An airliner is a type of aircraft for transporting passengers and air cargo. Such aircraft are most operated by airlines. Although the definition of an airliner can vary from country to country, an airliner is defined as an aeroplane intended for carrying multiple passengers or cargo in commercial service; the largest of them are wide-body jets which are called twin-aisle because they have two separate aisles running from the front to the back of the passenger cabin. These are used for long-haul flights between airline hubs and major cities. A smaller, more common class of airliners is the single-aisle; these are used for short to medium-distance flights with fewer passengers than their wide-body counterparts. Regional airliners seat fewer than 100 passengers and may be powered by turbofans or turboprops; these airliners are the non-mainline counterparts to the larger aircraft operated by the major carriers, legacy carriers, flag carriers, are used to feed traffic into the large airline hubs. These regional routes form the spokes of a hub-and-spoke air transport model.
The lightest of short-haul regional feeder airliner type aircraft that carry a small number of passengers are called commuter aircraft, commuterliners and air taxis, depending on their size, how they are marketed, region of the world, seating configurations. The Beechcraft 1900, for example, has only 19 seats; when the Wright brothers made the world’s first sustained heavier-than-air flight, they laid the foundation for what would become a major transport industry. Their flight in 1903 was just 11 years before what is defined as the world’s first airliner; these airliners have had a significant impact on global society and politics. In 1913, Igor Sikorsky developed the first large multi-engine airplane, the Russky Vityaz, refined into the more practical Ilya Muromets with dual controls for a pilot plus copilot and a comfortable cabin with a lavatory, cabin heating and lighting; the large four-engine biplane was derived in a bomber aircraft, preceding subsequent transport and bomber aircraft.
Due to the onset of World War I, it was never used as a commercial airliner. It first flew on December 10, 1913 and took off for its first demonstration flight with 16 passengers aboard on February 25, 1914. In 1915, the first airliner was used by Elliot Air Service; the aircraft was a Curtiss JN 4, a small biplane, used in World War I as a trainer. It was used as a tour and familiarization flight aircraft in the early 1920s. In 1919, after World War I, the Farman F.60 Goliath designed as a long-range heavy bomber, was converted for commercial use into a passenger airliner. It could seat 14 passengers from 1919, around 60 were built. Several publicity flights were made, including one on 8 February 1919, when the Goliath flew 12 passengers from Toussus-le-Noble to RAF Kenley, near Croydon, despite having no permission from the British authorities to land. Another important airliner built in 1919 was the Airco DH.16. In March 1919, the prototype first flew at Hendon Aerodrome. Nine aircraft were built, all but one being delivered to the nascent airline, Aircraft Transport and Travel, which used the first aircraft for pleasure flying, on 25 August 1919, it inaugurated the first scheduled international airline service from London to Paris.
One aircraft was sold to the River Plate Aviation Company in Argentina, to operate a cross-river service between Buenos Aires and Montevideo. Meanwhile, the competing Vickers converted its successful WWI bomber, the Vickers Vimy, into a civilian version, the Vimy Commercial, it was redesigned with a larger-diameter fuselage, first flew from the Joyce Green airfield in Kent on 13 April 1919. The world's first all-metal transport aircraft was the Junkers F.13 from 1919, with 322 built. The Dutch Fokker company produced the Fokker F. II and the F. III; these aircraft were used by the Dutch airline KLM when it reopened an Amsterdam-London service in 1921. The Fokkers were soon flying to destinations across Europe, including Bremen, Brussels and Paris, they proved to be reliable aircraft. The Handley Page company in Britain produced the Handley Page Type W as the company's first civil transport aircraft, it housed two crew in 15 passengers in an enclosed cabin. Powered by two 450 hp Napier Lion engines, the prototype first flew on 4 December 1919, shortly after it was displayed at the 1919 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget.
