11/30/1986: Maiden Flight of the Fokker 100

11/30/1986: Maiden Flight of the Fokker 100

DALLAS – Today in Aviation, the prototype Fokker 100 (PH-MKH), or F28 MK.0100 as it was initially known, took to the skies for the first time in 1986. 

Announced in 1983, the aircraft was a development of the popular Fokker F28. It had the same T-tail and rear-mounted engine configuration as its predecessor. 

A special ceremony was held to mark the delivery of Swissair’s first F100 in 1988. Photo: Rob Croes for Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Upgrades


However, numerous upgrades included more powerful Rolls-Royce RB.183 Tay turbofan engines, improved and more aerodynamic wings, strengthened landing gear, plus various upgrades to the flight deck and avionics. 

Seating capacity increased to 109 following a fuselage stretch of 5.74 meters (18ft 10in). This meant that the type fitted into the 100-seat market, which at the time was largely uncatered.

As well as PH-MKH a second prototype, PH-MKC, was also built. ‘Kilo Charlie’ took to the air three months later, and Fokker put both to work on rigorous inflight and ground testing. Certification was eventually granted for the type on November 20, 1987. 

This ex-American Airlines F100 is now operated by Network Aviation for Qantas Link (VH-NHY). Photo: Qantas

In Service


Launch customer Swissair (SR) received its first example on February 29, 1988. In March 1989, American Airlines (AA) placed an order for 75 airframes, marking Fokker’s largest-ever order worth US$3.1bn. 

Branded as ‘Luxury Jets,’ the type entered service with the airline in 1991 and served for 13 years until its retirement in 2004. 

Despite the Fokker 100’s success, the Dutch manufacturer was struggling financially and collapsed in 1996. Production ended in 1997 after 283 aircraft had been built. 


Featured Image: AA was a major operator of the F100, branding the type the ‘Luxury Jet.’ Photo: John Davies – CYOW Airport Watch (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2), via Wikimedia Commons.

European Deputy Editor
Writer, aviation fanatic, and Airways European Deputy Editor, Lee is a plant geek and part-time Flight Attendant for a UK-based airline. Based in Liverpool, United Kingdom.

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