Air Transport World

Fokker hands over Fokker 50 to DLT. (Fokker B.V. delivers Fokker 50 to DLT - Deutsche Luftverkehrges GmBH)

Fokker hands over Fokker 50 to DLT

Hand over of first Fokker 50 turboprop airliner to a European customer, Deutsche Luftverkehrsgesellschaft (DLT) here was accompanied by the biggest aerospace industry theatrical extravaganza yet.

Appearance of new, or refurbished, aircraft through curtains, in clouds of dry-ice smoke, and raked by laser light beams, is nothing new. Boeing, with the 757, began the trend. British Airways followed it when it introduced its new Landor Associates livery. Airbus Industrie improved on it in Toulouse this February when rolling out the A320.

Fokker did all of this with the 50-seat Fokker 50, and more, taking the art of the rollout to a new level not only for commuter/ regional aircraft manufacturers, but for all aircraft builders. The Dutch company had a troupe of girl dancers high-kicking their way through various numbers, a dance band, one male and two female singers, a pop song specially written for the occasion, and a comedy film of the early days of aviation, featuring Laurel and Hardy.

When this part of the show was over, the grandstands on which the invited guests were sitting were suddenly whirled round 180 degrees on air-filled hover pads. And as the aircraft was towed in, the girls of the chorus reappeared, this time wearing Fokker engineering overalls--garments that they then tore off half way through their second number, to reveal brief dance costumes. …

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