It was the world's first airliner to be designed with an on-board lavatory. Meanwhile in France, the Bleriot-SPAD S.33 was a great success throughout the 1920s serving the Paris-London route, on continental routes. The enclosed cabin could carry four passengers with an extra seat in the cockpit. By 1921, aircraft capacity needed to be larger for the economics to remain favourable; the English company de Havilland, therefore built the 10-passenger DH.29 monoplane, while starting work on the design of the DH.32, an eight-seater biplane with a less powerful but more economical Rolls-Royce Eagle engine. Owing to the urgent need for more capacity, work on the DH.32 was stopped and the DH.34 biplane was designed, accommodating 10 passengers. The Fokker trimotor was an important and popular transport, manufactured under license in Europe and America. Throughout the 1920s, companies in Britain and France were at the forefront of the civil airliner industry considerably aided by governme
Vickers VC.1 Viking
The Vickers VC.1 Viking is a British twin-engine short-range airliner derived from the Vickers Wellington bomber and built by Vickers-Armstrongs Limited at Brooklands near Weybridge in Surrey. After the Second World War, the Viking was an important airliner with British airlines, pending the development of turboprop aircraft like the Viscount. An experimental airframe was fitted with Rolls-Royce Nene turbojets and first flown in 1948 as the world's first pure jet transport aircraft. Military developments were the Vickers Varsity; the Ministry of Aircraft Production ordered three prototype Wellington Transport Aircraft to Air Ministry Specification 17/44 from Vickers-Armstrongs Limited. The specification was for a peacetime requirement for a short-medium haul passenger aircraft. To speed development the aircraft used the wing and undercarriage design from the Wellington but the fuselage was new. Although the original contract referred to Wellington Transport Aircraft, on completion, the name Viking was chosen.
The first prototype was built by the Vickers Experimental Department at its wartime Foxwarren dispersal site and was first flown by'Mutt' Summers at Wisley Airfield on 22 June 1945. This aircraft crashed on 23 April 1946 due to a double engine failure. Following successful trials of the three prototypes the British Overseas Airways Corporation ordered 19 aircraft; the first BOAC aircraft flew on 23 March 1946. The prototypes were used for trials with the Royal Air Force which led to orders for military versions; the initial 19 production aircraft carried 21 passengers, they had metal fuselages and - except for the wing inboard of the nacelles - fabric-clad geodetic wings and tail units. Following feedback from customers, the next 14 examples, known as the Viking 1, featured stressed-metal wings and tail units; the next variant, the Viking 1B, was 28 in longer, carrying 24 passengers with up-rated Bristol Hercules piston engines, achieved a production run of 115. One of this batch was changed during production to so that it could be fitted with two Rolls-Royce Nene turbojet engines, with its first flight on 6 April 1948.
In 1948, on the 39th anniversary of Blériot's crossing of the English Channel, the Type 618 Nene-Viking flew Heathrow–Paris in the morning carrying letters to Bleriot's widow and son, who met it at the airport. The flight of 222 miles took only 34 minutes, it flew back to London in the afternoon. It averaged 394 mph. In 1954 it was bought from the Ministry of Supply and underwent the substantial conversion to Hercules 634 piston engines by Eagle Aviation to join their fleet. Production finished in 1948, including 16 for the RAF of which 4 were for the King's Flight, but in 1952 BEA adapted some to a 38-passenger layout, taking the maximum payload up from 5,500–7,200 lb. All Vikings featured a tailwheel undercarriage; the 58th Viking became the prototype of the military Valetta, of which 262 were produced for the RAF. When production of this strengthened but externally similar type ended in 1952, a flying classroom version with tricycle undercarriage was being delivered to the Royal Air Force, called the Varsity.
All but one of those entered the other example going to the Swedish Air Force. The production of 161 Varsities kept the Hurn works busy until January 1954, they enjoyed a long service life. Examples are preserved at Brooklands Museum, the Imperial War Museum Duxford and the Newark Air Museum; the first Viking was flown from Vickers' flight test airfield at Wisley, Surrey, by chief test pilot Joseph "Mutt" Summers on 22 June 1945 and the third aircraft built was delivered to BOAC at Hurn near Bournemouth on 20 April 1946. Upon the delivery of nine examples to BOAC for development flying, including the two remaining prototypes, British European Airways was established on 1 August 1946 to operate airliners within Europe and these first VC.1 Vikings were transferred to the new airline. After a trial flight from Northolt to Oslo on 20 August 1946 by the newly formed BEA, the first regular Viking scheduled service commenced between Northolt and Copenhagen Airport on 1 September 1946. In all 163 Vikings were built.
