The Fokker F50 was designed after sales of the Fokker F27 Friendship, which had been in continual production since 1958, were beginning to decline by the 1980s. Fokker management, decided that an aircraft with aerodynamic and electronic updates from the Fokker F27 was sensible.
The Design of the Fokker F50 started in 1983. Certification of the Fokker 50 (initially known as the Fokker F27 Mk050 or Fokker F50) by the Dutch aviation authority RLD was successfully completed in 1987 after four years of design review and flight testing. First delivery was made to DLT of Germany. Production ended in 1996 after the Fokker Aircraft Company went into liquidation. By the end of the program, 213 Fokker F50s had been produced.
Together with two Fokker F50's the Royal Netherlands Air Force also ordered 4 Fokker 60s. Being stretched 1.62 metres longer than the F50 for a total length of 26.87 metres it has a large cargo door on the right side immediately behind the cockpit. Only four planes were built, all of them delivered to the Royal Netherlands Air Force.
All Fokkers where were part of 334 Squadron based at Eindhoven airbase. The Fokker F60's were used to transport equipment and soldiers. Paradrops were done as well. The Fokker F50 operated as medium range VIP transports.
Two of the Fokker 60's (U-01, U-03) were converted in 2005 to a MPA (Maritime Patrol Aircraft) version as a temporary solution when the Royal Netherlands Navy P-3 Orion were phased out due to budget cuts. The F60's shortly brought back a distinctive shape to the Caribean skies after the the F27 MPA that where stationed at Curaçao many years. The F60 MPA's were stationed at Hato AB Curaçao, until they were replaced by civil DHC-8 aircraft in October 2007.
When the Royal Netherlands Air Force decided to buy two extra C-130's the Fokker F60's were phased out. The last flight of a 'normal' Fokker 60 was made in November 2006. Currently they are stored at Woensdrecht airbase and are up for sale.
When these last two Fokkers will be retired is unknown. For sure will be a historical moment when the last Fokker in service with the Royal Netherlands Air Force ever will end its operational life. It will mark the end of a long and succesfull tradition leading back to the early years of military aviation in the Netherlands.
Untill that moment the last two Fokkers will show their beatiful shape and wear the colors of the Royal Netherlands Air Force and 334 Squadron.