Fokker, Anthony Herman Gerard

SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace
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b. 6 April 1890 Kediri, Java, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia)
d. 23 December 1939 New York, USA
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Dutch designer of German fighter aircraft during the First World War and of many successful airliners during the 1920s and 1930s.
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Anthony Fokker was born in Java, where his Dutch father had a coffee plantation. The family returned to the Netherlands and, after schooling, young Anthony went to Germany to study aeronautics. With the aid of a friend he built his first aeroplane, the Spin, in 1910: this was a monoplane capable of short hops. By 1911 Fokker had improved the Spin and gained a pilot's licence. In 1912 he set up a company called Fokker Aeroplanbau at Johannistal, outside Berlin, and a series of monoplanes followed.
When war broke out in 1914 Fokker offered his designs to both sides, and the Germans accepted them. His E I monoplane of 1915 caused a sensation with its manoeuvrability and forward-firing machine gun. Fokker and his collaborators improved on the French deflector system introduced by Raymond Saulnier by fitting an interrupter gear which synchronized the machine gun to fire between the blades of the rotating propeller. The Fokker Dr I triplane and D VII biplane were also outstanding German fighters of the First World War. Fokker's designs were often the work of an employee who received little credit: nevertheless, Fokker was a gifted pilot and a great organizer. After the war, Fokker moved back to the Netherlands and set up the Fokker Aircraft Works in Amsterdam. In 1922, however, he emigrated to the USA and established the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation in New Jersey. His first significant success there came the following year when one of his T-2 monoplanes became the first aircraft to fly non-stop across the USA, from New York to San Diego. He developed a series of civil aircraft using the well-proven method of construction he used for his fighters: fuselages made from steel tubes and thick, robust wooden wings. Of these, probably the most famous was the F VII/3m, a high-wing monoplane with three engines and capable of carrying about ten passengers. From 1925 the F VII/3m airliner was used worldwide and made many record-breaking flights, such as Lieutenant-Commander Richard Byrd's first flight over the North Pole in 1926 and Charles Kingsford-Smith's first transpacific flight in 1928. By this time Fokker had lost interest in military aircraft and had begun to see flight as a means of speeding up global communications and bringing people together. His last years were spent in realizing this dream, and this was reflected in his concentration on the design and production of passenger aircraft.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Royal Netherlands Aeronautical Society Gold Medal 1932.
Bibliography
1931, The Flying Dutchman: The Life of Anthony Fokker, London: Routledge \& Sons (an interesting, if rather biased, autobiography).
Further Reading
A.R.Weyl, 1965, Fokker: The Creative Years, London; reprinted 1988 (a very detailed account of Fokker's early work).
Thijs Postma, 1979, Fokker: Aircraft Builders to the World, Holland; 1980, English edn, London (a well-illustrated history of Fokker and the company).
Henri Hegener, 1961, Fokker: The Man and His Aircraft, Letchworth, Herts.
JDS / CM

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Fokker,Anthony Herman Gerard — Fok·ker (fŏkʹər, fôʹkər), Anthony Herman Gerard. 1890 1939. Dutch born American aircraft designer and manufacturer who revolutionized aerial warfare by synchronizing a front mounted machine gun to fire through the propeller of a plane (1915). * * …   Universalium

  • Fokker, Anthony Herman Gerard — ▪ Dutch aircraft manufacturer born April 6, 1890, Kediri, Java, Netherlands East Indies died Dec. 23, 1939, New York City  Dutch airman and pioneer aircraft manufacturer who, during World War I, produced more than 40 types of airplanes (designed… …   Universalium

  • Anthony Herman Gerard Fokker — Anton Herman Gerard Anthony Fokker (* 6. April 1890 bei Kediri auf Java; † 23. Dezember 1939 in New York) war der berühmteste niederländische Flugzeugbauer. Biografie Anton Herman Gerard Fokker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Anthony Herman Gerard Fokker — n. (1890 1939) Dutch born United States airplane manufacturer who established the Fokker Aircraft Corporation of America …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Fokker, Anthony — orig. Anton Herman Gerard Fokker born April 6, 1890, Kediri, Java, Netherlands East Indies died Dec. 23, 1939, New York, N.Y., U.S. Dutch U.S. aircraft designer and manufacturer. He built his first plane in 1910 and taught himself to fly. In 1912 …   Universalium

  • Fokker, Anthony — orig. Anton Herman Gerard Fokker (6 abr. 1890, Kediri, Java, Indias Orientales Holandesas–23 dic. 1939, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Diseñador y fabricante de aviones estadounidense de origen holandés. Construyó su primer avión en 1910 y aprendió… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • FOKKER, Anthony (Anton Herman Gerard) — (1890–1939)    Self made aircraft manufacturer. Fokker’s father sent him for mechanics training in Germany in 1910, where he constructed his first propeller airplane, called the Spider. In 1912, he started Fokker Aeroplanbau, near Berlin. During… …   Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands

  • Anton Herman Gerard Fokker — Anton Herman Gerard Anthony Fokker (* 6. April 1890 bei Blitar auf Java; † 23. Dezember 1939 in New York) war ein berühmter niederländischer Flugzeughersteller. Leben Anton Herman Gerard Fokker …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fokker — Rechtsform N. V. (Aktiengesellschaft) Gründung 22. Februar 1912 (Berlin Johannisthal) Auflösung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Fokker — [fäk′ər] Anthony Herman Gerard 1890 1939; U.S. aircraft designer, born in Dutch East Indies: built airplanes for Germany & the Netherlands, 1911 21 …   English World dictionary

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