The Fokker Super Universal was an airliner produced in the United States in the late 1920s, an enlarged and improved version of the Fokker Universal. It was subsequently also manufactured under licence in Canada and Japan.
Design and development
Like its forerunner, the Super Universal was a conventional, high-wing cantilever monoplane with a fully enclosed flight deck and cabin. Standard undercarriage consisted of fixed tailskid type with divided main units, but it was also available as a twin-pontoon seaplane. The Super Universal was received enthusiastically in the marketplace, selling better than any other of Fokker-America's designs (some 80 aircraft), and required the company to expand its factory space to keep up with demand. A further 15 aircraft were built by Canadian Vickers
, and around 100 by Nakajima
with some of these Japanese aircraft seeing military service as the Ki-6
. The United States Navy
also evaluated the Super Universal for military service, under the designation XJA-1
, but decided not to purchase the type (the JA designation was later re-used for the Noorduyn Norseman
A particularly noteworthy Super Universal was the Virginia, the first Super Universal from the production series, which was used by Richard E. Byrd on his Antarctic expedition of 1928. This aircraft was damaged after being turned over in a strong wind and was abandoned by Byrd, although he revisited it on a subsequent expedition to salvage the engine and other components. It was rediscovered by a New Zealand expedition in 1987.
In 1998, a Super Universal was restored to airworthy condition in Canada, and since 2005 was placed on display at the Western Canada Aviation Museum.