Dutch antique aircraft builder Dick Funcke

By Theo Truter

Now retired from the Fokker works, after some 22 years, Dick Funcke lives in the small neat village called Berkhout, which is near to Hoorn, Noord Holland province. Attached to his modest home is a workshop that accommodates his ongoing project to build a replica of a Pander-E bi-plane. He has allowed his PPL to expire to rather concentrate on building old replicas.

A Pander-E in the Pander factory. Photo supplied by Dick Funcke

An original Panda-E

Two Pander -E's in loose formation. Photo supplied by Dick Funcke

Front views. Photo supplied by Dick Funcke.
The Pander-E was to be used as a sport and training aircraft. Therefore dual-controls were fitted. The first aircraft were delivered in 1927, to the newly-formed Rotterdamsche Aeroclub. Later the "Nationale Luchtvaartschool" was formed and Pander's were added to their fleet.

Plans of the Pander no longer exist, as the Pander employees, destroyed them during WWII. However, Dick Dick Funcke has a large collection of hand-drawn sketches of components, as well as many photos. Also available are magazine articles from "Het Vliegveld", " Flugsport " and " Flight" and a description in "Jane's all-the-world's airplanes". From these sources it was possible to draw reasonable plans.

In October 2018, members of the NVAV ( Nederlandse Vereniging van Amateur Vliegtuigbouers ) were invited to attend a talk at Dick's home. First came the introductions and the coffee. Then came the soup to counter the morning cold and then the catering laid out by Mathilda Maijen.

Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

Members enjoying hot soup and hot coffee and the ample snacks provided. Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

The project involves building a 1 .5 wing ( a "sequiplane") that seats 2 crew. By contrast the bi-plane Fokker D.VII has an all-steel fuselage, whereas the Pander has a composite of steel tubing to the forward section and a wooden tail-cone and empennage. It was originally designed by Theo Slot and built in the Pander furniture factory. Originally it was equipped with a Anzani radial-motor, but as this proved to be under-powered, it was soon re-equipped with a 60hp Walter Vega-radial from Czechoslovakia.

Dick (wearing yellow jacket) explaining the project. Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

Below Dick is pointing to the monitor, explaining the design aspects of the replica under construction. Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

A drawing depicting the aircraft. Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

Dick Funcke has an incomplete Walter motor ( 2 cylinders are missing). A newly produced "Verner" radial motor can be purchased and adapted to fit the new -build Pander. Presently, using available details, as a new installation-drawing is now being drawn up and an interim copy is available.

General view of workshop. Photo © studiozs@xs4all.n

Portion of fuselage……………. Rear fuselage. Photos © studiozs@xs4all.nl

Rudder………………Wing portion. Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

Internal wing detail. Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

Another workshop view. (Against the back wall hangs a nose-cowling of his Aeronca Champion.) Photo © studiozs@xs4all.nl

The required stress and strength calculations are presently being completed, using the old strength calculations and original parts. An aircraft construction engineer at Fokker -Papendrecht, is kindly making the new calculations. These calculations are being checked by Frank van Dalen, who studied the Pander D monoplane, and who is involved as the stress-expert for the reproduction project.

Previously Dick studied and later built a Fokker D.VII replica and now he sells plans for the construction of the Fokker D.VII, with sales to date numbering 40, so people are building.

Aviation Personalities

Copyright © 2024 Pilot's Post PTY Ltd
The information, views and opinions by the authors contributing to Pilot’s Post are not necessarily those of the editor or other writers at Pilot’s Post.