The initials "VC" stood for Vickers Commercial, echoing the "VC" precedent set by the earlier Vimy Commercial of 1919. Vickers soon ceased to use the'VC' letters, instead using type numbers in the 49x and 600 series, which indicated the specific customer airline. BEA operated their large fleet of Vikings on many UK trunk routes for eight years. From 1951, the remaining fleet was modified with 36, instead of 27 seats, named the "Admiral Class". BEA operated the Viking until late 1954, when the last was displaced by the more modern and pressurised Airspeed Ambassador and Vickers Viscount. BEA sold their Vikings to several UK independent airlines for use on their growing scheduled and charter route networks; some were sold to other European operators. An ex-BEA Viking 1B was fitted out as a VIP aircraft for the Arab Legion Air Force for the use of the King of Jordan. Most Vikings had been retired from service by the mid-1960s and the sole surviving example in the UK is owned by Brooklands Museum where it is under long term restoration.
Viking Prototypes with two 1,675 hp Bristol Hercules 130 engines, three built. Viking 1A Initial production version with geodetic wings and two 1,690 hp Bristol Hercules 630 engines. Viking 1 Production aircraft with stressed skin mainplanes
The Douglas DC-4 is a four-engine propeller-driven airliner developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company. Military versions of the plane, the C-54 and R5D, served during World War II, in the Berlin Airlift and into the 1960s. From 1945, many civil airlines operated the DC-4 worldwide. Following proving flights by United Airlines of the DC-4E it became obvious that the 52-seat airliner was too large to operate economically and the partner airlines recommended a long list of changes required to the design. Douglas took the new requirement and produced a new design, the DC-4A, with a simpler unpressurised fuselage, R-2000 Twin Wasp engines and a single fin and rudder. With the entry of the United States into World War II, in June 1941 the War Department took over the provision orders for the airlines and allocated them to the United States Army Air Forces with the designation C-54 Skymaster; the first, a C-54, flew from Clover Field in Santa Monica, California on 14 February 1942. To meet military requirements the first production aircraft had four additional auxiliary fuel tanks in the main cabin which reduced the passenger seats to 26.
The following batch of aircraft were designated C-54A and were built with a stronger floor, cargo door with a hoist and winch. The first C-54A was delivered in February 1943. With the introduction of the C-54B in March 1944, the outer wings were changed to hold integral fuel tanks allowing two of the cabin tanks to be removed; the C-54C was a hybrid for Presidential use, it had a C-54A fuselage with four cabin fuel tanks and the C-54B wings with built-in tanks to achieve maximum range. The most common variant was the C-54D, which entered service in August 1944, a C-54B with more powerful R-2000-11 engines. With the C-54E the last two cabin fuel tanks were moved to the wings which allowed more freight or 44 passenger seats. A total of 1,163 C-54/R5Ds were built for the United States military between 1942 and January 1946. A variant, equipped to fly over 40% faster, was built in Canada postwar as the Canadair North Star; the DC-4/C-54 proved a popular and reliable type, 1245 being built between May 1942 and August 1947, including 79 postwar DC-4s.
Several remain in service as of 2014. One current operator is Buffalo Airways of Northwest Territories. Douglas continued to develop the type during the war in preparation for a return to airline use when peace returned; the type's sales prospects were affected when 500 wartime ex military C-54s and R5Ds came onto the civil market, many being converted to DC-4 standard by Douglas. DC-4s were a favorite of charter airlines such as Great Lakes Airlines, North American Airlines, Universal Airlines and Transocean Airlines. In the 1950s Transocean was the largest civil C-54/DC-4 operator. Douglas produced 79 new-build DC-4s between January 1946 and August 9, 1947, the last example being delivered to South African Airways. Pressurization was an option. A total of 330 DC-4s and C-54s were used in the Berlin Airlift. Purchasers of new-build DC-4s included Pan American Airways, National Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Western Airlines in the USA, KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines, Scandinavian Airlines System, Iberia Airlines of Spain, Air France, Sabena Belgian World Airlines, Cubana de Aviación, Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeropostal of Venezuela and South African Airways overseas.
