Academic journal article Air Power History

Fokker Design & Development to 1919

Academic journal article Air Power History

Fokker Design & Development to 1919

Article excerpt

Fokker Design & Development to 1919. By Michael Tate. Self Published, Lulu Press, Michael Tate BSc, 2016. Photographs. Appendices. Bibliography. Pp.332, $36.77

The Fokker story has been told, retold, and reinterpreted ever since the very first, 1931 book "Flying Dutchman" was published. This new work looks at that story through the lens of an engineer. Tate, applying his professional engineering background, has sought to make sense of the convoluted history and technological developments surrounding Fokker's aircraft from the time of his first efforts to those culminating at the war's end.

This is not a biography, though there is an element of biographic narrative within. How could there not be with a dynamic individual such as Anthony Fokker central to the stoiy? The strength of Tate's work is moving beyond the man and taking a detailed look at the development and design of aircraft credited to Fokker. Make no mistake. These designs were a team effort with some well-known names appearing throughout the narrative. Who they were and what they did in the context of the design development is intriguing. Not surprisingly, some well-known pilots left their mark on Fokker's concepts. This makes sense for several reasons: Fokker was a pilot first and foremost, and he understood and knew that courting pilots for their knowledge and influence would help his designs as well as enable him to gain insights into his competitors' aircraft. …

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