Profile Publications No. 134 The Fokker G-1

The Fokker G -1 by B .van der Klaauw A production G-1 A on a test flight near Scliiphol Airport. Note that the hatch number (30) and early-style Luchtvaartafdeling markings have been applied, but the third numeral has still to be toadded the code. (Unless otherwise indicated, all photographs appearing in this Profile are from the author's collection). When on 13th November 1936 the gates of the Grand Palais in Paris opened for the fifteenth Salon de I'Aeronautique the stream of visitors entering the building soon found themselves right in front of an amazing new aircraft occupying the centre of the main hall. This aircraft, which was until then completely unknown, was a revolutionary conception and came as a great surprise to everyone except the makers: the Fokker Aeroplane Company of Amsterdam, Holland. It was designated as the G-1 and as such it was to start an entirely new category of Fokker aircraft. The G-1 featured a short centre fuselage and two tail booms, in front of which were mounted the two engines. This unfamiliar lay-out rendered the G-1 a formidable and very advanced long range fighter. Its armament consisted of two 23 mm. Madsen cannons plus two 7-9 mm. machine guns, all mounted fixed in the nose, while an additional 7-9 mm. machine gun was mounted in the movable tail cone and was to be operated by the rear gunner. Furthermore, 880 lbs. of bombs could be carried both internally and externally. The standard lay-out was for a crew of two but if desired room could be made for a third crew member. The G-1 was developed by Fokker as a private venture. In 1934 a design team headed byE. Schatzki, then Fokker’ chiefs designer, discussed in deep secrecy the conception of a heavily armed twin engined fighter with two tail booms, which could not only perform normal lighter duties but would also be capable of flying missions beyond the capacity of standard fighter aircraft of that time. Construction of a prototype was started in a secluded part of the Fokker works and when the 1936 Paris Salon was about to be opened the aircraft was brought to the French capital by ship, its appearance at the Salon being—as already mentioned—a complete surprise. The G-1 was introduced as a fighter, fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft, being very easily con­vertible from one task to another although we nowadays are more lessor accustomed to military aircraft adaptable for a variety of duties, in 1936 this was a novelty. At the time of its appearance in Paris the aircraft had not yet flown nevertheless, press comments did not hesitate to describe the Fokker aircraft as the most sensational discovery at the 1936 Salon. Following good and well-established Fokker tradition the G-I was of mixed construction. Its front fuselage was made of steel tubes and covered with dural and aluminium the central part, which was incorporated into the wing, was of wood like the wing itself, while the rear fuselage was of light alloy construction. The two tail booms were entirely built of metal, only the rudders being fabric covered. The prototype was powered by two Hispano-Suiza The first batch o f G-1 B's at Scliiphol. Twelve aircraft originally intended for export to Fiidand were hurriedly signed over to the L VAin the spring o f 1940 and pressed into service with improvised armament. The quality o f the photograph makes it hard to distinguish the late-style national markings applied to these aircraft. No. 341, third machine from the left, is noteworthy it was the former prototype, X-2. 3
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