Several airlines used new-build DC-4s to start scheduled transatlantic flights between Latin America and Europe. Among the earliest were Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeropostal of Venezuela, Iberia Airlines of Spain, Cubana de Aviación. Basic prices for a new DC-4 in 1946-7 was around £140,000-£160,000. In 1960 used DC-4s were available for around £80,000. DC-4 Main production airliner, postwar. Canadair North Star Canadian production of a Rolls-Royce Merlin – powered variant, plus a single Pratt & Whitney R-2800 – powered aircraft. Aviation Traders Carvair British cargo and car ferry adaptation. Few DC-4s remain in service today; the last two passenger DC-4s operating worldwide are based in South Africa. They fly with old South African Airways colors, they are ZS-AUB "Outeniqua" and ZS-BMH "Lebombo" and are owned by the South African Airways Museum Society and operated by Skyclass Aviation, a company specializing in classic and VIP charters to exotic destinations in Africa. A 1944-built DC-4 is being restored in New South Wales, Australia.
Buffalo Airways in Canada's Northwest Territories owns eleven DC-4s. A 1945-built DC-4 c/n 27370 is operating as a flying museum of the Berlin Airlift. Called the "Spirit of Freedom", it has been touring the world for nearly 20 years. Alaska Air Fuel operates two DC4s out of Palmer, Alaska. One ex-Buffalo DC4 is fitted with spray bars on top of the wings and is based in Florida on standby for oil pollution control. General characteristics Crew: four Capacity: 40 to 80 passengers Length: 93 ft 10 in Wingspan: 117 ft 6 in Height: 27 ft 6 in Wing area: 1,460ft² Empty weight: 43,300 lb Loaded weight: 63,500 lb Max. Takeoff weight: 73,000 lb Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney R-2000 radial engine, 1,450 hp eachPerformance Maximum speed: 280 mph Cruise speed: 227 mph/197kts Range: 4,250 mi Service ceiling: 22,300 ft Wing loading: 43.5 lb/ft² Power/mass: 10.9 lb/hp
British Overseas Airways Corporation
British Overseas Airways Corporation was the British state-owned airline created in 1939 by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd. It continued operating overseas services throughout World War II. After the passing of the Civil Aviation Act of 1946, European and South American services passed to two further state-owned airlines, British European Airways and British South American Airways. BOAC absorbed BSAA in 1949, but BEA continued to operate British domestic and European routes for the next quarter century. A 1971 Act of Parliament merged BOAC and BEA, effective 31 March 1974, forming today's British Airways. On 24 November 1939, BOAC was created by Act of Parliament to become the British state airline, formed from the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd; the companies had been operating together since war was declared on 3 September 1939, when their operations were evacuated from the London area to Bristol. On 1 April 1940, BOAC started operations as a single company.
Following the Fall of France, BOAC aircraft kept wartime Britain connected with its colonies and the allied world under enemy fire, with desperate shortages of long-range aircraft. During the war, the airline was sometimes loosely referred to as'British Airways', aircraft and equipment were marked with combinations of that title and/or the Speedbird symbol and/or the Union Flag. BOAC inherited Imperial Airways' flying boat services to British colonies in Africa and Asia, but with the wartime loss of the route over Italy and France to Cairo these were replaced by the expatriate'Horseshoe Route', with Cairo as a hub, Sydney and Durban as termini. Linking Britain to the Horseshoe Route taxed the resources of BOAC. Although Spain denied access, Portugal welcomed BOAC's civilian aircraft at Lisbon. However, the Mediterranean route from Lisbon or Gibraltar to Egypt via Malta risked enemy attack, so the long West Africa route had to be employed by landplane to Khartoum on the Horseshoe Route; the Empire routes had contained landplane sectors, but the Armstrong Whitworth Ensign and de Havilland Albatross ordered to replace the Handley Page HP.42'Heracles' biplanes had proved disappointing, leaving the Short Empire flying boats as the backbone of the wartime fleet..
