The Fokker D.XXI 

The Netherlands
The Netherlands

Sorry, No ID pictures yet

Although only 148 Fokker D.XXI's were built, and despite the fact that it was obsolete when the War broke out, you still can say that it was an important aircraft. Why? Because it was the primary fighter in three air forces: the Dutch airforce, the Danish airforce, and the Finnish air force.

Versions:

Further pictures:

The Fokker D.XXI
The Fokker D.XXI

 

Technical data on the Fokker D.XXI-2
Powerplant 1 × Bristol Mercury VIII radial, rated at 830 hp (618.76 kW) Role during war
  • Fighter
Length 26 ft 10.75 inch Height 9 ft 8 inch
Empty weight 3197 lb Operational weight 4519 lb max
Wing Span 36 ft 1 inch Wing Aspect ratio 7.47
Wing Area 174.38 sq ft Service ceiling 36090 ft
Maximum speed 286 mph at 16730 ft Cruising speed 267 mph at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate Climb to 19,685 ft in 7 min 30 sec Range 578 miles max
Fuel capacity internal 77 Imp gal (92.47 US gal) plus provision for 2 wing tanks (capacity unknown) Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns
  • 2 × 0.312 in FN-Browning M.36 fixed forward firing in the upper nose, 500 rounds each
  • 2 × 0.312 in FN-Browning M.36 fixed forward firing in the wing leading edge, 300 rounds each
Cannons -
Bomb load - Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 1 Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 27 March 1936 Operational Service 1938 - 1948
Manufacturer N.V. Nederlandsche Vliegtuigenfabriek Fokker Number produced 148 total, 53 this version
Metric system
Length 8.2 m Height 2.95 m
Empty weight 1450 kg Operational weight 2050 kg max
Wing Span 11 m Wing Aspect ratio 7.47
Wing Area 16.2 m² Service ceiling 11000 m
Maximum speed 460 km/h at 5099 m Cruising speed 430 km/h at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate Climb to 6.000 m in 7 min 30 sec Range 930 km max
Fuel capacity internal 350 liters plus provision for 2 wing tanks (capacity unknown) Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns
  • 2 × 7,92 mm FN-Browning M.36 fixed forward firing in the upper nose, 500 rounds each
  • 2 × 7,92 mm FN-Browning M.36 fixed forward firing in the wing leading edge, 300 rounds each
Cannons -
Bomb load - Torpedoes/rockets -

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the Fokker D.XXI 
Fokker D.XXI-1 First production aircraft, delivered to Denmark. They were powered by 1 × Mercury VIS radial, armmed with 2 × 0.312 in (7,92 mm) guns in the fuselage and 2 × 20 mm Madsen cannon in large underwing gondolas faired into the undersurface of the wing just outboard of the main landing gear units. Length was 23 ft 7.5 in (7,20 m), empty weight was 2,701 lb (1.225 kg), max take-off weight was 3,858 lb (1.750 kg), max level speed was 245.5 mph (395 km/h) at optimum altitude, cruising speed was 207 mph (333 km/h) at optimum altitude, range was 559 miles (900 km), and service ceiling was 29,530 ft (9.000 m)
Number built: 2
Fokker D.XXI-2 The first D.XXI-2 of 36 was handed over in July 1938 to the Dutch air force, the last in September 1939 - one week after Germany invaded Poland. See specs above.
Number built: 53
Fokker D.XXI-3 Finland received 7 D.XXI-2's, and was licensed to build their own aircraft, resulting in the D.XXI-3. 38 were built, and delivered in 1939, and played an important role in the Winter War against the invading USSR-forces. The D.XXI-3 was equal to the D.XXI-2 in all respects. The powerplants were one PZL or Tampella (Bristol) Mercury VII radial engine made in Poland or Finland respectively.
Number built: 38
Fokker D.XXI-4 The D.XXI-4 was powered with a different engine as supplies of the Finnish-built Mercury radial were earmarked for the VL license-built version of the Bristol Blenheim. Finland had bought 80 R-1535-SB4C-G Twin Wasp Junior engines, rated at 825 hp (615 kW), from the USA in 1940, and production of the D.XXI-4 with this engine totaled 50 aircraft. This variant had a slight degradation of performance and agility. Other major changes from the D.XXI-3 standard were the armament of 4 × 0.303 in (7,7 mm) guns in the wing leading edges, a larger vertical tail surface for continued directional stability despite the larger engine, and the rearward extension of the cockpit glazing to provide the pilot with larger fields of vision.
The details of the D.XXI-4 included a span of 36 ft 1 in (11,00 m), an aspect ratio of 7.47 and an area of 174.375 sq ft (16,20 mē). Length was 27 ft 9 in (8,46 m), and height was 9 ft 8 in (2,95 m). It had an empty weight of 3,384 lb (1.535 kg), max take-off weight of 4,817 lb (2.185 kg), max level speed of 270 mph (435 km/h) at 9,020 ft (2.750 m), cruising speed of 220.5 mph (355 km/h) at 9,020 ft (2.750 m), climb to 9,845 ft (3.000 m) in 4 minutes 30 seconds, and a service ceiling of 31,990 ft (9.750 m)
Number built: 50
Fokker D.XXI-5 Equal to the D.XXI-4, but with a Bristol Pegasus radial, rated at 920 hp (686 kW). Performance figures unknown
Number built: 5

Remarks:

The Netherlands were defeated in five days of war in May 1940. During that time there were 36 Fokker D.XXI's operational. Losses were heavy, but they did manage to shoot down almost 40 Junker Ju 52 transports and a couple of Messerschmitt bf 109's. Then they ran out of ammo (!). The Dutch government had tried to maintain it's neutrality, like during World War I. Therefor there was a a kind of short-sightedness concerning their armed forces, and a shortage of ammo. After the 5 days of war, there were still 8 aircraft operational, which were destroyed deliberately just before surrender to Germany. The others either had been shot down, or destroyed on the ground.
The Finns did better with their Fokker D.XXI's against the USSR in their Winter War. They were not hampered by the kind of wishful thinking that the Dutch had cost them their freedom. After the Netherlands were defeated, the licensed production lines in Finland continued development on the D.XXI, while looking for a better aircraft.

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© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 9/20/00