Reinhold Platz


Reinhold Platz

A person, close connected to the pre 1930 era of the Fokker company was Reinhold Platz. He was born january 16th, 1886 at Cottbus in the province of Brandenburg. Being a welder of profession, he went to Fokker at Johannisthal in 1912, and built the first welded steel tube ‘Spin’ fuselage.

After the death of Martin Kreutzer in 1916, Fokker’s designer of the D.I to D.V, he became the chief designer at the Fokker Works at Schwerin. Platz was not an educated designer, like for instance Dr. Hugo Junkers, but neither was Fokker himself. They both were man from the practice, and together they made a strong team. Fokker, who had the ideas, and Platz, who made them work. This was during World War I, a time when things happened fast in aviation. Creating a new design was not always done on paper, at the Fokker Works, and drawings were not always available. For instance, when Albatros had to build D.VII’s under license, they received a D.VII as example, and no drawings.

After the war, Platz worked for Fokker, first at Schwerin, and later at Amsterdam. He stayed there until 1931.

There has been much said about Fokker and Platz. The name of Platz appears only once in Fokker’s autobiography ‘The Flying Dutchman’, and then only as ‘the manager who has been working with me for 15 years’ (translated from the Dutch version). In ‘Fokker, the creative years’, by A.R. Weyl, it is stated that Fokker on purpose held Platz in the background, that Fokker himself had nothing to do with the designs made, like the Dr.I and D.VII. These statements can not be true. As stated above, Fokker and Platz were a team. But, Fokker was the one in charge. When Platz left Fokker in 1931, he ‘had no reason either professionally nor financially to be discontented’, as said by Fokker’s Dutch Manager B. Stephan, and can be read in ‘Fokker, the man and the aircraft’ by H. Hegener.

Reinhold Platz died in Ahrensburg on September 15, 1966.