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Koolhoven F.K.58

Netherlands (1940)
Picture of Koolhoven F.K.58 Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft

Only thirteen or so complete examples of the Dutch Koolhoven F.K.58 fighter were available for May-June 1940.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Koolhoven F.K.58 Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/26/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

Prior to its conquer at the hands of Nazi Germany, the Netherlands held a viable, standalone aero-industry led by names like Fokker and Koolhoven. While there proved no single stand-out design when compared to larger players of the interwar years, some impressive models emerged such as the Fokker D.XXI fighter and G.I "Reaper" heavy fighter. Koolhoven contributed with the F.K.56 trainer, the F.K.55 fighter prototype and the F.K.58 production fighter.

For the latter, design was led by Erich Schatzki and the aircraft was originally intended to serve over both Dutch and French colonial holdings where it would have made for an excellent security measure. The French Air Force adopted it as a fighter / interceptor to help shore up its own strained aero-industry. Since economy was the call of the day, the platform was to have good performance qualities against contemporaries but also be relatively inexpensive and easy to build in number. Schatzki had already put his design talents to use in the Fokker D.XXI (detailed elsewhere on this site) so the F.K.58 served as something of an extension of that work. A first flight, through prototype Model 1166, was held on July 17th, 1938 though only twenty went on to be completed as the Dutch fell in the early going against Germany.

Outwardly, the F.K.58 was of an all-modern fighter - metal understructures, an enclosed cockpit and retractable undercarriage were some of its features. Dimensions included a length of 28.7 feet, a wingspan of 36 feet and a height of 9.9 feet. Empty weight was 4,255 pounds against a loaded weight of 6,065 pounds. Standard, fixed armament ended as 4 x 7.5mm FN-Browning machine guns fitted under each wing mainplane (two guns per wing).
The prototype arrived with a Hispano-Suiza 14AA engine of 1,080 horsepower and two aircraft were built to this standard. A Bristol "Taurus" engine was to be substituted in the FK-58 model intended for Dutch Air Force service but none were produced due to the deteriorating war situation. The initial production order encompassed the F.K.58 model standard with the 14AA engines in place but manufacture only yielded seven examples. These were then followed by the F.K.58A powered by the Gnome-Rhone 14N-16 series engine of 1,030 horsepower output and eleven were built before the end.

With the 14N-16 radials in place, the airframe could manage a maximum speed of 315 miles per hour and cruise at about 280 miles per hour. Range was out to 465 miles and a service ceiling of 32,810 feet was reported. Rate-of-climb was 1,130 feet per minute.

The French ordered a batch of fifty fighters in January of 1939 to be completed with French instrumentation and engines. However, shortages of both of these components led to only seventeen being built to include those parts - the rest arriving with original Dutch equipment (this was later rectified). By the end of 1939, the Dutch government placed their own first-batch order and this numbered an optimistic thirty-six aircraft with Bristol Taurus engines but the lack of these British powerplants led to a switch to the Bristol "Mercury VIII" series instead.

During may 1940 just thirteen of the line were available and these were piloted by Polish airmen during the desperate defense of the Low Countries and France. As the situation grew worse, the fighters were relegated purely as air defenders to help contain the fighting below. Comparatively the fighter was wholly outclassed by the German types it was to face - slower and inadequately armed. Even if available in the numbers required, the line was to make little difference in the outcome of the conquer of Western Europe. F.K.58 pilots flew fewer than fifty missions during World War 2 and managed no air kills against a single lost F.K.58 (it reportedly never tangled directly with an enemy in the air). All F.K.58 fighters were destroyed after the Fall of France.






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: 400mph
Lo: 200mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (314mph).

    Graph average of 300 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 Koolhoven F.K.58's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
20
20


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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Origin: Netherlands
Year: 1940
Type: Fighter / Interceptor Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Koolhoven - Netherlands
Production: 20
Global Operators:
France; Poland
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 Koolhoven F.K.58 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
1


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
28.54 ft


Meters
8.7 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
36.09 ft


Meters
11 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
9.84 ft


Meters
3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
4,255 lb


Kilograms
1,930 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
6,063 lb


Kilograms
2,750 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Gnome-Rhone 14N-16 radial piston engine developing 1,030 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
314 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
505 kph


Knots
273 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
466 mi


Kilometers
750 km


Nautical Miles
405 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
32,808 ft


Meters
10,000 m


Miles
6.21 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
1,130 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
344 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

4 x 7.5mm FN-Browning machine guns in fairings held under the wings (two guns per wing).
Variants: Series Model Variants
• F.K.58 (Prototype) - Prototype model; fitted with Hispano-Suiza 14AA radial engine of 1,080 horsepower; 2 examples produced.
• FK-58 (Bristol Taurus) - Proposed Dutch production version; to be Fitted with Bristol Taurus engine; never produced.
• F.K.58 - Initial Production Model; fitted with Hispano-Suiza 14AA radial engine; 7 examples produced.
• F.K.58A - Second Batch Production; fitted with Gnome-Rhone 14N-16 series radial engine of 1,030 horsepower; 11 examples produced.