Designed to Netherlands naval air service specifications for a torpedo-bomber/reconnaissance aircraft suitable for home and the Netherlands East Indies service, the Fokker T.VIII-W floatplane was built in three versions. The T.VIII-Wg was of mixed wood and metal construction, the T.VIII-Wm was all metal and the T.VIII-Wc, a larger version of mixed construction.
An initial order for five aircraft was placed, and all were completed by June 1939, when a further batch of 26 was ordered, most of them intended as replacements for T.IVs in the East Indies, but none was delivered there.
A total of 36 T.VIII-Ws was built, these comprising 19 T.VIII-Wgs, five T.VIII-Wcs and 12 T.VIII-Wms, the difference of five being accounted for by a Finnish order which was not delivered. These were of the T.VIII-Wc variant which had a 1.83m longer fuselage, 2.01m increase in wing span, an additional 8.00sq.m of wing area, and power provided by 664kW Bristol Mercury XI engines. In the event, the Fokker factory was overrun by the Germans before completion of this order, but the aircraft were finished and subsequently delivered to Germany along with 20 ex-Netherlands navy aircraft. A one-off landplane variant, the T.VIII-L built for Finland, was also seized by the Germans.
Eight T.VIII-Ws had been flown to England along with other Dutch floatplanes on 14 May 1940, and on 1 June 1940 No. 320 (Dutch) Squadron RAF was formed at Pembroke Dock, to operate the T.VIII-Ws on convoy escort work. These aircraft carried RAF markings, plus a small Dutch triangle badge. Three of the aircraft were lost, and with no spares available the remaining aircraft were flown to Felixstowe for storage. They were joined by another in May 1941, when four Dutchmen escaped from Amsterdam and brought their T.VIII-W down on the sea near Broadstairs. German navy operations with their group of T.VIII-Ws were confined mostly to patrol work in the Mediterranean.
Engine: 2 x Wright Whirlwind R-975-E3, 336kW
Max take-off weight: 5000 kg / 11023 lb
Empty weight: 3100 kg / 6834 lb
Wingspan: 18.0 m / 59 ft 1 in
Length: 13.0 m / 42 ft 8 in
Height: 5.0 m / 16 ft 5 in
Wing area: 44.0 sq.m / 473.61 sq ft
Max. speed: 285 km/h / 177 mph
Cruise speed: 220 km/h / 137 mph
Ceiling: 6800 m / 22300 ft
Range: 2750 km / 1709 miles
Armament: 2 x 7.9mm machine-guns, 605kg of bombs or one torpedo