In 1920, the Fokker F.VII airliner was produced by the Dutch aircraft manufacturer Fokker, Fokkers American subsidiary, Atlantic Aircraft Corporation and other companies under license. The original Dutch design of 1924 was a single-engined high-winged monoplane. Fokker modified the design with two additional engines to enter the Inaugural Ford Reliability Tour in 1925 , in which it won. Consequently, the production versions F.VIIa/3m, F.VIIb/3m and F.10 all had three engines and the aircraft became popularly known as the Fokker Trimotor.
The F.VII was the aircraft of choice for many early airlines, both in Europe and the Americas. Along with the similar Ford Trimotor, it dominated the American market in the late 1920s. However, the popularity of the Fokker quickly came to an end after the death of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne in the crash of TWA Flight 599. The subsequent investigation, which revealed problems with the Fokkers ply-wood laminate construction, resulted in the banning of the aircraft on commercial flights and the rise of all-metal aircraft, such as the Boeing 247 and Douglas DC-2.
The F.VII was a 10-seat transport using one 400-hp Gnome-Rhone Jupiter 9-cylinder radial piston engine therefore, giving the airplane a maximum speed of 115 mph, cruising speed of 96 mph, service ceiling of 8,530 feet and a range of 721 miles.
The F.VII was used by many explorers and aviation pioneers, including Richard E. Byrd, Lester Maitland, Albert Hegenberger, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, Amelia Earhart and Carl Spaatz.