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Anthony Fokker
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Aviator
    (April 6, 1890-December 23, 1939)
    Born in Blitar, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
    Pilot and aircraft designer
    Designed the Eindecker monoplane, Fokker D.VII biplane and Fokker Triplane for the German military
    Designed the Fokker trimotor as a commercial aircraft
    Helped invent the interrupter gear that allowed WWI aircraft to fire machine guns through a spinning propeller
    He dropped out of high school.
    He could not convince the Dutch military to buy his warplanes, even after WWI demonstrated how well they worked.
    He claimed in his autobiography to have invented the interrupter gear in 48 hours, but company records show that it was worked on for six months and that much of the design was done by a company engineer.
    After WWI, he violated the Treaty of Versailles by smuggling a train load of planes and spare parts from Germany to the Netherlands.
    He was nicknamed 'the Flying Dutchman.'
    He built his first airplane at age 20.
    After he demonstrated his Eindecker for the German military, combat ace Max Immelmann wrote, 'Fokker, especially, amazed us with his skill.'
    His triplane was famous as the craft flown by the Red Baron.
    Fokker trimotors were used by Richard E. Byrd for the first flight to the North Pole and by Amelia Earhart in the first trans-Atlantic flight by a woman.
    I made it through the entire profile without a single joke based on the similarity of 'Fokker' and 'fucker.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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