02/28/2011. Fokker's first American product, the four- or six-seater Universal was designed by Bob Noorduyn and was a cantilever high wing monoplane which, in its original form, had an open pilot's cockpit. Subsequently this was enclosed and a 300 hp Wright 'Whirlwind' replaced the earlier 220 hp engine of that type. The wing was of wooden construction and the fuselage and tail unit of steel tube covered with fabric.
The wheel undercarriage was interchangeable with floats or skis and this factor helped make popular the type in Canada where it was widely used (21 of the 44 produced were registered in Canada) as well as on a number of domestic airlines in the USA. A unique feature of the control system was the provision of double rudder controls but only one joy-stick for the use of the two pilots.
The pictured aircraft was the last produced and temporarily fitted with a nose wheel, a novelty in that era, and registered X181 it flew in 1931. Subsequently it was registered to a George C. Graves II of New York City as NC181H. On May 21, 1932 it was registered in Canada to D.M. Nickalson as CF-ASZ, August 31, 1934 it was transferred to Wings. It was lost on January 10, 1938 at Ball Lake, 44 mls (71 km) north-east of Kenora, Ontario, when the fabric caught fire after overheating by exhaust.