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Koolhoven FK.52


Dutch two-seat fighter-bomber/reconnaissance air-craft. Of similar appearance to the British Gladiator, the F.K.52 biplane had a fully- transparent framed canopy over the two cockpits, and a Bristol Mercury radial engine driving a three-blade wooden propeller, and cantilever undercarriage. It was intended as a multi-purpose successor to the Fokker C.V-D, but no Dutch production orders were forthcoming.

The prototype flew on February 9, 1937, with a 645-hp Mercury VIS, but subsequent aircraft (four or five others were built) had an 840-hp Mercury VIII. Two 20-mm (0.79-in) cannon were mounted in the upper wing, one or two 7.7-mm (0.303-in) machine-guns could be fired from the openable rear cockpit win-dows, and up to 115 kg (253.5 lb) of bombs could be carried under the fuselage.

With a speed of 230 mph in the reconnaissance fighter role, the Republicans ordered five of the type in 1939, but none was delivered.

Four F.K.52s were in Holland when the country was invaded on May 10, 1940, of which two were broken up during that year. The other two were supplied to the Finnish air force in January 1940, with whose TLeLv 36 (Ground Liaison Squadron 36) they served as trainer/observation aircraft during the Winter War of 1940-41 and its 'continuation' in 1941-43.

Engine: Bristol Mercury VIII, 619-kW (830-hp).
Span: 9.80m (32ft 1¾ in)
Length: 8.35m (27 ft 4¾ in)
Gross weight: 2500 kg (5510 1b)
Maximum speed: 370 km/h (230 mph).

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