The Empire flying-boats were at their limit on the 1,900 mile Lisbon-Bathurst sector. Refuelling at Las Palmas in the Canary Islands was permitted by Spain for some Empire flying-boat flights in 1940 and 1941. In 1941 longer range Consolidated Catalinas, Boeing 314As were introduced to guarantee non-stop Lisbon to Bathurst sectors. BOAC's flying-boat base for Britain was shifted from Southampton to Poole, but many flights used Foynes in Éire, reached by shuttle flight from Whitchurch. Use of Foynes reduced the chance of enemy interception or friendly fire incidents over the English Channel. BOAC had large bases at Durban, Alexandria and a pilots' school at Soroti, Uganda. Experimental flights had been made across the North Atlantic pre-war by Imperial Airways Empire flying-boats with improved fuel capacity, some using in flight refuelling, culminating in a series of mail/courier flights made by BOAC's Clare and Clyde to La Guardia in camouflage during the Battle of Britain; these were BOAC's first New York services.
In 1941, BOAC was tasked with operating a'Return Ferry Service' from Prestwick to Montreal to reposition ferry pilots who had flown American-built bombers from Canada, they were provided with RAF Consolidated Liberators with a basic passenger conversion. This was the first sustained North Atlantic landplane service. By September 1944 BOAC had made 1,000 transatlantic crossings. In late 1942, the new hard-surface airport at Lisbon permitted the use of civil registered Liberators to North and West Africa and Egypt. Arguably, BOAC's most famous wartime route was the'Ball-bearing Run' from Leuchars to Stockholm in neutral Sweden. Flown with Lockheed 14s and Lockheed Hudson transports, the unsuitable Armstrong Whitworth Whitley "civilianised" bombers were used between 9 August and 24 October 1942; the much faster civilian registered de Havilland Mosquitoes were introduced by BOAC in 1943. The significance of the ball-bearings is debatable, but these night flights were an important diplomatic gesture of support for neutral Sweden which had two DC-3s shot down on its own service to Britain.
Other types used to Sweden included Lockheed Lodestars, Consolidated Liberators, the sole Curtiss CW-20 which BOAC had purchased. Between 1939 and 1945 6,000 passengers were transported by BOAC between Great Britain. At the end of the war, BOAC's fleet consisted of Lockheed Lodestars, lend-lease Douglas DC-3s, converted Sunderlands, the first Avro Lancastrians, Avro Yorks, Handley Page Haltons; the Short Empire, Short S.26 and Boeing 314A flying boats, plus the AW Ensigns, were due to be withdrawn. The Corporation's aircraft and personnel were scattered around the world, it took a decade to reorganise it into an efficient unit at Heathrow. In 1943, the Brabazon Committee had laid down a set of civil aircraft transport types for the British aircraft industry to produce, but these were to be se
An airline is a company that provides air transport services for traveling passengers and freight. Airlines utilize aircraft to supply these services and may form partnerships or alliances with other airlines for codeshare agreements. Airline companies are recognized with an air operating certificate or license issued by a governmental aviation body. Airlines vary in size, from small domestic airlines to full-service international airlines with double decker airplanes. Airline services can be categorized as being intercontinental, regional, or international, may be operated as scheduled services or charters; the largest airline is American Airlines Group. DELAG, Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft I was the world's first airline, it was founded on November 16, 1909, with government assistance, operated airships manufactured by The Zeppelin Corporation. Its headquarters were in Frankfurt; the first fixed wing scheduled airline was started on January 1, 1914, from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa, Florida.
The four oldest non-dirigible airlines that still exist are Netherlands' KLM, Colombia's Avianca, Australia's Qantas, the Czech Republic's Czech Airlines. The earliest fixed wing airline in Europe was Aircraft Transport and Travel, formed by George Holt Thomas in 1916. Using a fleet of former military Airco DH.4A biplanes, modified to carry two passengers in the fuselage, it operated relief flights between Folkestone and Ghent. On 15 July 1919, the company flew a proving flight across the English Channel, despite a lack of support from the British government. Flown by Lt. H Shaw in an Airco DH.9 between RAF Hendon and Paris – Le Bourget Airport, the flight took 2 hours and 30 minutes at £21 per passenger. On 25 August 1919, the company used DH.16s to pioneer a regular service from Hounslow Heath Aerodrome to Le Bourget, the first regular international service in the world. The airline soon gained a reputation for reliability, despite problems with bad weather, began to attract European competition.
