Fokker – The Final Farewell.
Fokker aircraft were a common sight at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for many decade. Although they have become increasingly scarce in recent times, this did not diminish the passion for this reliable Dutch product. Aviation buffs and plane spotter in the Netherlands all know that Fokker’s days in Dutch service will draw to a close on 28 October 2017.
On that date, KLM Cityhopper will bid farewell to its last Fokkers. The past months have seen many people booking tickets for a final flight aboard a Fokker. There were also lots of cameras along the perimeter fences, especially when one of the last Fokker 70s was specially decorated for the farewell. The accompanying text says it all: “Thank You, Fokker”.
Perfect design for commuter jets.
Many readers will be familiar with the post-war Fokkers: the F27, F28, F50, F100 and F70. All of these excellent, reliable, economic aircraft were very modern in their day, but the Fokker 70 was the best of the bunch. Although Fokker only built 48 of these aircraft before it went bankrupt, the F70 paved the way towards a perfect design formula for commuter jets.
In keeping with history, KLM Cityhopper chose to operate its last Fokker flight out of the London, with an English captain at the controls. When flight KL1070 from London Heathrow shuts down its Rolls-Royce Tay engines at Schiphol, the Fokker era at KLM will come to an end. However, the special bond between KLM and Fokker will live on in memory. Looking back on this era, many of the events can be captured as “what if” questions.
What if KLM had not been allowed to operate flights to the United Kingdom with Fokkers?
KLM ordered its first Fokker aircraft in 1920, marking the start of their shared history, in which two great companies inspired each other to take great steps. However, the budding relationship between KLM and Fokker might have ended right there. In fact, Fokker/KLM administrator Albert Plesman, who later became KLM’s first CEO, included a very explicit resolute condition in the procurement contract for the first Fokkers ordered by KLM.
Plesman did so just in case the British government would withhold permission to operate flights to the UK with Fokkers, which were seen as a mortal enemy by the British immediately after the First World War, because Germany’s dominant fleet of Fokker fighter planes were known to have prolonged the war.
Eventually, KLM was permitted to fly Fokkers to England. To make this momentous milestone all the more special, the first scheduled Fokker service to Croydon near London on 14 April 1921 was operated by a British pilot.
Another question: what if there had been no Second World War and Fokker had not been spurred on by Plesman’s claims that the company was incapable of producing a modern aircraft?
Would the aircraft manufacturer have completed the development of both the F24 and the “flying wing” Project 180, the first truly intercontinental airliner? Would KLM have operated flights to many destinations with large, aluminium Fokker aircraft for decades?
And what if the dollar exchange rate hadn’t declined sharply against the Deutschmark and Dutch guilder in the 1990s?
Could Fokker have avoided bankruptcy and profited from the recovering airline market? Would it have developed a new generation of aircraft? And would those aircraft have worn KLM colours?
Although these questions will never be conclusively answered, many things did gradually become clear for the editorial team creating the book “Dutch at Heart”, which celebrates KLM’s Fokker fleet. Based on the stories of KLM and Fokker staff as well as the curator, the bond between these two great Dutch companies is recounted from the day of establishment to the final weeks.
At the end of October, Fokker aircraft will be leaving the Dutch commercial air transport scene for good. That leaves only two members of the Dutch Aviation Trinity – KLM, Fokker and Schiphol – as well as the memories of an era in which Fokker played a leading role in our industry. These memories are captured in the Fokker monument, symbolically uniting KLM, Fokker and Schiphol, which KLM Cityhopper will unveil at Schiphol Oost on 29 October 2017.
By Charley Valette: “I’ve been flying for KLM since 1985. Right now I’m a captain on the Boeing 777. Before that, I flew the Boeing DC-9, 737-300, 400 747-200, 300, and 400, Fokker 28, and the MD-11.In 2011, when I heard that KLM had decided to phase out the MD-11, I felt as if I’d been stung by a wasp. https://blog.klm.com/fokker-the-final-farewell/?WT.mc_id=C_WW_SocialCampaign_Facebook_Editorial_BlogFokkerFarewell_blog_null
The “Grammy’s” and Today’s Music: A Reflection of America’s Rotting Culture.
On February 28, pop-and-rock sensation Michael Jackson set a “Grammy” record by finishing first in eight categories in the record industry’s 26th annual awards ceremony. Jackson is such a sensation that his “smash” album, “Thriller,” could sell as high as 35 million copies worldwide this year. No solo album has ever sold more than 12 million.
For the awards ceremony, Jackson was dressed gaudily as usual, in a spangled uniform with epaulets and sequined right glove. His high, squeaky voice showed that he would never pass first-year speech class at Ambassador Colleqe. (I can see it now: “Michael, you have to lower your voice and speak-out! Repeat after me: Up, up, up, around, around, around, down, down, DOWN!” )
However, for sheer abominability a group performing a number from a certain stage-show album stole the show. Five men came out dressed in “drag” (women’s clothes). Four of them receded, with the fifth proceeding into a solo. Dressed in evening gown, make-up, the works, the baritone boomed out the words, “I am what I am.” In the song, he defiantly defended his right to be and act the way he appeared. Afterwards, the audience applauded, naturally–confirming the truism of Proverbs 28:4: “Those who forsake the law praise the wicked.”
Much can be said of the wickedness of today’s rock–and especially rock- video–music. The television critic of the SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER, Michael Dougan, wrote an exceptional piece in his paper’s January 12 edition:
“One of the worst things about MTV, the rock video channel shown on most local cable outlets, is its rejection–through song lyrics and visual symbolism–of qualities like warmth, humor or interpersonal affection. Alienation is the operative mood and, considering most viewers are at an impressionable age, that’s not healthy.
“Now the National Coalition on Television Violence…has quantified the problem. After monitoring MTV for an unspecified period of time, NCTV has issued a report claiming more than half – of MTV’s videos “featured violence or strongly suggested violence.” NCTV counted an average of 18 instances of violent or hostile” action each hour, with 35 percent of the violence being “of a sexual nature.”
“Rock video’s combination of lyrics and images adds a new dimension to television violence,” said NCTV project director Phil Galli. “Many of the videos added violent imagery that wasn’t even present in the lyrics.” NCTV Chairman Thomas Radecki had – his own objections: “The message is that violence is normal and OK, that hostile sexual relations between men and women are common and acceptable, that heroes actively engaged in torture and murder of others are fun.”…
Among the examples from the NCTV report: “‘Fight Fire With Fire,’ by Kansas, features slave torture and sadistic women. ‘Murder Weapon,’ by T-Bone Burnett, features the stalking of a woman to kill her with a gun. Golden Earring’s ‘Twilight Zone’ features slow-motion murder and repeated interrogation torture. MTV has women boiled alive while other women are portrayed as cold-hearted and enjoying torturing men….”
Nor was NCTV enamored by the names of some rock groups, including Three Teens Kill Four, Sadist Faction, Pseudo Sadists, Rash of Stabbinhs and …Dead Kennedys. (It’s interesting to note that two of these titles–“Three Teens Kill Four” and “Rash of Stabbings”–are clearly inspired by newspaper headlines.) … It’s not that everyone who watches MTV is bound for rape and mayhem, of course, but the desensitization issue is a real matter of concern.”
It has always amused me a bit that some outside church groups have devoted so much energy to try to decipher alleged diabolical backward messages (“backward masking”) in rock songs. Such plotting has undoubtedly occurred. But this misses the much bigger picture: There is plenty of harm ”up front” in what young people plainly hear and see. Ours is a society increasingly “without natural affection” (I1 Tim. 3:3)… (By Gene Hogberg).