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Fokker T.VIII

Netherlands (1939)
Picture of Fokker T.VIII Maritime Patrol / Torpedo Bomber Floatplane Aircraft

The Dutch-originated Fokker T.VIII floatplane torpedo bomber fought for several sides during World War 2.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Fokker T.VIII Maritime Patrol / Torpedo Bomber Floatplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 4/27/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Prior to the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War 2, the Dutch maintained a relatively healthy stable of modern aircraft of local origination. In 1937, work began on a new design covering a floatplane requirement to serve with the Dutch Marine Luchtvaardienst (MLD). The aircraft became a three-crew, twin-engine floatplane for maritime reconnaissance work as its primary role with a torpedo bombing capability as secondary. A first flight came in 1938 and serial production followed shortly thereafter under the designation of T.VIII.

The aircraft initially held a mixed metal and wood construction. Its fuselage was capped with a glazed position for one of the crew while the other two persons were seated inline under a greenhouse-style canopy ahead of midships. The empennage featured a conventional arrangement with single rudder fin. The wings were mid-mounted, straight elements along the fuselage sides, each fitting a radial engine nacelle at their leading edge. A strong strut network was used to join the aircraft with the large twin-float undercarriage which allowed for waterborne landing and take-off. Dimensions included a length of 42.7 feet, a wingspan of 59 feet, and a height of 16.4 feet. Armament was modest: 1 x 7.92mm machine gun in a fixed, forward-firing position in the lower section of the nose and 1 or 2 x 7.92mm machine guns in a trainable mounting at the rear cockpit. The design was cleared for up to 1,335 pounds of carried ordnance to include bombs or a single torpedo.

The aircraft were first seen with American Wright "Whirlwind" radial piston engines with the intention to replace these with British Bristol "Mercury" types in time. This change never occurred due to the speed of the German invasion, leaving the Whirlwinds in place and making the T.VIII generally underpowered for the bulk of its service life. These were Wright R-975-E3 models of 9-cylinder design and air-cooled while developing 450 horsepower each. Performance was underwhelming, netting the airframe a maximum speed of 177 miles per hour, a range out to 1,710 miles, and a service ceiling up to 22,310 feet.

Service entry for the T.VIII was during 1939 and the German invasion began in May 10 of 1940 and continued into May 17th ("Battle of the Netherlands"). The seaplanes were pressed into active service during the confrontations that followed but could do little in the face of the more agile, well-armed German fighters. With nine useable T.VIII at its disposal, the Netherlands Navy relocated the stock to French air bases nearer to the English Channel where were used in the patrol role. However, with the hopeless Allied situation in mainland Europe, the stock was once again relocated, this time to South Wales of the United Kingdom.

From early June onwards, these aircraft formed the 320 (Dutch) Squadron flying under British Royal Air Force (RAF) colors complete with RAF serials. In this guise, they continued service as maritime patrol platforms until a lack of spares restricted their usefulness. These Dutch aircrews then shifted to flying other aircraft types in the role.

The T.VIII was also ordered by the Finnish government - five examples were contracted for - but these were not delivered before the German invasion. The Germans confiscated about twenty-five T.VIIIs and these were operated under the banner of the Luftwaffe for a time.

There were only a small number of variants in the T.VIII line beginning with T.VIII W/G of which 19 were completed. These were of the aforementioned mixed wood/metal construction which was ultimately changed to a more model, all-metal construction design through the 12 examples of the T.VIII W/M. The T.VIII W/C was a dimensionally larger model under design when the Germans invaded, featuring more powerful engines to make up for the performance limitations of the earlier models and promoted speed gains of up to 45 miles per hour more. The W/C was on order with Finland at the time of the German march through Holland and was subsequently overtaken by the Luftwaffe (five examples).

Any available statistics for the Fokker T.VIII Maritime Patrol / Torpedo Bomber Floatplane Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (177mph).

    Graph average of 150 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Fokker T.VIII's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
36
36


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: Netherlands
Year: 1939
Type: Maritime Patrol / Torpedo Bomber Floatplane Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Fokker - Netherlands
Production: 36
Global Operators:
Finland; Nazi Germany; Netherlands; United Kingdom
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Fokker T.VIII model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
3


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
42.65 ft


Meters
13 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
59.06 ft


Meters
18 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
16.40 ft


Meters
5 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
6,834 lb


Kilograms
3,100 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
11,023 lb


Kilograms
5,000 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Wright R-975-E3 Whirlwind 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 450 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
177 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
285 kph


Knots
154 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,709 mi


Kilometers
2,750 km


Nautical Miles
1,485 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
22,310 ft


Meters
6,800 m


Miles
4.23 mi

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Armament - Hardpoints (3):

STANDARD:
1 x 7.92mm machine gun fixed, forward-firing position in nose.
1 OR 2 x 7.92mm machine gun(s) on trainable mounting in rear cockpit.

OPTIONAL:
Up to 1,335 lb of drop ordnance to include conventional bombs or a single torpedo.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• T.VIII - Base Series Designation
• T.VIII W/G - Initial production model; mixed wood/metal construction; 19 examples.
• T.VIII W/M - All-metal construction; 12 examples.
• T.VIII W/C - Dimensionally larger, faster variant with uprated engines; 5 examples.