In November 1919, it won the first British civil airmail contract. Six Royal Air Force Airco DH.9A aircraft were lent to the company, to operate the airmail service between Hawkinge and Cologne. In 1920, they were returned to the Royal Air Force. Other British competitors were quick to follow – Handley Page Transport was established in 1919 and used the company's converted wartime Type O/400 bombers with a capacity for 12 passengers, to run a London-Paris passenger service; the first French airline was Société des lignes Latécoère known as Aéropostale, which started its first service in late 1918 to Spain. The Société Générale des Transports Aériens was created in late 1919, by the Farman brothers and the Farman F.60 Goliath plane flew scheduled services from Toussus-le-Noble to Kenley, near Croydon, England. Another early French airline was the Compagnie des Messageries Aériennes, established in 1919 by Louis-Charles Breguet, offering a mail and freight service between Le Bourget Airport and Lesquin Airport, Lille.
The first German airline to use heavier than air aircraft was Deutsche Luft-Reederei established in 1917 which started operating in February 1919. In its first year, the D. L. R. Operated scheduled flights on routes with a combined length of nearly 1000 miles. By 1921 the D. L. R. Network was more than 3000 km long, included destinations in the Netherlands and the Baltic Republics. Another important German airline was Junkers Luftverkehr, which began operations in 1921, it was a division of the aircraft manufacturer Junkers, which became a separate company in 1924. It operated joint-venture airlines in Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Norway, Poland and Switzerland; the Dutch airline KLM made its first flight in 1920, is the oldest continuously operating airline in the world. Established by aviator Albert Plesman, it was awarded a "Royal" predicate from Queen Wilhelmina, its first flight was from Croydon Airport, London to Amsterdam, using a leased Aircraft Transport and Travel DH-16, carrying two British journalists and a number of newspapers.
In 1921, KLM started scheduled services. In Finland, the charter establishing Aero O/Y was signed in the city of Helsinki on September 12, 1923. Junkers F.13 D-335 became the first aircraft of the company, when Aero took delivery of it on March 14, 1924. The first flight was between Helsinki and Tallinn, capital of Estonia, it took place on March 20, 1924, one week later. In the Soviet Union, the Chief Administration of the Civil Air Fleet was established in 1921. One of its first acts was to help found Deutsch-Russische Luftverkehrs A. G. a German-Russian joint venture to provide air transport from Russia to the West. Domestic air service began around the same time, when Dobrolyot started operations on 15 July 1923 between Moscow and Nizhni Novgorod. Since 1932 all operations had been carried under the name Aeroflot. Early European airlines tended to favor comfort – the passenger cabins were spacious with luxurious interiors – over speed and efficiency; the basic navigational capabilities of pilots at the time meant that delays due to the weather were commonplace.
By the early 1920s, small airlines were struggling to compete, there was a movement towards increased rationalization and consolidation. In 1924, Imperial Airways was formed from the merger of Instone Air Line Company, British Marine Air Navigation, Daimler Airway and Handley Page Transport Co Ltd. to allow British airlines to compete with stiff competition from French and German airlines that were enjoying heavy government subsidies. The ai
Fokker was a Dutch aircraft manufacturer named after its founder, Anthony Fokker. The company operated under several different names, starting out in 1912 in Schwerin, moving to the Netherlands in 1919. During its most successful period in the 1920s and 1930s, it dominated the civil aviation market. Fokker went into bankruptcy in 1996, its operations were sold to competitors. At age 20, while studying in Germany, Anthony Fokker built his initial aircraft, the Spin —the first Dutch-built plane to fly in his home country. Taking advantage of better opportunities in Germany, he moved to Berlin, where in 1912, he founded his first company, Fokker Aeroplanbau moving to the Görries suburb just southwest of Schwerin, where the current company was founded, as Fokker Aviatik GmbH, on 12 February 1912. Fokker capitalized on having sold several Fokker Spin monoplanes to the German government and set up a factory in Germany to supply the German Army in World War I, his first new design for the Germans to be produced in any numbers was the Fokker M.5, little more than a copy of the Morane-Saulnier G, built with steel tube instead of wood for the fuselage, with minor alterations to the outline of the rudder and undercarriage and a new aerofoil section.
