39 Facts About Anthony Fokker


Anton Herman Gerard "Anthony" Fokker was a Dutch aviation pioneer, aviation entrepreneur, aircraft designer, and aircraft manufacturer.


Anthony Fokker was born in Blitar, Dutch East Indies, to Herman Fokker, a Dutch coffee plantation owner.


Anthony Fokker was not a studious boy and did not complete his high school education.


Anthony Fokker devoted considerable effort to the development of a wheel that would not suffer from punctures, basically a wheel with a perimeter formed by a series of metal plates.


In 1910, aged 20, Anthony Fokker was sent by his father to Germany to receive training as an automobile mechanic at Bingen Technical school, but his interest was in flying, so he transferred to the Erste deutsche Automobil-Fachschule in Mainz.


That same year Anthony Fokker built his first aircraft "de Spin", which was destroyed when his business partner flew it into a tree.


Anthony Fokker gained his flying certificate in his second "Spin" aircraft, which shortly thereafter was destroyed by the same business partner, prompting Fokker to end their cooperation.


One day earlier, on Queen's Day, Anthony Fokker had already taken the opportunity to make a couple of demonstration flights in Haarlem in the same aircraft.


In 1912, Anthony Fokker moved to Johannisthal near Berlin, where he founded his first own company, Anthony Fokker Aeroplanbau.


Anthony Fokker relocated his factory to Schwerin where it was renamed Fokker Flugzeugwerke GmbH, and later shortened to Fokker Werke GmbH.


Anthony Fokker himself was a skilled pilot, demonstrating his aircraft on many occasions.


On 13 June 1915, Anthony Fokker demonstrated the new Eindecker at Stenay in the German 5th Army Sector in front of the German Crown Prince and other VIPs.


Anthony Fokker worked closely with an accomplished military pilot, Otto Parschau, to bring the Eindecker into military use and on this occasion both men demonstrated the aircraft.


Weyl says that, while Anthony Fokker was a talented and bold pilot, his business character was more flawed.


Anthony Fokker failed to reinvest war profits back into his factory which consequently struggled to fulfill contracts as the factory floor was often muddled with prototype development and production taking place at the same time.


Anthony Fokker distrusted qualified engineers, and resented frequent German insistence on carrying out stringent structural tests to ensure prototype aircraft were fit for combat.


Anthony Fokker was able to prove to the German high command that the basic design was not at fault, but the German military inquiry concluded that shoddy workmanship due to poor supervision and quality control at the Anthony Fokker factory were to blame.


Anthony Fokker recalled the aircraft for further testing, and successfully demonstrated that the reinforced rear spar caused the wings to flex unevenly at speed, increasing the angle of attack at the wing tips and causing the wing to shear apart under the increased loads.


Yet when Anthony Fokker fled Germany it was Platz who immediately took over the German works on Anthony Fokker's behalf.


Anthony Fokker later moved Platz to the Netherlands, as head designer, when the post-war German operation collapsed which indicates Platz really did play a greater design role than Anthony Fokker admits.


How much of this interpretation is based on the fact that Platz was still alive to tell his side of the story in 1965, and Anthony Fokker was not, is unclear.


Anthony Fokker is often credited with having invented the synchronization device which enabled World War I aircraft to fire through the spinning propeller.


Anthony Fokker's role was certainly significant, but there were a number of prior developments before the result was achieved for which Fokker is commonly credited.


Anthony Fokker's aircraft had been fitted with a deflector device, whereby metal deflector wedges were fitted to the propeller.


Anthony Fokker was heavily involved in this process but the story of his conception, development and installation of a synchronization device in a period of 48 hours has been shown to be not factual.


In 1919, Anthony Fokker returned to the Netherlands and started a new aircraft company, the Nederlandse Vliegtuigenfabriek, predecessor to the Anthony Fokker Aircraft Company.


Author Weyl says that Anthony Fokker used 350 railway wagons and made sure that each train was too long to fit into the railway sidings where trains were normally checked for contraband.


Anthony Fokker's admitted bribery has contributed to his reputation for sharp business practices.


Anthony Fokker describes his escape from Germany as a harrowing tale in which he protected as many workers as possible and escaped with less than a quarter of his net worth.


Anthony Fokker takes pains to rebuff the claim that he left the country owing any taxes.


Anthony Fokker's cousin was Dutch physicist, musician and inventor of the Fokker organ, Adriaan Fokker.


On 25 March 1919, Anthony Fokker married Sophie Marie Elisabeth von Morgen in Haarlem.


In or about 1926 or 1927, Anthony Fokker moved to the United States.


Anthony Fokker gained high visibility in daring exploits by pilots.


Anthony Fokker designs were increasingly outdated and in 1934 General Aviation discontinued their production.


Anthony Fokker worked "at all hours and in strange places".


Anthony Fokker died at age 49 in New York in 1939 from pneumococcal meningitis, after a three-week-long illness.


In 1980, Anthony Fokker was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio.


Anthony Fokker is portrayed by Craig Kelly in the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles: Attack of the Hawkmen.