Fokker S-11 Instructor – a Dutch treat?

Fokker S-11 Instructor

This trainer is full of character; the first post-WW2 Fokker design, it was ordered ‘off the drawing board’.  Initial test flights, in 1947, showed up a few snags, but once these were sorted this solid-looking primary trainer sold well to air forces around the world.  Customers included the Israeli Air Force, the Dutch Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht) and Navy (Koninklijke Marine), and the Brazilian Air Force. The type was manufactured in Brazil, both as the S-11 and the more developed S-12.

Like its direct contemporary, the de Havilland Chipmunk, the instructor and pupil sat under a single, long, canopy. Both of the trainers had fixed undercarriages, but the S-11 Instructor had the advantage of a ‘trailing link’, levered type, which really helps smooth out the ‘bumps’ in student landings. Also seen in the above photograph are the external balances for the ailerons, and the pitot tube in leading edge of the wing. Hardly a speedster – it has a 190hp Lycoming engine – it is still a fully aerobatic aircraft, and is eminently reliable.  This example is in Royal Dutch Navy markings and is seen sitting in the sun at GVFWE, Hullavington, in 2007.

Fokker were known for building eminently ‘sensible’ aircraft, and the S-11 is a typical example. The Fokker Instructor is a sturdy trainer, hardly as handsome as the Chipmunk, but just as delightful to own!

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