Aviation Historian 14
N.Braas - Machtrainer
The second production Machtrainer, L-2, in the static park at RAF Wethersfield’s Armed Forces Day on May 9, 1959. All 20 production Machtrainers were painted overall silver/grey with a blue nose panel and tapering cheat line and yellow detailing around the intake plus training bands on the fuselage and wings.
Opening yet another chapter in the life of the Machtrainer prototype? Sadly not; now on display at the Aviodrome Museum at Lelystad, the aircraft had its wings mounted and was taken outside in 2009 for a spoof April Fool’s Day photographic shoot using the Lelystad-based Fouga Magister’s starting equipment. It is now back in its usual display location inside the museum.
The Fokker S.14 prototype, K-1, in its initial bare-metal scheme in 1951, while still fitted with its original Rolls-Royce Derwent 8 engine. On the aircraft’s second flight the undercarriage jammed halfway down, test pilot Gerben Sonderman having to perform negative-g manoeuvres to force it up before making a skilful belly-landing.
Despite its short, stubby wings, gaping air intake and large, broad canopy, the Machtrainer was nevertheless an attractive aircraft, especially when on the ground, its wide-track undercarriage giving the trainer a purposeful stance. The prototype S.14, K-1, is seen here in November 1951, still fitted with its original Derwent engine.
Dubbed the 'Flying Plank', the S.14 was nevertheless of pleasing appearance.
Conceived as a jet trainer from the outset - the first such aircraft not to be merely a development of a pre-existing fighter design - the S.14 was designed to be able to be spun, incorporating a fin placed well ahead of the tailplane. The prototype, still powered by a Derwent, is seen here during one of its many pre-Nene trial flights.
Only one production batch of 20 Machtrainers was built, all powered by the Derwent engine, the logic being that KLu pilots would be converting to Derwent-powered Meteors, making a Nene-powered S.14 variant superfluous to requirements.
The prototype, registered PH-XIV, on display in the distinctive Aviodome museum at Schiphol in September 1971. Having provided sterling service as a trials aircraft, the S.14 prototype was retired by Fokker in 1956, only to be made airworthy again and used as a test article by the Dutch scientific organisation NLL/NLR during 1960-66.
The prototype, K-1, after the fitting of the Nene engine in late 1953, and sporting the Fokker-designed 20mm cannon belly-mounted gunpack. Originally ordered for all 20 KLu Machtrainers, the gunpack was ultimately cancelled, the sole example being fitted and flown only on K-1.
Prince Bernhard of The Netherlands climbs aboard the Machtrainer prototype in November 1953, after it had been fitted with a Rolls-Royce Nene engine. About to join the prince is Fokker test pilot Gerben Sonderman, who made the type’s first flight in 1951.
Ill-fated Machtrainer L-7 is refuelled at Twenthe. The horse emblem on the fin - Het Twentse Ros - was a standard marking for aircraft based at Twenthe. Sadly, L-7 went on to become the only Machtrainer to be involved in a fatal accident, when its two occupants were killed during a low-level training sortie over Zeeland in May 1964.
The revised rear fuselage of the Nene-powered Machtrainer incorporating the new engine’s larger jet­pipe. Note also the extended three-section lattice-type airbrakes which replaced the originals, which were of slab type, to cure buffeting problems The revised slotted airbrakes were fitted to production examples.
Dutch air force pilot Joop Willemsen accrued almost 1,000 flying hours in the S.14 as an instructor at Ypenburg, where non-operational pilots gained jet experience and Dutch Navy Hawker Sea Hawk pilots took their instrument ratings.
The hardworking prototype fitted with an experimental metal canopy for pressure-measurement trials. The long nose-mounted probe was fitted when the Derwent was replaced with the Nene engine in 1953.
The Machtrainer "office" Derwent-powered production variant
Fokker’s accident investigation committee surveys the wreckage of L-4 in the USA in 1955.
ORIGINALLY CREATED BY Serbian aviation illustrator and artist Srecko Bradic for the definitive book on the Fokker S.14 by Nico Braas and Willem Vredeling, the pencil sketches were not included in the book and are published here for the first time. Also included are sketches of two proposed S.14 developments which were ultimately never built. Had the S.14 been ordered for the USAF and US Navy (and licence-built by Fairchild), it would have been fitted with American avionics and instruments, an American jet engine and a single­piece canopy. The ventral airbrake would have been removed and the US Navy version would have been fitted with an arrester hook and folding wings. It was, however, not to be.
A trio of Fokker S.11s leads three ranks of factory-fresh Gloster Meteor F.8s, licence-built by Fokker, for the Dutch and Belgian air forces at the Fokker factory at Schiphol in the early 1950s.
A contemporary advertisement for Fokker’s unbuilt twin-Rolls-Royce Nene-powered F.26 Phantom; an ambitious project for a company virtually starting from scratch after the war.