Fokker T.IX - Netherlands, 1939
Detailing the development and operational history of the Fokker T.IX Medium Bomber Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 7/25/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
The German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940 cancelled all further development of the Fokker T.IX program.
The Netherlands was one of the many nations that ultimately fell to the German-led Axis onslaught concerning World War 2 (1939-1945). Despite this, the Dutch held a healthy aero-industry prior to the war that produced several local results such as the D.XXI monoplane fighter, the G.I "Reaper" twin-engined heavy fighter and the T.V bomber-interceptor - all by Fokker. Fokker had been making airplanes since before the start of World War 1 (1914-1918) when it was founded in 1912 and went on to deliver some of the more iconic German Empire aircraft of the First World War.
One entry by Fokker for The Netherlands in World War 2 became the "T.IX", a twin-engined bomber intended for the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force (RNEIAAF). For its time, it was to become the concern's first attempt at an all-metal-skinned bomber and further modern features included wholly-enclosed crew positions and a retractable undercarriage (save for the tailwheel). Design work began in 1938.
The end-result was a well-streamlined aircraft utilizing a stepped cockpit arrangement with a glazed nose position and heavily-framed cockpit section. The fuselage had slab sides and tapered sharply to form the empennage and to this tail stem were added horizontal planes, each holding a vertical tailplane. The wing mainplanes were mid-mounted appendages fitted to the sides of the fuselage and each given a single engine nacelle. Its placement along the leading wing edges made for easy inspection of the powerplants by the crew while airborne. Power was from 2 x Bristol "Hercules" 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,375 horsepower each and driving three-bladed propeller units.
Armament was to comprise 1 x 20mm cannon in the nose section, 2 x 0.50 caliber Heavy Machine Guns (HMGs) at a fuselage dorsal position and 2 x 0.50 caliber HMGs in a similar, though ventral, fuselage position. An internal bomb bay was to allot for up to 4,410lb of conventional drop ordnance.
The completed prototype went airborne for the first time on September 11th, 1939. However, students of history will note the German invasion of Poland began on September 1st of that year, officially beginning World War 2. Amidst the backdrop of total war, Fokker continued development of what became the T.IX bomber and flew the prototype several more times. However, in April of 1940 the program ran into a snag when the aircraft hit a hangar door and, on May 10th, all hope was lost when the Germans began their invasion of The Netherlands - this effectively ending all development on the promising T.IX program.
The few performance specifications that were detailed from the prototype during its short time aloft included a maximum speed of 275 miles per hour, a range out to 1,700 miles and a service ceiling of 26,250 feet.