Fokker C.V

Fokker C.V was a Dutch light reconnaissance and bomber biplane aircraft manufactured by Fokker. It was designed by Anthony Fokker and the series manufacture began in 1924 at Fokker in Amsterdam.

Fokker C.V
Class Aircraft
Type Bomber
Manufacturer Fokker
Origin Netherlands
Country Name Origin Year
Netherlands 1924
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Bolivia View
China View
Denmark View
Finland View
Germany View
Hungary View
Italy View
Netherlands View
Russia (USSR) View
Sweden View
Switzerland View
United States of America View
Norway 1926 1940 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Fokker 955 View

The C.V was constructed in the early 1920s by Anthony Fokker. The aircraft was intended as a twin-seated reconnaissance and bomber aircraft. When shown to the public in 1924 was manufactured in a variety of versions; the customer could choose from five different wing constructions (which varied in wing span). The radial engines could give between 336-723 kW (450-970 hp). The landing gear could be changed from wheels to pontoons. The aircraft became an export success for Fokker, it was sold and/or license manufactured in Bolivia, China, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, the Soviet Union and the US. Sweden purchased two different versions to use as models for their license manufacturing of the reconnaissance version S 6 and a fighter version J 3.

Use in Finland

The Finnish Air Force used both C.V-Ds and C.V-Es. One C.V-E was purchased in 1927, with delivery 20 September, and a further 13 were purchased on 17 March 1934, arriving in the winter of 1935. During the Winter War, Sweden donated three more C.V-Es. Two C.V-Ds were also flown from Norway to Finland at the closing stages of the Norwegian Campaign. These were interned and turned over to the FAF. The aircraft were used as reconnaissance and light bomber aircraft between 20 September 1927 and 14 February 1945. During the Winter War, the Finnish C.Vs flew 151 reconnaissance and harassment bombing sorties without suffering any losses. The Continuation War saw the C.Vs flying an unknown number of sorties and suffering one aircraft loss.

Use in Italy

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The C.VE was built in Italy by OFM (Officine Ferroviarie Meridionali, later IMAM) under licence in 1927 as the Romeo Ro.1. It was used by the Aviation Corps of the Regio Esercito (Italian Army) as an observation and ground attack aircraft. Well liked in the civilian market, it was selected for use by Air Marshal Italo Balbo, as superior to the Breda A.7 and Ansaldo A.120. It entered service in 1927, in Italian Libya against the local rebels. It was used both for reconnaissance and light attack. It was convertible as a three-seat machine, or as a light attack aircraft (two machine-guns), or as a very long range aircraft with an auxiliary fuel tank that increased the endurance from five to twelve hours. The last version had a 410 kW (550 hp) engine instead of 321 kW (430 hp) and produced until 1934, a total of 456, but it was outdated and too slow for the standards of the mid-1930s. Although this was only an army observation aircraft, it still had a quite powerful engine and performance. In 1933, there were 40 squadrons, of seven machines each, related to the Italian Army, with 238 Ro.1s as the main aircraft force. It was the most numerous Italian aircraft in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War.

Use in Norway

The Norwegian Army Air Service bought its first five C.VEs in 1926. The initial purchase agreement with Fokker included license production rights, and in the period 1929-1931, 15 C.VEs were manufactured at the NoAAS' aircraft factory at Kjeller. After the production of C.VEs ended, a further 28 C.VDs were followed between 1932 and 1939. In total, the NoAAS operated 48 Fokker C.Vs, 43 of which were license built in Norway. When the Germans invaded Norway on 9 April 1940, 42 Fokker C.Vs were still in Norwegian service. The C.Vs were based on several air bases in different parts of the country and mostly saw service as reconnaissance aircraft and light bomber. Although the planes were outdated, they still saw extensive and successful service in the bomber role during the April–June 1940 Norwegian Campaign, supporting Norwegian ground troops fighting on the Narvik front.

