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Fokker Fairchild F-27

The Fairchild F-27, a Fokker design that was produced by Fairchild Hiller in the US, is probably the best known turboprop twin in the United States. Although the long-range propeller-driven transport is essentially a thing of the past, smaller, short-range aircraft of this type became more numerous since the advent of airline deregulation in the United States in the latter part of the 1970's, which prompted a large growth in short-haul, commuter-type airline operations. Built by Fokker Aircraft in Amsterdam, the F27 was designed from the outset for operation into small airports with minimal ground support. It quickly gained a reputation as a reliable, economical aero plane which is perfectly suited to short-haul regional operations.

Fokker"s widely-selling turboprop DC-3 replacement was developed in the 1950's as a 32 seat aircraft known as the P.275. It had the distinction of being ordered in greater numbers of any western built Turbo Prop airliner and its military derivatives with a total of 786 models built. Production ceased in 1986. With two Rolls-Royce engines, the first prototype made its first flight on 24 November 1955, and the larger prototype that was more representative of the production model made its first flight in January 1957. At this stage, Fokker had already signed an agreement with the American aerospace manufacturer, Fairchild, to build the F27's under licence and later, the stretched version FH-227. The F-27 entered service in the US in 1958 with West Coast Airline. The F27 became the world's best selling turboprop airliner. When production ended in 1986, a total of 786 Friendships had been sold worldwide.

Developments of the F27 were the MK200/F27a which had more powerful engines, the MK300/F27b, the MK400 Combiplane including the MK400M Troopship Tactical Transport. The stretched (1.5 meters) MK500 took the passenger capacity to 54 and was also the basis of the MK600 quick change freight/pax aircraft.

F-27 Friendship has been a highly successful turboprop design. The turbopropeller, or turboprop engine, is basically derived by gearing a conventional propeller to the shaft of a gas generator composed of a compressor, burner, and turbine. The turboprop engine may therefore be thought of as a turbojet engine that transmits power to the air by means of a propeller rather than through the jet exhaust. The turboprop engine is light and relatively simple as compared with the large high-power reciprocating engines. For example, a modern turboprop engine may develop between 2 and 3 horsepower per pound of weight, as compared with a maximum of about 1 horsepower per pound for a reciprocating engine, and has been made in sizes of up to 15 000 horsepower. The specific fuel consumption of the turboprop engine, however, is somewhat higher than that of the best reciprocating engines. The turboprop engine has been used in a number of highly successful transport aircraft and is still in fairly widespread use, particularly for short-haul, commuter-type transports.

BAC's aircraft are available in E-Class full-freight configuration. Converted under UK CAA-approved modification these aircraft provide maximum payload and volume capability. The aircraft are fitted with a large cargo door as standard and the low door and floor height above ground level make the aircraft easy to load and unload, without even the simplest of ground equipment such as conveyors. Loading of small packages or mail bags is possible through both front and rear doors making for very quick turnarounds. The Fokker F27 can operate comfortably from short runways, opening up hundreds of airfields inaccessible by scheduled flights. Cruise speed is about 447 km/h (240 knots), at altitude of up to 25,000 feet. The Dart turboprops have been modified to make them fully ICAO Stage 3 noise-compliant, allowing the aircraft to operate freely throughout Europe.

The Golden Knights have two C-31 aircraft dedicated to support the demonstration teams. The C-31 (Fokker F-27 "Friendship") is a high wing, dual engine, turboprop, tri-gear, transport aircraft, manned by a 3-person crew.

Fokker 50 F-50

Fokker announced it was developing the 50 seat Fokker 50, together with the 100 seat jet powered Fokker 100, in November 1983. With the arrivael of competition in the shape of the ATR42, but also in the form of the British Aerospace ATP came engines and propellers which were quieter and more fuel-efficient than the timeless, robust Rolls-Royce Dart/Dowty metal blade combination which had powered the F.27 for more than a quarter of a century. Foremost of the improvements was the new generation Pratt & Whitney Canada PW125 turboprops driving advanced six blade props, giving a 12% higher cruising speed and greater fuel economy,

The Fokker 50 is based on the fuselage of the F-27-500 Friendship.From far away the aircraft look the same, comparing the Fokker 50 with the F.27 Mk500 the dimensions of wing and fuselage are virtually identical. The most conspicuous wing change is the new upturned wingtips, not quite winglets, which Fokker nicknamed "Foklets".

The Fokker 50 fuselage structure manufacturing techniques are basically the same as those in the F.27, using metal adhesive bonded laminate plus stringers for most of the length. The aircraft structure is based on 40 years of experience with the unsurpassed F27 Friendship. This has resulted in an economic repair life of 90,000 landings. Operators use the Fokker 50 on networks with as many as 10 landings per day. The fleet leader has made over 45,000 landings as of 2007, an illustration of the durability of the aircraft. Reliable systems, dependable Pratt & Whitney Canada PW125B engines and extensive operating experience combine to create an impressive 99,6 % technical dispatch reliability.

Windows, doors, and floor structure are totally different from those of the F.27. There are nearly twice as many cabin windows-one between each pair of frames-amounting to 21 windows ("window pitch" is 18in), which gives the aircraft a more pleasing and modern external appearance than the fewer, big oval "portholes" of the F.27. Typically, the Fokker 50 seats from 46 to 56 passengers at a comfortable seat pitch. Ample overhead bin and wardrobe space is provided. The cargo holds are fore and aft of the cabin. The cabin cross-section is spacious and comparable to the Boeing 737 or 757 unlike cramped 3-abreast regional jets. Cabin noise levels are typically below only 77 dB(A) throughout large parts of the cabin, achieved without cumbersome active noise control. In fact, this makes the aircraft quieter than many regional jets. Passengers flying the Fokker 50 - especially in the tropics - also benefit from the generous air-conditioning capabilities that are unequaled in its class.

Fokker Aircraft, formerly a Deutsche Aerospace division of Daimler-Benz Aerospace, declared bankruptcy on 15 March 1996 and the last Fokker 50 was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines in May 1997. The trustees liquidated the company and no new Fokker aircraft were manufactured. Since 1996, four subsidiaries of the former Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker (Fokker Aerostructures, Fokker Elmo, Fokker Services and Fokker Special Products) had been operating as part of Stork. These four companies undertook joint activities under the name Fokker Aviation. With effect from February 1st 1999 they began operating under the new name of Stork Aerospace Group. Stork Aerospace Group is one of the five market-oriented groups of Stork and therefore used the Stork house style together with the Fokker trademark of Anthony Fokker's signature.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 02:56:49 ZULU