Fokker D.XXI Fighter
In an effort to reestablish itself as a manufacturer of fighter aircraft, Fokker approached the Netherlands East Indies Army Air Service in November 1934 with a proposal for a new fighter aircraft. It was a very conventional design, but with a robust airframe that was easily manufactured and maintained. A single prototype was contracted for early in 1935 and first flew in March 1936. It proved to have very pleasant flying characteristics but was a little underpowered. However policy changes within the Dutch government cast doubt over the future of the D.XXI as interest in both the East Indies and at home turned to bomber aircraft. Fokker began actively soliciting foreign orders, trying to find a market for their new plane. Several governments expressed an interest in the fighter, including Finland, Denmark and Spain. Finland took delivery of 7 aircraft in 1937 and eventually bought several licenses to manufacture more of the agile fighter at the State Aircraft Factory in Finland. Finnish production would total 93 airframes, with improvements, the last aircraft leaving the production line in 1944. This foreign interest served to rekindle interest at home in the D.XXI and in 1937 The Netherlands Army Air Division ordered 36 D.XXIs for home service. All 36 had been delivered by September of 1939. At the same time the Danish Government purchased two Fokker D.XXI's in 1938, along with a license to manufacture the aircraft. By the time war came in 1940 at least 7 additional aircraft had been manufactured in Denmark and the type was working up to service in the Danish Army Air Service. The Spanish Republican Government also evinced an interest in the D.XXI, and bought a license to manufacture the aircraft in Spain. While there is a rumor that one Spanish D.XXI actually did fly, Fascist forces overran the factory producing the airframes and production was halted. The Fokker D.XXI performed very well for the Finnish Air Force. Several Finnish Air Force pilots became aces on the Fokker D.XXI. The top scoring Fokker ace was Jorma Sarvanto with 12 5/6 victories. Many other aces scored at least one victory with the Fokker. The Fokker D.21 was armed with 4 7.92 mm FN Browning M36 machineguns.