The Fokker G.I was a Dutch heavy twin-engined fighter aircraft comparable in size and role to the German Messerschmitt Bf 110.
Fokker G.1 The Reaper
Design and development
The G.I, given the nickname le Faucheur ("The Reaper" in French), was designed as a private venture in 1936 by Fokker chief engineer Dr. Schatzki. Intended for the role of jachtkruiser, "heavy" fighter or air cruiser, able to gain air superiority over the battlefield as well as being a bomber destroyer, the G.1 would fulfill a role seen as important at the time, by advocates of Giulio Douhet's theories on air power. The Fokker G.I utilized a twin-engined, twin-boom layout that featured a central nacelle housing two or three crew members (a pilot, radio operator/navigator/rear gunner or a bombardier) as well as a formidable armament of twin 23 mm (.91 in) Madsen cannon and a pair of 7.9 mm (.31 in) machine guns (later eight machine guns) in the nose and one in a rear turret.
Besides its main mission, the G.1 could be configured for ground attack and light bombing missions (it could carry a bomb load of one 400 kg/882 lb bomb or combinations of two 200 kg/441 lb or 10 26 kg/57 lb bombs).
The design and construction of the prototype (registered as X-2) was completed in just seven months. At its introduction at the Paris Air Show in November 1936, even before its first flight, the G.I was a sensation, appearing in a purple and yellow finish (evocative of the Spanish Republican colors, thought to be Fokker's first export customer).
Like all Fokker aircraft of the period, the G.I was of mixed construction; the front of the central pod were built around a welded frame, covered with aluminium plating. The back of the central pod, however, as well as the wings, were completely constructed with wood.
The G.I prototype, powered by 485 kW (650 hp) Hispano-Suiza 14AB-02/03 engines, had its first flight at Welschap Airfield, near Eindhoven on 16 March 1937 with Karel Mares at the controls. Later, Emil Meinecke took over much of the test flights. The maiden flight went well, but a subsequent test flight in September 1937 ended with a supercharger explosion that nearly caused the loss of the prototype. The accident prompted a replacement of the Hispano-Suiza engines with 559 kW (750 hp) Pratt & Whitney SB4-G Twin Wasp Junior engines.
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During testing, the company received a contract from the Spanish Republican government for 26 G.1 "export" versions with Pratt & Whitney engines. Despite receiving payment, the order was destined never to be fulfilled as the Dutch government placed an embargo on the sale of military equipment to Spain. Fokker however continued building the aircraft and a story was released to the press that they were intended for Finland, hence the persistent tales about a "Finnish" order. To make matters more complex, Finland showed great interest in the G.I, but eventually purchased Bristol Blenheim light bombers.
Fokker G.1 The Reaper
The Fokker G.I was a Dutch heavy twin-engined fighter aircraft comparable in size and role to the German Messerschmitt Bf 110. Although in production prior to World War II, its combat introduction came at a time the Netherlands were overrun by the Germans. The few G.Is that were mustered into service were able to score several victories. Some were captured intact after the Germans had occupied the Netherlands. The remainder of the production run was taken over by the Luftwaffe for use as trainers.
Role Heavy fighter
Designer Erich Schatzki and Marius Beeling (after 1938)
First flight 16 March 1937
Primary users Luchtvaartafdeling
Number built 63
Length: 10.87 m (35 ft 8 in); Wingspan: 17.16 m (56.29 ft)
Height: 3.80 m (12.4 ft)
Empty weight: 3,325 kg (7,330 lb); Loaded weight: 4,800 kg (10,582 lb)
Max. takeoff weight: 5,000 kg (11,023 lb)
Powerplant: 2 × Bristol Mercury VIII nine-cylinder air-cooled single-row piston radial engine, 730 hp at 2,650 rpm for takeoff, 830 hp (618 kW) at 4,100m at 2,750rpm
Maximum speed: 475 km/h at 4,100m (295 mph)
Range: 1,510 km (938 mi)
Service ceiling: 10,000 m (32,808 ft)
Rate of climb: 13.5 m/s (44.29 ft/s)
Wing loading: 125.3 kg/m² (25.68 lb/ft²)
Power/mass: 0.22 kW/kg (0.14 hp/lb; 0.30 hp/kg)
Time to altitude: 6.0 min 20 sec to 5,000 m (16,405 ft)
Fokker G.1 The Reaper
The few G.Is that were mustered into service were able to score several victories. Some were captured intact after the Germans had occupied the Netherlands. The remainder of the production run was taken over by the Luftwaffe for use as trainers.