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Koolhoven F.K.56


Basic Monoplane Trainer Aircraft


Netherlands | 1938



"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."



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/26/2016 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
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.

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Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Koolhoven F.K.56 Basic Monoplane Trainer Aircraft.
1 x Wright "Whirlwind" R-975-E3 radial piston engine developing 451 horsepower.
Propulsion
186 mph
300 kph | 162 kts
Max Speed
23,950 ft
7,300 m | 5 miles
Service Ceiling
497 miles
800 km | 432 nm
Operational Range
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Koolhoven F.K.56 Basic Monoplane Trainer Aircraft.
2
(MANNED)
Crew
25.8 ft
7.85 m
O/A Length
37.7 ft
(11.50 m)
O/A Width
7.5 ft
(2.30 m)
O/A Height
2,332 lb
(1,058 kg)
Empty Weight
3,527 lb
(1,600 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Koolhoven F.K.56 family line.
F.K.56 - Base Series Designation; 31 examples completed.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Koolhoven F.K.56. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 31 Units

Contractor(s): N.V. Koolhoven - Netherlands
National flag of Belgium National flag of the Netherlands

[ Belgium; Netherlands ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 200mph
Lo: 100mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (186mph).

Graph Average of 150 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
31
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
1 / 1
Image of the Koolhoven F.K.56
Image from the Public Domain.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
TRAINING
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Koolhoven F.K.56 Basic Monoplane Trainer Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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