When it was realized that arming these scouts with a machine gun firing through the propeller was desirable, Fokker developed a synchronization gear similar to that patented by Franz Schneider. Fitted with a developed version of this gear, the M.5 became the Fokker Eindecker, which due to its revolutionary armament, became one of the most feared aircraft over the western front, its introduction leading to a period of German air superiority known as the Fokker Scourge which only ended with the introduction of new aircraft such as the Nieuport 11 and Airco DH.2. During World War I, Fokker engineers were working on the Fokker-Leimberger, an externally powered 12-barrel Gatling gun in the 7.92×57mm round claimed to be capable of firing over 7200 round per minute. In the war, after the Fokker D. V had failed to gain acceptance with the Luftstreitkräfte, the German government forced Fokker and Junkers to cooperate more which resulted in the foundation of the Junkers-Fokker Aktiengesellschaft, or Jfa, on 20 October 1917.
As this partnership proved to be troublesome, it was dissolved again. By former Fokker welder and new designer Reinhold Platz, who had taken the late Martin Kreutzer's place with the firm, had adapted some of Prof. Junkers' design concepts, that resulted in a visual similarity between the aircraft of those two manufacturers during the next decade; some of the noteworthy types produced by Fokker during the second half of the war, all designed by Herr Platz, included the Fokker D. VI biplane, Fokker Dr. I triplane or Dreidecker, Fokker D. VII biplane and the Fokker D. VIII parasol monoplane. In 1919, owing large sums in back taxes, returned to the Netherlands and founded a new company near Amsterdam with the support of Steenkolen Handels Vereniging, now known as SHV Holdings, he chose the name Nederlandse Vliegtuigenfabriek to conceal the Fokker brand because of his World War I involvement. Despite the strict disarmament conditions in the Treaty of Versailles, Fokker did not return home empty-handed.
In 1919, he arranged an export permit and brought six entire trains of parts, 180 types of aircraft across the Dutch-German border, among them 117 Fokker C. Is, D. VIIs, D. VIIIs; this initial stock enabled him to set up shop quickly. After his company's relocation, many Fokker C. I and C. IV military airplanes were delivered to Russia and the still clandestine German air force. Success came on the commercial market, with the development of the Fokker F. VII, a high-winged aircraft capable of taking on various types of engines. Fokker continued to design and build military aircraft, delivering planes to the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Foreign military customers included Finland, Denmark, Switzerland and Italy; these countries bought substantial numbers of the Fokker C. V reconnaissance aircraft, which became Fokker's main success in early 1930s. In the 1920s, Fokker entered its glory years, becoming the world's largest aircraft manufacturer by the late 1920s, its greatest success was the 1925 F. VIIa/3m trimotor passenger aircraft, used by 54 airline companies worldwide and captured 40% of the American market in 1936.
It shared the European market with the Junkers all-metal aircraft, but dominated the American market until the arrival of the Ford Trimotor which copied the aerodynamic features of the Fokker F. VII, Junkers structural concepts. A serious blow to Fokker's reputation came after the 1931 crash of a Transcontinental & Western Air Fokker F-10 in Kansas, when it became known that the crash was caused by a structural failure caused by wood rot. Notre Dame legendary football coach Knute Rockne was among the fatalities, prompting extensive media coverage and technical investigation; as a result, all Fokkers were grounded in the US, along with many other types that had copied Fokker's wings. In 1923, Anthony Fokker moved to the United States, where in 1927, he established an American branch of his company, the Atlantic Aircraft Corporation, renamed the Fokker Aircraft Corporati
The Berlin Blockade was one of the first major international crises of the Cold War. During the multinational occupation of post–World War II Germany, the Soviet Union blocked the Western Allies' railway and canal access to the sectors of Berlin under Western control; the Soviets offered to drop the blockade if the Western Allies withdrew the newly introduced Deutsche Mark from West Berlin. The Western Allies organised the Berlin airlift to carry supplies to the people of West Berlin, a difficult feat given the size of the city's population. Aircrews from the United States Air Force, the Royal Air Force, the French Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the South African Air Force flew over 200,000 sorties in one year, providing to the West Berliners up to 12,941 tons of necessities in a day, such as fuel and food, with the original plan being to lift 3,475 tons of supplies. However, by the end of the airlift, that number was met twofold.
