Fokker F.VII/3m

In the I920s Dutch planemaker Anthony Fokker, who had built aircraft in Germany during World War I, successfully turned to
munufacturing civil aircraft in his native Netherlands. His single-engine F.VII airliner, with a Fokker trademark welded-steel-tube fuselage frame, was a huge commercial success in Europe.
In an effort to crack the nascent American market, Fokker added two extra engines to the F.VII, creating the F.VIIa/3m trimotor. It was generally accepted that American passengers would not entrust themselves to a single-engine aircraft, believing that more engines meant greater reliability. Fokker entered the prototype trimotor for the Ford Reliability Tour, a safety and endurance competition for aircraft held in the United States in the autumn of 1925. The prototype won the competition and was used the following year by American explorer Richard Byrd on a famous flight to the Arctic.
The reputation of Fokker aircraft soared, enabling the company to start building aircraft in the United States. The slightly larger F.VIlb/3m trimotor became the most widely-built interwar Fokker commercial transport, although with its wooden wing it eventuaily lost out to all-metal airliners. The aircraft was responsible for a number of notable aviation “firsts”, including the first true trans-Pacific flight, made by Australian Charles Kingsford Smith in the F.VIIa/3m Southern Cross in May – June 1928.

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