Fokker F.III was a single-engined high-winged monoplane aircraft
produced in the 1920s by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker. It
could carry five passengers. The aircraft was also built under licence
Germany as the Fokker-Grulich F.III.
1 Design and development
2 Operational history
3 Accidents and incidents
7 External links
Design and development
Fokker F.III was a straightforward development of the F.II. A
widened cabin allowed all five passengers to sit within; in the
earlier aircraft, one passenger sat alongside the pilot in his exposed
cockpit. The pilot now sat alongside the engine, which was offset
laterally by about 100 mm (4 in); whether to port or
starboard depended on the type of engine installed. Although this
unusual arrangement meant that pilots were "burned on one side and
frozen on the other," they had a much better view than from the F.II.
The view was further improved by a cut-out in the wing leading edge
for the pilot's head, allowing his seat to be raised. The external
wing struts of the F.II were removed, leaving a clean cantilever wing.
The trapezoidal windows seen in the Grulich built F.IIs were standard
on the F.III.
Like its predecessor, the F.III was initially powered by a readily
available, war surplus 138 kW (185 hp)
BMW IIIa engine, but
KLM re-engined theirs with the 172 kW (230 hp)
Armstrong Siddeley Puma.
The F.III was first used by
KLM when they reopened their
London service on 14 April 1921 (they did not, at this time
operate over winter). Soon, F.IIIs were also flying on routes to
Bremen, Brussels, Hamburg, and Paris. They proved to be very reliable
KLM received 14 F.IIIs from Fokker's German factory at
Schwerin during 1921 and built two more itself from spares in the
following year. This final pair used 268-kW (360-hp) Rolls-Royce Eagle
VIII engines, with the pilot on the left.
Another operator of new F.IIIs was Deutsch-Russiche Luftverkehrs
Gesellschaft (Deruluft) which used nine aircraft on their
Moscow route from May 1922. These machines,
partially built in
Schwerin and finished in the
Netherlands at Veere,
had Eagle engines. One was a Fokker-Grulich.
Deutsche Aero Lloyd gained a licence to build F.IIIs as they had for
F.IIs and the company, with its southern subsidiary built and operated
18 of these Fokker-Grulich F.IIIs. Most of these used BMW engines,
typically the 186 kW (250 hp)
BMW IV in preference to the
138-kW (185-hp) BMW IIIa. Some of these were re-engined with the
239-kW (320-hp) BMW Va, and were designated F.IIIc.
Another operator from new was the Hungarian airline Malert, which
received six Dutch-built aircraft for their Budapest-Vienna-Belgrade
service from 1922 to 1929. These initially had
BMW IIIa engines, but
later ran with 172-kW (230-hp) Hiero IVs. They had larger wings,
increased in area by about 14%.
Deutsche Luft-Reederei also operated
two, originally intended for KLM. Four F.IIIs probably went to the
Later F.IIIs changed ownership frequently as airlines went bankrupt or
merged. They were still flying commercially in
Germany until about
Accidents and incidents
On 24 April 1923,
Fokker F.III H-NABS of
KLM departed Lympne for
Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The aircraft was not heard of again. It was
presumed to have crashed into the sea, killing the pilot and both
On 25 June 1925, a
Fokker F.III, registration H-NABM, crashed at
Landrécies, France in poor weather while on an Amsterdam-Paris
service, killing all four on board.
Free City of Danzig
Det Danske Luftfartselskab
Deutsch-Russiche Luftverkehrs Gesellschaft (Deruluft)
Deutsche Aero Lloyd
Deutsche Aero Luft
Sud-deutsche Luft Hansa
Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM)
Data from de Leeuw
Capacity: 5 passengers
Length: 11.07 m (36 ft 4 in)
Wingspan: 17.68 m (36 ft 4 in)
Height: 3.20 m (10 ft 6 in)
Wing area: 45.65 m² (491.4 ft²)
Empty weight: 1,200 kg (2,650 lb)
Loaded weight: 1,905 kg (4,200 lb)
Powerplant: 1 × Armstrong Siddeley Puma, 170 kW (230 hp)
Cruise speed: 135 km/h (84 mph)
Range: 1,000 km (621 mi)
^ de Leeuw, pp.22-29, p.181-2
^ "Lost Aeroplane. Unavailing Search For Dutch Machine". The Times
(43636). London. 26 April 1923. col F, p. 10.
de Leeuw, Rene.
Fokker Commercial Aircraft: From the F. I of 1918 Up
Fokker 100 of Today (1994).
Weyl, A.R. Fokker: The Creative Years. London: Putnam, 1965.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to
Fokker F III Commercial Monoplane" (PDF). Flight. XIII (21):
355–359. May 26, 1921. No. 648. Retrieved April 25, 2012.
Contemporary technical description of KLM's
Fokker F.III with Siddeley
Puma engine, including photographs and drawings.
Aircraft produced by Fokker