No. 10168. Carley Jumbo (PH-AFI c/n 1) KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
Photographed at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, November 20, 1930, source unknown

Carley Jumbo

01/31/2013. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "With the increase in air freight the Dutch national carrier KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, Royal Airlines) felt the need for a purpose-designed cargo plane, with emphasis on capacity-power ratio. The Dutch engineer Joop Carley designed, in collaboration with a number of KLM engineers, a single-engined biplane.

It was built in the workshops of the Maatschappij tot vervaardigen van Werktuigen en Spoorwegmateriaal (Society for the manufacture of Machinery and Railway Equipment) "Werkspoor" at Zuilen, the Netherlands, hence the Jumbo, as the aircraft affectionally was named, was also referred to as the Werkspoor Jumbo and Carley-Werkspoor Jumbo.

The Jumbo was of entirely wooden construction. The tapered wings were of unequal span, the upper wing had a span of 62 ft 4 in (19.00 m) and a maximum chord of 9 ft 2.2 in (2.80 m), the lower wing had a span of 56 ft 9.1 in (17.30 m) and a chord of 7 ft 10.5 in (2.40 m).

Interconnected by I-struts, the wings were covered with plywood and fabric. The fuselage had a semi-monocoque structure and was covered with plywood, two cargo doors on the left side gave entrance to the cargo hold that had a volume of 547.38 cu.ft (15.5 cu.m).

The two-seat enclosed cockpit was situated in front of the upper wing and had doors on each side. The only steel used in the aircraft was the tube frame that carried the 480 hp Gnome-Rhone nine-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, driving a two-bladed metal screw. The tail dragger had a fixed undercarriage.

Construction was started in 1929, on July 26, 1930, the first trial run took place, and in August the machine was first flown by Izaäk Alphonse 'Fons' Aler, while on November 20, 1930, the sole Carley Jumbo was registered to KLM as PH-AFI.

However, service operations were delayed due to overheating problems, as originally, the engine was almost completely enclosed to reduce drag as much as possible. After much experimenting the aircraft appeared in early 1931 with an open cowling, baffle-plates and cooling vents (site files) on each side of the engine.

The career of the Jumbo started on March 12, 1931, and in 1931 and 1932 the freighter was used on the Amsterdam–Rotterdam–London route. Thereafter the aircraft was mainly used as a trainer, particularly for instrument flight training.

The aircraft was not a major success in both cases, as it had rather poor handling characteristics. Several times the aircraft was damaged upon landing, including on May 10, 1933 and August 1937, when it made a nose stand after heavy braking. On February 2, 1940 it was deregistered, and finally was destroyed in the German bombing of Schiphol on May 10, 1940.

Created November 30, 2010