Use in the Netherlands

The type was used by the Luchtvaartafdeeling (pre war airforce), MLD (marine luchtvaartdienst) and KNIL-ML. For the Luchtvaartafdeling 67 examples were produced in several batches between 1926 and 1934. 28 were still operational at the time of the German attack on the Netherlands on 10 May 1940. They were used successfully on reconnaissance and bombing missions using "nap of the earth" (HuBoBe)(short for huisje-boompje-beestje, literally translated into house-tree-animal, referring to the low altitude at which they flew) flying techniques. Nearly two dozen aircraft were used as trainers and hacks, or in storage and repair

Use in Sweden

In 1927, the Swedish Air Force purchased two C.VDs (J 3) and two C.VE (S 6) to serve as models for the eventual license manufacturing of the aircraft by CVM at Malmen. The four aircraft were flown to Sweden in 1928. They proved suitable and an agreement for licence production was made and a further four C.V-E and six C.V-D were purchased, the latter designated J 3A. Seven C.VD ordered from CVM were built as C.VE, as by 1929 it was clear the type was unsuitable as a fighter, but still they were designated J 3B.

In 1931, the J 3B were redesignated S 6, the J 3 and J 3A S 6A. Ten C.VE with Nohab My VI engines instead of Jupiter VI engines were given the designation S 6B.

The S 6 became the prime liaison aircraft for the Swedish Air Force. It was used for fire spotting, aerial photographing and liaison duty in conjunction with the Army. At the outbreak of World War II, there were 36 aircraft left in service. They would continue until being replaced by Saab 17s from 1942. CVM manufactured 17 S 6 between 1929 and 1932. Some were fitted with floats and designated S 6H.

In 1945, the SwAF sold three S 6s to Svensk Flygtjänst to be used for aerial application over forest. Two other were sold to Skåneflyg in 1947. One is preserved and can be seen in the Swedish Air Force Museum. Lieutenant Einar Lundborg rescued the Italian General Umberto Nobile in 1928, with a S 6B, equipped with skis. Nobile was on an ice shelf after his airship Italia had crashed on its way to the North Pole.

Use in Switzerland

After trials in 1927, Swiss authorities had 48 C.V.-E licence-built in Switzerland for use by the Swiss Air Force (then the Swiss Army Air Corps). 24 machines were built at K+W Thun and 24 at Doflug Altenrhein. The aircraft were in service from 1933 to 1940 and were armed with bombs, two pilot machine guns and a double machine gun for the observer. The Swiss Air Force used their C.Vs as target tugs until 1954, after their retirement from frontline service.

During their occupation of Denmark, the Germans requisitioned a number of Danish Fokker C.V.-Es. Some of these aircraft were used by the Estonian volunteer-manned Nachtschlachtgruppe 11 (Night Ground Attack Wing 11) at Rahkla in 1944. NSGr. 11 used its C.V-Es on the Eastern Front to carry out disruptive harassment night bombing sorties against the Russian front lines. These operations were carried out in response to similar nocturnal operations by Soviet light aircraft, such as the Po-2 biplanes. Two of the C.V-Es of the NSGr. 11 were flown to Sweden in October 1944 by four Estonian defectors, and one of them was handed back to the Danes by the Swedes in 1947.

Role Bomber
Manufacturer Focke-Wulf
Designer Henrich Focke
Primary user Luftwaffe (intended)
Number built None
Developed from Focke-Wulf F 19

General characteristics

  • Crew: Six
  • Length: 17.7 m (58 ft 1 in)
  • Wingspan: 25 m (82 ft 0 in)
  • Height: 4.3 m (14 ft 1 in)
  • Wing area: 108 m2 (1,160 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 5,600 kg (12,346 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 9,000 kg (19,842 lb)
  • Powerplant: 2 × BMW VI liquid-cooled inline piston engines, 560 kW (750 hp) each
  • Propellers: 4-bladed, 3.8 m (12 ft 6 in) diameter


  • Maximum speed: 310 km/h (193 mph; 167 kn)
  • Cruising speed: 260 km/h (162 mph; 140 kn)
  • Range: 1,200 km (746 mi; 648 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,000 m (19,685 ft)


  • Guns: Two machine guns in nose and tail positions
  • Bombs: 1,000 kilograms (2,200 lb) in internal bay

End notes