No. 11772. Koolhoven F.K.44 (PH-AJM c/n 4402) "Koolmees"
Postcard, source unknown

Koolhoven F.K.44

01/31/2013. The F.K.44 was a nice two-seat light aircraft powered by an 115 hp Cirrus-Hermes IIB, only two were built to special orders. The first example (c/n 4401) was ordered by Mr. Wehry, a banker from Batavia, Dutch East Indies. Probably he later canceled his order hence this example was never finished. For years the fuselage hung in the rafters of the Koolhoven factory until it was finally scrapped.

The pictured second and final F.K.44 was ordered by Jacob Mees, a bank manager from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. This example was the first Koolhoven aircraft that was equipped with a temporarily Z-registration, Z-2 (Fokker used the letter X, Pander and later renamed De Schelde the letter Y). On August 25, 1931, the aircraft was registered as PH-AJM (CofR 141), and delivered to Jacob Mees, who named it Koolmees (Great tit), a widespread and common bird species throughout Europe.

In its short life, the aircraft was involved in a number of mishaps. On September 27, 1931 the aircraft landed short of the runway at Vught, the Netherlands, ripping off its landing gear, sliding and eventually overturning. The pilot, Reserve Sergeant A.M. Verstraate and his passenger Miss van Liempt, escaped injuries. The aircraft was repaired and subsequently (1932) Mees put it at the disposal of the Rotterdam Aero Club.

On June 8, 1932, while parked at Waalhaven, it was hit by a taxiing Pander EC, damaging the right wing tip. In 1933 the aircraft made an emergency landing near Hengelo.

On June 5, 1933 (Herman Dekker Collection), while flying at 984 ft (300 m), an engine cylinder broke causing power reduction. The pilot, C. van Nierop, attempted an emergency landing but crashed at Castricum, apparently damaged beyond repair as the F.K.44 registration PH-AJM was cancelled on April 9, 1934.

(The registration PH-AJM was re-issued on the same day as it had been cancelled, April 9, 1934, now on CofR 209, and allotted to a de Havilland D.H.60G Moth (c/n 1100). Owner was the same Jacob Mees, who also named his new aircraft Koolmees.)

Created January 31, 2013