Air Transportation: Fokkers Forever


November 27, 2014: In October the Dutch Air Force sold two retired Fokker 50 transports to Peru. The two Fokkers were retired in 2012 but kept in flying condition until the Dutch could find a buyer. The Peru Navy finally made an offer and will use the two Fokker 50s for marine surveillance. Peru is pretty certain this will work because in 2010 Peru bought, real cheap, two Dutch Fokker 60s that had already been equipped as maritime reconnaissance aircraft. The 60s are slightly longer and heavier versions of the twin engine Fokker 50 (which, in turn, was a larger version of the very popular Fokker F27). Only four Fokker 60s were built, in the 1990s, and all served as military transport aircraft. But in 2004 the Netherlands found itself temporarily short of maritime patrol aircraft. So two of the Fokker 60s were fitted with radar and other equipment, and served for two years as patrol aircraft. Then they were retired. Someone in Peru noted that the aircraft were still in good shape, still had their maritime patrol equipment, and were just sitting there. A deal was made, and the Fokker 60s were soon back to work in the east Pacific. The other two Fokker 60s served as transports.

The Fokker 50 is a 20 ton twin-turboprop aircraft with a cruising speed of 530 kilometers an hour and endurance of 3.5 hours. The Fokker 60 is similar but weighs 22 tons and has a cruising speed of 469 kilometers an hour. Some have been armed with two Harpoon missiles but most Fokker 50s served as commercial transports, carrying two pilots and 58 passengers. Fokker has been around for a century but stopped manufacturing aircraft in the 1990s. Meanwhile many of their sturdy transports continue to find work.






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