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Pilots And Mechanics View On The Fokker 100?  
User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 14
Posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 6916 times:

Hello,

now that the Fokker 100 seems to get a second life, I was just curious to hear what pilots and mechanics/engineers think of this bird. I flew on it quite a lot (KLM, Air Littoral, Air UK, Deutsche BA, Portugalia) and enjoyed the flights very much from a passengers view. However I heard that for example the baggage loaders dislike the F28/70/100 due to their low belly holds which requires them to crawl while loading the baggage.

Any stories to share about the F100?

Cheers,

Tom

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineNKP S2 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1714 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6859 times:

I'll elaborate at a later time, do to time constraints, but I worked them as a mechanic for over 10 years and I liked the airplane for the most part. You had to approach it with an open mind and not compare it to other known ( and more common ) A/C. Once you did that, you came to appreciate its maintenance friendly features and clever design and systems. It wasn't perfect, and I've had my share that made for rotton time spent...but this is/was true with any other A/c type I worked.

User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (11 years 8 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 6821 times:

I spent 10 years on the F28 and found it to be pretty maintenance friendly, in terms of systems, access, and test equipment.

User currently offlineFokker Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 6659 times:

I'll answer you better on Thursday, when I have more time. As I quicky, I'd just like to say that the speed and power of the main gear doors closing are the most impressive things about the whole airplane

User currently offlineAz606 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 8 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 6630 times:

My answer as an ex f-100 pilot is: very bad aircraft. A lots of tech problem.

User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 14
Reply 5, posted (11 years 8 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 6585 times:

Thanks so far for the answers!

@ Fokker Lover : I'm already looking forward to Thursday  Big grin

@ Az606 : Technical problems? Sad to hear. From my own experience as a pax I never had a delay on a F70/100 flight due to tech problems though. Seems I was lucky then?

I know some Fokker-50 pilots from our local airline here and most of them told me that they prefer the F50's cockpit layout way over the 737-4/500. How is this on the F100?

Cheers,

Tom


User currently offlineAvt007 From Canada, joined Jul 2000, 2132 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 6571 times:

The Fokker cockpit is wider and more spacious than the Boeing, that's for sure.
You can see in these pics that although the Fokker is a narrower aircraft, the cockpit is almost the same width as the cabin, whereas on the Boeing it the fuselage is tapered well aft into the cabin.

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Matthew Smith




View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Carol.chen



User currently offlineFokker Lover From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 8 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6459 times:

I'm probably a bit biased towards Fokkers, because that's where most of my experience is. I started working both F28's and F100's in the early nineties right up until this time last year. When you spend that much time on just 40 specific airplanes it's hard not to get attached. When comparing an F100 to a 737, I'd have to say the Fokker is much easier to work on and doesn't have near as much monkey motion to deal with during rigging. The only balanced flight control on a Fokker is the elevator. All you have to do is throw enough weight in to deflect the elevator nose downward and your done. It doesn't get much simpler than that.

After getting used to Fokker terminology the manuals are pretty easy to use. I still prefer them over the Boeing manuals. I'm sure there are guys out there who prefer Boeing manuals, so that's going to be strictly personal preference. Since I'm not much of a wire guy, I was always happy that Fokker had a book called the finishing list. If you new the wire you wanted to put a pin on, it would tell you which pin and which crimping tool to use. It was different from the hook up list. It made wiring alot easier for an old sheetmetal guy like me.

The glass cockpit is clean and uncluttered, and the "maintenance test panel" has a wealth of information if you know how to use it.

When running system checks, 9 times out of 10 if the check didn't work as advertised, it was because you did something wrong. Not because the airplane was broke. We caused more problems out of carelessness than anything else. I read alot on here about poor reliability and being maintenance hogs. I think that comes from guys who wanted to bury their heads in diesel 9's, and not bother learning a new airplane. At one time the F100's had the best reliability record at our airline. I think that the company just had no idea how to utilize it to it's full potential. Right now we are scrambling for RJ's. When they don't live up to our expectations we'll dump them too, and then blame the airplane for poor management decisions.

After all that rambling, I'll say again the main gear doors are something to see when they close.
They slam shut so fast and, with such force they actually do physical damage to the surrounding structure. I can introduce you to a guy that learned the hard way how powerful they are.
He now sports a scar from the top of his forehead to the tip of his nose. He, and about a hundred other guys would still jump at the chance to work on them again, because we love our Fokkers.


