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Koolhoven F.K.56

Netherlands (1938)
Picture of Koolhoven F.K.56 Basic Monoplane Trainer Aircraft

The Koolhoven F.K.56 basic trainer served both the Belgian and Dutch air forces prior to World War 2 - though production was very limited.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Koolhoven F.K.56 Basic Monoplane Trainer Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/26/2016. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Dutch aircraft concern of N.V. Koolhoven was established in 1926 and managed for itself a healthy resume of locally-designed and -developed aircraft heading into World War 2 (1939-1945). The company' s historical reach ended after May of 1940 as the Germans steamrolled towards Paris by way of The Netherlands and Belgium. Before its end, Koolhoven was able to deliver several notable designs of which one became the "F.K.56", a modern monoplane used for basic training. Only thirty-one of the type were completed and these went on to stock the air services of both The Netherlands and Belgium.

The F.K.56 carried its crew of two in tandem under a framed, fully-enclosed canopy. The engine was mounted at the front of the fuselage in the usual way and the wing mainplanes set low along the fuselage sides. To each wing was mounted a fixed main wheeled leg with a tailwheel seated under the aft section of the aircraft. The tail unit itself was traditional, utilizing a single vertical fin with mid-mounted horizontal planes. As a basic trainer, the aircraft's designated role was in introducing future aviators to the nuances of modern flight - so no armament was fitted.

Dimensions included a length of 7.8 meters, a wingspan of 11.5 meters, and a height of 2.3 meters. Empty weight was 1,060 kilograms against a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 1,600 kg. With power served through an American Wright "Whirlwind" R-975-E3 radial piston engine of 451 horsepower, the F.K.56 managed a maximum speed of 185 miles per hour, a range out to 500 miles, and a service ceiling of 24,000 feet.

First flight of a prototype form was recorded on June 30th, 1938. A second prototype followed that had a retractable undercarriage arrangement and third followed that with a revised wing mainplane and dual-control scheme. From the latter offering, the Dutch Army contracted for ten aircraft and the Belgians followed in February of 1940 with a twenty-strong order of their own. The type was available during the German invasion in 1940 but could do little to stave off their respective country's defeat - all ten were delivered to the Dutch before its fate was sealed while the Belgians had taken on seven of their twenty ordered.

With the end of the Koolhoven facility at Waalhaven Airport - destroyed by German bombs - and the conquering of The Netherlands and Belgium, the F.K.56 was no more.

Any available statistics for the Koolhoven F.K.56 Basic Monoplane Trainer 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.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (186mph).

    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 Koolhoven F.K.56's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
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
31
31


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: Netherlands
Year: 1938
Type: Basic Monoplane Trainer Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): N.V. Koolhoven - Netherlands
Production: 31
Global Operators:
Belgium; Netherlands
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.56 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
25.75 ft


Meters
7.85 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
37.73 ft


Meters
11.5 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
7.55 ft


Meters
2.3 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,332 lb


Kilograms
1,058 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
3,527 lb


Kilograms
1,600 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Wright "Whirlwind" R-975-E3 radial piston engine developing 451 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
186 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
300 kph


Knots
162 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
497 mi


Kilometers
800 km


Nautical Miles
432 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
23,950 ft


Meters
7,300 m


Miles
4.54 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (0):

None.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• F.K.56 - Base Series Designation; 31 examples completed.