Fokker 100, the Netherlands regional jet. - Modern Airliners

Fokker 100, the Netherlands regional jet.

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The Fokker 100 or F28 Mark 0100 is a Netherlands built regional jet that had its beginnings in the 1980s. At this time the 100 seat Fokker plane filled a niche in the market that had largely been left untapped. The type enjoyed instant popularity and some significant orders for the type were placed at its inception. It may well have enjoyed far more success had the vagaries of economics not sealed its doom.

Fokker, as an aircraft maker, had a long history. Its founder, Anthony Fokker, started his first aircraft manufacturing business in Germany in 1912 and moved back to his home country, the Netherlands, in 1919. The companies heyday was during the 1920s and 1930s when great advances were being made in aviation. Fokker aircraft, however, finally came to an end in 1996 when it went bankrupt after sustaining losses over the previous years.

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…in 1996 when it went bankrupt ………..

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Fokker wanted to build on the success they had enjoyed with the F28 Fellowship. There was certainly a need in the market for a regional jet in the 100 seat size. In 1983 Fokker announced the Fokker 100 program, and on 25 March 1983 applied for an approval for the new airframe. The Fokker 100 plane was based on the F28 Fellowship Mark 4000. It had the same rear-mounted twin jet engines and T-tail configuration. Along with upsizing the original model, the Fokker 100 was modernised in other ways over its nearly 18-year-old ancestor.

Swissair was the first to receive their Fokker 100 with the Tay 620-15 engines.
Swissair was the first to receive their Fokker 100 with the Tay 620-15 engines.

The upsizing of the Fokker 100 over the F28 consisted of the following:

  • Passenger seating went from 85 to 109.
  • The fuselage was stretched 5.74 metres (18ft 10in).
  • The wingspan was increased by 3.0 metres (9ft 10in).
  • The horizontal stabiliser span was increased by 1.4 metres (4ft 7in).

The modernisation and upgrade to the original F28 airframe consisted of:

  • The Rolls Royce high bypass ratio Tay Mk 620-15 and the more powerful Mk 620-15 were offered as opposed to the older Spey Mk 555-15 and Mk 555-15H.
  • The wings supported new flaps with extended leading and trailing edges. It retained its simplicity by not adding leading-edge slats.
  • Maximum weights were increased, however, fuel capacity, service ceiling and speed remained the same.
  • The landing gear was strengthened in line with the maximum weight increases mentioned above as well as improved brakes.
  • The new wing was found to be around 30% more efficient in cruise.
  • The cockpit eyebrow windows found on the F28 did not make it to the Fokker 100 design.

The Fokker 100 cockpit also received attention with the conversion to digital systems. The Rockwell Collins DU-1000 EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) system was used. This provided FMS (Flight Management System), auto pilot/flight director, thrust management system, electronic flight instrument displays, ARINC (Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated) and Cat III autoland.

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….. and Cat III autoland.

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USAir Fokker 100. USAir place an order for 40 Fokker 100s.
USAir placed an order for 40 Fokker 100s.

Having announced the program in 1983, Fokker went ahead and built two prototypes to gain certification. The first was completed on 01 November 1986, registration PH-MKH. The second was completed on 25 February 1987, registration PH-MKC. Later in 1987 after rigorous testing, the type received certification on 20 November 1987. Once certification was in hand, Fokker delivered the first order to Swissair in February 1988. These were powered by the Rolls Royce Tay 620-15. Some large orders for the higher-powered Rolls Royce Tay 650-15s were placed by American Airlines for 75 airframes, TAM Transportes Aéreos Regionais for 50 airframes and US Air for 40 airframes. That American Airlines Fokker 100 order which was placed in March 1989 was the largest ever for Fokker with a worth of US$3.1 billion. In fact, it was the largest at that time for any single Netherlands company.

It truly seemed that Fokker had found their niche in the market. The Fokker 100 was the largest airliner they had ever produced and its sales were taking off well as soon as it was introduced. It was in fact also a very quiet aircraft. In noise tests conducted at notoriously stringent John Wayne Airport in California, it was found that the Fokker 100 was even quieter than the BAe 146 Whisperjet. During the 1990s, however, other regional jets started to enter the market and provided competition in this market space. This caused sales of the 100 to reduce slowly. Fokker in 1992 introduced a scaled down version of the Fokker 100, the shortened Fokker 70, or F70. By 1996 Fokker had sustained several years of losses. Even being bought by Deutsche Aerospace AG didn’t help, as Deutsche Aerospace AG had problems of their own. In 1996 Fokker went bankrupt. This sealed the fate of the Fokker 100 with the production of the type ending in 1997. There have been various ideas about resurrecting the type, but these have not eventuated.

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…….even quieter than the BAe 146 Whisperjet.

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Fokker produced 283 airframes and by mid 2019 there were still 101 Fokker 100s in service with 19 airlines.

Fokker 100 Specs

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Type Fokker 100 Rolls Royce Tay 620 Fokker 100 Rolls Royce Tay 620
First Flight 28 November 1986 1989
Crew 2
Passengers Max. 1 Class-122, Typical 1 Class-107, 2 Class Typical-97
Cabin Width(Internal) 3.10 metres (10 feet 2 inches)
Cabin Height(Internal) 2.01 metres (6 feet 7 inches)
Width Fuselage 3.30 metres (10 feet 10 inches)
Aircraft Length 35.53 metres (116feet 7 inches)
Tail Height 8.50 metres (27 feet 11 inches)
Main Wing Span 28.08 metres (92 feet 2 inches)
Main Wing Area 93.5 metres2 (1,0062)
Empty Weight 24,375 kg (53,738 lb) 24,541 kg (54,104 lb)
MTOW 43,090 kg (95,000 lb) 45,810 kg (100,900 lb)
Maximum Payload 11,242 kg (24,784 lb) 11,993 kg (26,440 lb)
Takeoff Dist.(MTOW) 1,520 m (4,988 ft) 1,621 m (5,319 ft)
Fuel Capacity 13,365 L (2,940 imp gal; 3,531 US gal)
Engines x 2 Rolls-Royce Tay Mk 620-15 Rolls-Royce Tay Mk 650-15
Engine Thrust x 2 61.6 kN (13,850 lbf) 67.2 kN (15,100 lbf)
Speed (Max Cruise) Mach 0.77, 456kn, 525mph, 845kph
Service Ceiling 35,000 feet (11,000 metres)
Range Fully Laden 2,450km, 1,323nm, 1,522mi 3,170km, 1,710nm, 1,970mi

If you have ever, or still do fly on the Fokker 100, we would love to hear your experiences and thoughts in the comments section below.

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