Fokker Q.E.D. Luxury Yacht
by Maarten Schönfeld

1/144 Fokker Q.E.D. Luxury Yacht (HA Models)

End of 2019 my fellow modeler Rob Hamann, known for his extensive model series of Dutch designed and built aircraft under the HA Models label,, approached me with an unusual request. In the previous years I had supported him designing and producing several aircraft model kits in 1/72 scale. Now he had set his sight on a ship: the yacht Anthony Fokker had designed for himself in 1938, at the pinnacle of his success in aircraft manufacturing.

Fokker was the prime partner for selling the immensely successful Douglas DC-3 in Europe, besides the transformation of his own factory from classical construction (wooden wing, steel tube truss fuselage, covered in fabric) to all metal stressed skin shell designs. The business success was great for Douglas and Fokker alike. Fokker largely lived in New York at that time. As fast boats had been a hobby for long time, he wanted to prove he could build himself a yacht using much of his insight and experience from aircraft design. Using aircraft engines as the power source and wooden construction he envisaged a very lightweight yacht with superior speed, but still with all the luxury one would expect from a yacht in those days.

The result was christened ‘Q.E.D.’ standing for ‘Quod Erat Demonstrandum’, a learned mathematical Latin expression meaning ‘That What Was To Be Proven’, implying the yacht was the proof of his bold plan. The actual detail design and construction he entrusted to ship builder William Atkin and a shipyard on the banks of the Hudson river, Consolidated Shipbuilding Corporation in Morris Heights, New York. In June 1938 the yacht was ready for launch. Unfortunately, the yacht was not long lived: in October 1939 she caught fire when he had loaned her to a young befriended couple, probably by careless use of a stove. Within a few minutes the light wooden structure had burnt to the bottom. Only one of the crew members didn’t survive the accident, his body was found the next day.

Fokker was undeterred and wanted to build another yacht. It was not to be: only two months later, on 23 December 1939 he died in New York after complications from a chronical frontal sinusitis surgery, only 49 years old.

The model

Rob requested my help as he had no idea how to construct a casting master for the ship’s hull. I could help him there, but the most difficult part proved to be the very uncommon hood, overarching the entire hull from stem to stern. In particular all the apertures showing the interior and decks proved to be a tantalizing problem. However with the advice of Jeroen Gerlofs, our casting partner, these were overcome and the result is this nice kit of an unusual ship. I took care of these large parts of the master, Rob built all the smaller details of the bridge equipment, boats, furniture etcetera. The model as it is shown here was built up from the kit by Rob himself.

The kit is now for sale in limited numbers by several outlets, the Aviation Megastore in Amsterdam being the most commonly known.


Maarten Schönfeld

Gallery updated 3/23/2022