User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3481 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 6386 times:

I only flew AA's F100 for a year, but I definitely enjoyed the airplane. Relatively few maintenance problems, but when we did have a problem it was usually a lack of MEL documentation to permit flying what we knew was a perfectly good airplane. i.e. my next to last trip had a cancellation due to a broken flap/fuselage fairing (hung down about 8 inches). The plane was legal to fly without using any flaps (in fact it had better performance without flaps than with flaps), but the FAA would not permit us to secure the fairing flush to the fuselage and dispatch with flaps "inop." In the end, AA cancelled a MD80 flight to ORD, placed our DFW pax on that plane to DFW, and we ferried the "broken" F100 to DFW 5 minutes behind the MD80.... with the fairing taped flush and flaps placarded "inop." Government.... go figure?!  Nuts


*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineNKP S2 From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 1714 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 6308 times:

Not a whole lot I can add to 'Fokkerlover"'s missive but I'll kick in a few more quid's worth:

I always thought much of the engineering of systems was very clever...though some may find some systems a tad over-engineered, but, as I more or less stated earlier, one must be willing to "think outside the box" to truly appreciate the systems from an operational and maintenance standpoint. System knowledge was/is the most important thing to mastering this A/C. Fortunately, our training available on the A/C was excellent ( IMO ) and going up the slope of the relatively steep learning curve was made easier the more time you familiarized yourself by working the A/C often. Naturally, the mechs at the larger stations got more of a chance to work it. I too liked the MTP ( maint test panel ) as it sure saved a lot of time and spared unnecessary legwork. In 1990 this was not as common as it is now. I, and others who liked the A/C enjoyed the challenge of troubleshooting the A/C and getting back into service.

Complaints?
Access to some components was quite difficult/uncomfortable due to the relatively small size of the A/C in comparison to its complexity...but every A/C has it's stuff that's an absolute SOB to get to. Air Condtioning packs barely adequate ground cooling in the continental US...and that's when they're working at tip-top efficiency. When they're not....Ever hear of a dutch oven? Wiring systems broad use of pain in the a$$ rear-release cannon plugs ( connectors )- Works fine, but a pain to extract/release pins to R&R plugs or re-pin new wires.

I really feel that most of the "maintenance hog" reputation comes from the fact the plane is/was a relative oddball in most airline's fleets, not that the A/C was intrinsically faulty. Several reasons IMO: Another fleet type to train and provide infrastructure for... Parts that were increasingly hard to get ( for whatever reason ), and/or slow in coming would drastically affect the downtime: Troubleshoot a problem in 30 minutes...wait 4-5 hours, or the next day for a prox switch. This oddball aura would snowball over time to have a life of its own...helped along by the many jaundiced opinions who were 737 or DC9 loyalists.

Though it was not my favorite A/C in our fleet ( that honor went for the 767, and the 737-200...the 727- well, that's a whole 'nother post ) I really hated to see them go, but I was in the minority...and I'm sure Fokkerlover can tell you. I was regarded with much ribbing ( albeit good natured ) regarding my photographing a bunch of them before they ferried to the desert. Another mechanic assigned to taxi one to the gate for one of the last revenue flights from CLT, and knowing my reluctance in seeing them go away, altruistically gave me the "honors". Now I have no use for the special tools, publications etc, and brain wrinkles I aquired over the years. What a shame: THE ultimate "RJ"...gone.




User currently offlinePatroni From Luxembourg, joined Aug 1999, 1403 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (11 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 6217 times:

Hello!

And Thanks so far for your very interesting replies! So it seems that the main problems of the F100 - from a reliability perspective - are :

- The need to get used to Fokker's individual technology and terminology
- Lack of spare part support
- Some technical defficiencies like the cabin cooling system

I spent quite some time now to read the publications at and . Stork/Fokker together with some leasing companies intends to give the aircraft a second life by launching the "Future 100" program, mainly aimed at the currently stored F100's worldwide. From what I read they are really trying to overcome the spare part problem by having the suppliers involved in the Future 100-Setup, as well as Leasing companies, in order to offer a "turnkey solution" with full support to new startup carriers. I will definitely be curious how this will work out. After all I personally think that the F100 is a really good aircraft.

As I saw, they also have developped a modification which reduces the cabin temperature by up to 7°C... seems as if they are now listening to the input, 7 years after the production stopped?

@ Fokker Lover : The man gear doors' movement is probably due to the involvment of German engineers from Daimler-Benz Aerospace. Just slam the door of a Mercedes shut and you might get the same effect  Big grin

Cheers,

Thomas


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