ELTA

Validation date: 25 03 2013
Updated on: 19 07 2019
Views: 1349


52°23'43"N004°54'30"E

runway - unk - grass

The ELTA airfield was an airfield especially set up to host the First Aviation Show in Amsterdam "ELTA" (Dutch: "Eerste Luchtvaart Tentoonstelling Amsterdam").
This airfield was set up in 1919 just after World War 1. Although the event was held only once, it was as important back then as the aviation trade shows of Farnborough and Paris of today. It directly led to the creation of two major aerospace players: the airline KLM and the N.V. Nederlandsche Vliegtuigenfabriek Fokker. Both were to become leading players in the decades between de World Wars.

ELTA
poster for the ELTA Air Show 

1919
ELTA Airshow terrain (collection Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie).

1919
ELTA Airshow terrain (collection Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie).


This photo of the ELTA aviation terrain shows a well attended event


lieutenant A. Plesman, organiser of ELTA, who later became founder and chairman of KLM.


Showground of the ELTA exhibition, with famous names like Handley Page and Rolls Royce attending.

After the airshow, Anthony Fokker bought the two exhibition halls to set up what was to become the largest aircraft manufacturing plant of the 1920s and early 1930s. By that time it had lost the use of a runway though. The plant sometimes delivered aircraft by road to the nearby Buiksloot airfield, but the more common method was in disassembled state by barge to Schiphol Airport at the other side of Amsterdam. There, Fokker would reassemble the aircraft at Schiphol before delivery to its customers.


The Fokker plant in Amsterdam. 

1920s
Ca. 1922: one Fokker F-II and 29 F-III's parked in front of the two production halls, remainders of the ELTA exhibition (JanVet.nl).

After a failed design (Fokker stuck to frame and fabric fuselages when most other manufacturers started building all-metal aircraft) Fokker succeeded in winning a contract to assemble, licence-build and develop Douglas' DC-2 and DC-3 aircraft destined for the European market. The company still had multiple Douglas airframes under assembly when the Germans invaded Holland.

Although Allied bombers bombed the plant in July 1943, the Fokker company still managed to use the site to convert C-47 aircraft to airliner configuration in the years immediately after the war.
In addition, it was the site where the prototype of the (failed) F-25 Promotor was designed and built, and where Fokker performed maintenance on several RNLAF aircraft types.  


The tail of a Fokker F-25 Promotor (PH-NBZ?), a DeHavilland Tiger Moth (A-6), North American Harvard (B-12?), Avro Anson and an Auster are loaded onto a barge at the Amsterdam-Noord plant of Fokker, in June 1949 (collection Nederlands Instituut voor Militare Historie).

In the 1950s half the site became part of the industrial area surrounding the enormous NDSM shipyard, the other half became part of the Buiksloot suburb.
By the end of the 20th century there was nothing to remind us of either the ELTA airfield or the Fokker aircraft plant.