The Fokker F27 Friendship was a driving force during the post-war period. Production of the turboprop started in 1955. However, it would also see fame outside its Dutch base. Notably, following a licensing agreement, North America’s Fairchild would also manufacture the aircraft.
A first-hand peak
With a worldwide presence, this Fokker model helped Iceland’s society and economy adapt in the mid to late 20th century. Alongside numerous other historic aircraft, Simple Flying spotted a unit holding registration TF-SYN at the Icelandic Aviation Museum (also known as Flugsafn Íslands in Icelandic) in Akureyri earlier this year.
Fokker produced this unit for the Icelandic coastguard in 1976. However, it wasn’t the first production of the Netherlands-based outfit to arrive at the guard’s facilities. Another unit, TF-SYR, was delivered second-hand from Japan in 1972. It took over from the Douglas C-54 Skymaster in conducting search and rescue services and fisheries monitoring.
Word from the museum
The Icelandic Aviation Museum shares that TF-SYN was deployed for long-distance service. The F27 equipment also saw activity in the country in the 1960s
The museum explains:
“TF-SYN is designed for long-haul flights. It has more electronic communication and positioning equipment than is generally found in similar aircraft, as well as complete rescue equipment.
“Fokker F-27 Friendskip engines were first used in Iceland in 1965 and served in domestic flights until 1992 when the Fokker-50 took over.”
Plenty of power
Two Rolls-Royce 2,140 hp engines powered the F27-200, helping to offer an endurance of 10 hours. The aircraft could fly to a range of up to 1,900 NM (3,500 km). It could also fly five people, split between two crew members and three navigational officers. Still, the museum explains that up to nine people would pack into the plane during search and research missions.
It’s only natural that the Fokker 50 took over. The aircraft conducted its first flight in December 1985 and was designed to be a more fuel-efficient solution at the time. New Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127B engines advanced fuel efficiency by 30%. Additionally, composites were utilized over standard metal to reduce the overall weight.
In total, 213 Fokker 50s were produced between 1985 and 1997. However, the program doesn’t compare to the F27s run of 586 units between 1955 and 1987. After all, the plane was a favorite among several operators across the globe.
Despite the F27 type first flying in 1955 and entering service in 1958, the aircraft proved to be a valuable tool for Iceland several years later. The deployed continued deploying the plane decades after the program began but relied on it for crucial national services.
What are your thoughts about the Fokker F27 Friendship? What do you make of the overall history of the aircraft in Iceland? Let us know what you think of the plane and its operations over the years in the comment section.