Fokker O-27/ B-8

The Fokker O-27 was a two engine observation that was produced in small numbers and saw front line service with the USAAC in the early 1930s.

The O-27 was a product of Fokker-Atlantic, an American firm founded by Anthony Fokker in 1927. This company produced a number of military designs, but the O-27 was the only one to reach production.

The O-27 was a high winged monoplane, powered by two Curtiss Conqueror V-12 engines, carried in nacelles below the wings. It had a fixed divided undercarriage. It carried a crew of three, with four crew positions. The pilot’s open cockpit was just in front of the wings. The top of the nose was an open gun position, while the bottom was a glazed navigator’s position. There was a second open gun position in the middle of the upper fuselage.

The first prototype, XO-27, made its maiden flight in 1929. A second prototype was under construction, and was converted into a bomber, as the XB-8. In this configuration it had a longer nose and the ability to carry a bomb load.

Both versions were impressive enough to justify further orders, and twelve service test aircraft were ordered – six YO-27s and six YB-8s. However before any of the bombers were completed, the B-8 was abandoned in favour of the superior Douglas B-7 (also originally designed as an observation aircraft). All twelve aircraft were thus completed as observation aircraft with the former bombers re-designated as the Y1O-27.

All twelve production aircraft were eventually re-designated as the O-27. They had an enclosed and rather angular cockpit for the pilot, and a revised tail.

The O-27 saw front line service with the USAAC, mainly with the 22nd Observation Squadron in the mid 1930s.

Engine: Two Curtiss Conqueror V-12 engines
Power: 600hp each
Crew: 3
Span: 64ft
Length: 47ft 4in
Height: 15ft 0in
Empty weight:
Maximum take-off weight: 8,918lb
Max speed: 160mph
Armament: Two 0.3in machine guns in open positions

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (31 October 2019), Fokker O-27/ B-8 , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_fokker_O-27_B-8.html

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