No. 10259. Fokker F.32
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Fokker F.32

12/31/2010. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "In the USA, this was Fokker's 12th model, the first four-engine Fokker design, the last Fokker commercial design built, and the largest transport of its day. In keeping with Fokker's sequential numbering, it would have rightly been F.12 as following F.11 amphibian, but the use of the F.32 was the result of a request from Western Air Express for a designation which indicated the impressive seating capacity. The prototype, registered X124M (c/n 1201) and fitted with four tandem-pair mounted 450 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engines, was first flown by Marshall Boggs on September 13, 1929.

Production aircraft were powered by four 575 hp Pratt & Whitney Hornet engines, the cooling of the rear engine of each pair appears to have produced problems that were never completely solved. Operated by a crew of five, this was a 32 passenger airliner for day operations, or sixteen-berth sleeper at night. It offered passengers their first reclining seats, two refrigerated galleys with running water, and even two lavatories, while balsa wood was used in the fuselage as a method of sound-proofing.

A total of seven F.32s were built but only Western Air Express (which purchased two examples) seem to have operated the type with any success, this was on their San Francisco-Los Angeles route in 1930. The U.S. Army tested the second F.32 using the designation YC-20 but no further order was given.

The final one (NC342N c/n 7) flew in March 1930 and was customized as a sumptuous "air yacht" and was used by Anthony 'Tony' Fokker for some twenty months. In 1934 it was converted into a house trailer at Wheeling West Virginia, it was destroyed in a flood in January 1937.

Pictured in front of the aircraft is Charles 'Smithy' Edward Kingsford Smith."

Created December 31, 2010