The Soviets did not disrupt the airlift for fear this might lead to open conflict though they far outnumbered the allies in Germany and Berlin. By the spring of 1949, the airlift was succeeding, by April it was delivering more cargo than had been transported into the city by rail. On 12 May 1949, the USSR lifted the blockade of West Berlin, although for a time the U. S. U. K and France continued to supply the city by air anyway because they were worried that the Soviets were going to resume the blockade and were only trying to disrupt western supply lines; the Berlin Blockade served to highlight the competing ideological and economic visions for postwar Europe and was the first major multinational skirmish of the cold war. From July 17 to August 2, 1945, the victorious Allies reached the Potsdam Agreement on the fate of postwar Europe, calling for the division of defeated Germany into four temporary occupation zones; these zones were located around the then-current locations of the allied armies.
Divided into occupation zones, Berlin was located 100 miles inside Soviet-controlled eastern Germany. The United States, United Kingdom, France controlled western portions of the city, while Soviet troops controlled the eastern sector. In the eastern zone, the Soviet authorities forcibly unified the Communist Party of Germany and Social Democratic Party in the Socialist Unity Party, claiming at the time that it would not have a Marxist–Leninist or Soviet orientation; the SED leaders called for the "establishment of an anti-fascist, democratic regime, a parliamentary democratic republic" while the Soviet Military Administration suppressed all other political activities. Factories, technicians and skilled personnel were removed to the Soviet Union. In a June 1945 meeting, Stalin informed German communist leaders that he expected to undermine the British position within their occupation zone, that the United States would withdraw within a year or two and that nothing would stand in the way of a united Germany under communist control within the Soviet orbit.
Stalin and other leaders told visiting Bulgarian and Yugoslavian delegations in early 1946 that Germany must be both Soviet and communist. A further factor contributing to the Blockade was that there had never been a formal agreement guaranteeing rail and road access to Berlin through the Soviet zone. At the end of the war, western leaders had relied on Soviet goodwill to provide them with access. At that time, the western allies assumed that the Soviets' refusal to grant any cargo access other than one rail line, limited to ten trains per day, was temporary, but the Soviets refused expansion to the various additional routes that were proposed; the Soviets granted only three air corridors for access to Berlin from Hamburg, Bückeburg, Frankfurt. In 1946 the Soviets stopped delivering agricultural goods from their zone in eastern Germany, the American commander, Lucius D. Clay, responded by stopping shipments of dismantled industries from western Germany to the Soviet Union. In response, the Soviets started a public relations campaign against American policy and began to obstruct the administrative work of all four zones of occupation.
Until the blockade began in 1948, the Truman Administration had not decided whether American forces should remain in West Berlin after the establishment of a West German government, planned for 1949. Berlin became the focal point of both US and Soviet efforts to re-align Europe to their respective visions; as Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov noted, "What happens to Berlin, happens to Germany. Berlin had suffered enormous damage. After harsh treatment, forced emigration, political repression and the hard winter of 1945–1946, Germans in the Soviet-controlled zone were hostile to Soviet endeavours. Local elections in 1946 resulted in a massive anti-communist protest vote in the Soviet sector of Berlin. Berlin's citizens overwhelmingly elected non-Communist members to its city government. Meanwhile, to coordinate the economies of the British and United States occupation zones, these were combined on 1 January 1947 into what was referred to as the Bizone. After March 1946 the British zonal advisory board was established, with representatives of the states, the central offices, political parties, trade unions, consumer organisations.
As indicated by its name, the zonal advisory board had no legislative p