The Fokker 70 (F70) is the smallest aircraft in the KLM fleet. KLM Cityhopper still has 26 F70s in service and is the biggest Fokker operator in the world.
In fact, the F70 is a smaller version of the Fokker 100. The first F70 was a F100 prototype from which they removed two parts of the fuselage: one in front and one behind the wings. The cockpits of both aircraft are almost identical, which means that KLM Cityhopper captains can pilot both aircraft.
The F70 is clearly recognizable by its T-tail and the two Rolls-Royce Tay jet engines between the tail and the wings. It is 30.91 metres long and the tail is 8.50 metres high. The wing has a total surface area of 93.5 m2 (20% of the Boeing 747-400’s wing) and a wingspan of 28.08 metres. It is equipped with the ‘dark’-cockpit design, which means that when all of the systems are working completely normally, all instrument lights are off. They only light up if there is a malfunction. On its introduction in 1986, that was a real revolution in the aviation industry.
It takes quite some cooperation to get an F70 ready for take-off. The minimum turn-around time at Schiphol Airport is 40 minutes and numerous things have to be done within a relatively small timeframe: disembarking passengers, offloading baggage, toilet and water service, final check by technical services, refuelling, catering, cleaning, embarking new passengers, loading baggage, and undoubtedly several other things. Since the F70 is a short-haul plane, this procedure occurs many times a day.
With space for 80 passengers and 4 crew members (2 pilots and 2 cabin attendants) the maximum take-off weight of the F70 is 37,995 kilos (9% of a Boeing 747-400). The maximum altitude at which the F70 can fly is 10.6 kilometres and the maximum range is 2,400 kilometres. The aircraft can carry up to 13,365 litres of fuel, weighing 10,692 kg.
The F70 has also been built in a business and VIP configuration, and is the official plane of the Dutch Government.
The F70 receives an A-check every 6 weeks, a B-check every 6 months and a C-check every 2.5 years. In 2010, the first F70 was equipped with an energy-saving LED lighting system. By the end of this year, all 26 aircraft will be equipped. LED lighting produces a 20% saving in energy consumption. The system also emits less heat and weighs 8 kg less than the old system. And these gains in weight and energy also reduce CO2 emissions.
Some love the toddlers, others don’t feel comfortable at all in small aircraft and prefer the ‘biggies’. Do you prefer to fly ‘big’ or ‘small’? We’d like to know!