For my birthday, Jan got me a trip on the original Fokker F27 (Friendship). We finally went on the trip today (instead of last week, when it was cancelled due to bad weather). The first production Fokker F27 (also known as Fokker Friendship) flew in November 1955, 50 years ago last year. The Fokker Heritage Foundation has acquired the second aircraft sold commercially. It was originally sold to Air Lingus, after that it was in service in Australia and New Zealand. It returned to the Netherlands to become a museum exhibit, but a working exhibit.
The Fokker Heritage Trust keeps this aircraft in a airworthy state, and organises regular outings with it. We went on a daytrip to the island of Texel, one of the dutch islands on the Northsea. The Fokker Friendship (named “Anthony H.G. Fokker” by the way: the name of the founder of the Fokker Aircraft factory and also my fathers name) has its base on the air museum ‘Aviodrome’, which shares its airstrip with the airport of Lelystad. The flight from Lelystad to Texel takes only 20 minutes, but it is more about the whole axperience. As an added bonus, the airstrip on Texel is one of only a very few that has a grass-only runway.
The whole experience was wonderful: the aircraft is almost completely as it was originally. Apart from the required safety-updates. The crew, which are all volunteers, were dressed in period costumes, and the airplane itself is painted in the old NLM (Nederlandse Luchtvaart Maatschappij) colours.
See more pictures here.
You can see the plane landing and taking off on the website of TexelAirport (date 2006-8-19) – that was quick!