Latvian delegation visiting Fokker factory. O.H.Dzervitis second from the left.

Fokker D21

Source: The Netherlands

Considered: 1938

Type: Fighter

Engine: Bristol Mercury VIII (9-cylinder radial, 830 hp)

Length: 8.22 m
Wing Span: 11 m.
Max Speed: 480 km/hr

Range: 950 km

Maximum Ceiling: 11,000 m

Crew: 1


  • Designed by E.Schatzki in 1935 specifically to meet the needs of the Netherlands East Indies Army Air Service, the Fokker D.21 caught the attention of a number of European nations in the late 1930s. Eventually they were flown not only by the Dutch (ironically, not in the East Indies) but also the Finns and Danes.
  • The Latvian military were interested in replacing their Gloster Gladiators with Fokker D.21s. Specifically, they wished to purchase five aircraft, and negotiate for a license to build additional aircraft in Latvia. Such arrangements already existed between Fokker and the Finnish military and the Danish Air Force as well.
  • In 1938 a delegation from Latvia visited the Fokker factory in the Netherlands to witness a demonstration of the D.21 and to prepare a report regarding the acquisition of these airplanes. The delegation consisted of A.Drulle, R.Kandis, V.Dzenitis, G.Novickis and others.
  • Ultimately, the Latvian military did not pursue the arrangement. The Latvians would have difficulty paying for the aircraft in hard currency, and VEF were proposing developing their own line of combat aircraft which could be built in Latvia. VEF Director Vitols and Aviation Designer Irbitis had considerable influence with the Latvian military, and ultimately the foreign contract was never made. It should also be noted the Irbitis had a strong dislike for radial-engined aircraft, believing that their air resistance made them inefficient.

  • Bruvelis, Edvins Latvijas Aviacijas Vesture
  • Further information and photo courtesy of F.Gerdessen

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