.06 m (82 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 29 m (95 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 8.72 m (28 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 70 m2 (750 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 11,204 kg (24,701 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 19,773 kg (43,592 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Rolls-Royce Dart Mk.532-7 two-stage centrifugal compressor turboprop, 1,678 kW (2,250 hp) each


  • Cruising speed: 460 km/h (286 mph; 248 kn)
  • Range: 2,600 km (1,616 mi; 1,404 nmi)
  • Rate of climb: 7.37 m/s (1,451 ft/min)

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ "fokker - fairchild - 1960 - 2694 - Flight Archive". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "2010 World Airliner Census", p. 44.
  3. ^ "2013 World Airliner Census", p. 57.
  4. ^ "Aircraft". U.S. Army Parachute Team "Golden Knights". Retrieved 2014-01-19. 
  5. ^ "Who was behind hijacking of IA plane 'Ganga'?". Retrieved 13 November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Did India plant 1965 war plans?". Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  7. ^ "Hijack into terror". The Times Of India. October 6, 2001. 
  8. ^ Accident description for S2-ABJ at the Aviation Safety Network
  9. ^ "AROUND THE WORLD; 49 Die in Bangladesh As Plane Plunges". The New York Times. 6 August 1984. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived April 8, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Air". Air Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  12. ^ Crossette, Barbara (1990-02-15). "NY Times". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  13. ^ "Article about TC-72". Diario Crónica, Comodoro Rivadavia. 
  14. ^ "South Asia | No survivors in Pakistani crash". BBC News. 2006-07-10. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  15. ^ Govindasamy, Siva (2009-04-07). "VIDEO: Indonesian military Fokker F-27 crashes in Bandung - Asian Skies". Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  16. ^
  17. ^ "detikNews : Korban Rumah Terbakar Akibat Fokker 27 Ngungsi ke Rumah Dinas TNI AU". 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  18. ^ "Wanaka National Transport and Toy Museum, Wanaka, New Zealand". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Ferrymead Aeronautical Society Inc.". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "Fokker F27 - South Australian Aviation Museum". Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  21. ^ Green, William, The Observers Book of Aircraft, Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd, 1970. ISBN 0-7232-0087-4

External links[edit]