The Fokker F28 Fellowship got wind under its wing for the first time on this day in 1967.
The aircraft was produced in collaboration with german MBB and Fokker-VFW and Shorts Brothers of Northern Ireland. And with financial support from both Dutch and German governments.
The power plant was going to be powered by the Rolls Royce Spey Mk. 555-15, specially adapted for reduced maintenance costs.
One of the adaptions compared to other Rolls Royce Spey powered aircraft was the fact that there were no thrust reversers on the engine.
As the aircraft had 5 spoilers per wing and the speedbrake at the aft end of the fuselage enough drag could be generated to warrant the lack of thrust reversers.
The aircraft was certified by the Dutch Aviation Authorities (Rijks Luchtvaart Dienst) in late February 1969, followed by the FAA a month later. The first commercial flight of an F28 Fellowship was on the 28th of March 1969, by Norwegian carrier Braathens SAFE. Several different models were developed over the years:
The initial type with seating for 65 passengers. Also, a -1000C a cargo or pax/cargo variant was developed with a cargo door forward of the lefthand wing.
F28-2000 With an extended fuselage compared to the -1000, good for 79 passengers. 10 were built.
F28-3000 An improved version of the -1000 with the airframe/engine improvements of the -4000
F28-4000 New wings, redesigned cockpit and new interior and an increased seating capacity for 85 passengers.
Powered by the Spey 555-15P engine.
F28-5000 Further development of the -1000 with Leading Edge slats, bigger wingspan and stronger engines (RR RB183 Mk555-15H). No -5000's where ever build.
Further development of the -2000 with Leading Edge slats, bigger wingspan and stronger engines. Two airframes were built for testing by Fokker but modified to -2000's before being delivered to Air Mauritanie A total of 241 airframes were built by end of production in 1987 when its successor, the Fokker 100 became its big modernised brother,