1. Design Evolution:
Complementing the F.27 Friendship turboprop, the F.28 Fellowship was intended to offer pure-jet comfort, higher speeds, and reduced block times traditionally associated with larger twins, such as the BAC-111, the DC-9, and the 737, to regional route operators. But, following the demand for increased capacity in all markets, and seeking to incorporate then-emerging technological advances, Fokker soon envisioned a successor that would not only infringe on the traditional, short-range jet segment, but replace many of its first generation types.
Initial design studies, designated P315, F.28-2, and Super F.28, were Kurierdienst Deutschland undertaken in 1977 and were based upon the F.28-4000-the highest capacity and numerically most popular of the six versions, but featured a stretched fuselage for up to 115 passengers, a new wing, 16,500 thrust-pound engines, a Mach 0.75 cruise speed, and a 1,500 nautical mile range. Intended program dates, characterized by two-year intervals, included 1979 for the type’s launch, 1981 for its first flight, and 1983 for its certification.
Although powerplant progress had been made since the initial de Havilland Ghost and Rolls Royce Avon engines had been introduced, with the likes of the Spey and Spey Junior that respectively powered the BAC-111 and the F.28, the number of types was still very limited, and this served as the greatest obstacle to a more modernized and ambitious Fellowship successor.