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Fact Sheet

The Fokker 50: Facts and figures

Fokker 50
A Luxair Fokker 50 similar to the one that crashed near Luxembourg

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LUXEMBOURG -- The Fokker 50 first flew in 1987 and boasted the latest generation of Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, offering airlines a greater flight range with its efficient fuel economy and maximum cruising speed of 330 mph (530 km/h).

Although the aircraft looked archaic with its double propellers to air passengers often more used to flying on jet planes, the Fokker 50 is regarded as the being among the latest generation of turboprops using state-of-the-art instrumentation in the cockpit.

With a wing span of 29 m (95 feet) and length of just over 25 m (82 feet), the aircraft offered seating for 50 passengers in its standard model and was piloted by a flight crew of two.

The aircraft that crashed in Luxembourg had been in service for 11 years, a spokesman for Luxair said.

The Fokker 50 was based on the fuselage of Fokker's popular F-27-500 Friendship aircraft, but was drastically updated -- the most significant change being the use of the new generation Pratt & Whitney Canada PW125 turboprops.

The twin engines drove advanced six blade propellers, offering a higher cruising speed and greater fuel economy on the F-27 design.

The aircraft could fly non-stop for more than 620 miles (2,000 km) when fully loaded.

Other improvements included limited use of composites in its structure, small "Foklet" winglets, and more, squared windows in the main cabin.

Two prototypes were built based on the F-27 airframes, the first flying in 1985. The first production aircraft flew in February of 1987 and certification was granted three months later.

The first customer delivery was to Lufthansa Cityline in August the same year.

In all, 205 Fokker 50s were built, but Fokker collapsed due to financial problems in 1996 and the last Fokker 50 was delivered to Ethiopian Airlines a year later.

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