Warner Koiter, ‘Founding father’ of the NVvL

Ambitious start

In 1940, aviation engineering had been an expanding and deepening field in the Netherlands for more than 30 years. Only when the Second World War broke out some people plan to set up an association for engineers working in aviation, which eventually got the name ‘Nederlandse Vereniging voor Luchtvaarttechniek’.

It is W.T. Koiter who, in February 1940, took the initiative to set up an association with the National Aviation Laboratory. In his letter to Dr. E.B. Wolff (NLL) he writes, among other things, that promoting the development of a bond between the engineers working in the Dutch aviation sector will be useful and highly desirable for many reasons.

Due to the outbreak of the Second World War, it took until 1941 before, after consultation with the KNVvL, it was decided to convene an inaugural meeting. C. Koning, director of the NLL, is elected chairman of the first board.

Under the umbrella of the Royal Dutch Aviation Association (KNVvL), which facilitated the NVvL, the countless NVvL boards organized many hundreds of lectures and dozens of excursions and symposia for their members in the following years. In many cases together with the associations VSV ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ and ‘Sipke Wynia’, the Dutch Association for Aviation Medicine (NVvLG) and the Royal Institute of Engineers.

NVvL anniversaries were usually celebrated with symposia:

  • 10 years: lecture on ‘Difficulties and possibilities of the Dutch Aircraft Industry’ (Amsterdam, April 25, 1951)
  • 25 years: symposium on the occasion of 25 years NVvL, followed by tour, reception and dinner (Schiphol, 1 October 1966) 40 years: excursions to Fokker and KLM, followed by reception and dinner (8 May 1981)
  • 50 years: symposium The future of the Netherlands in aviation (TU Delft, 26 April 1991) 60 years: reception (TU Delft, December 2001)
  • 70 years: symposium NH-90: innovation to increase employability and competitiveness (Gilze Rijen, 24 March 2011)
  • 75 years: symposium on the occasion of 75 years NVvL, followed by reception and dinner (Soesterberg, 22 November 2016)

International connection

After its second lustrum anniversary, the NVvL collaborated with the following international organisations:

from 1951: International Committee on Aeronautical Fatigue (ICAF)

from 1953: Congress Aeronautique Européen

from 1957: International Council of the Aeronautical Sciences

from 1968: Society of Flight Test Engineers (SFTE)

from 1974: European Rotorcraft Forum (ERF) from 1981: International Forum on Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics

from 1992: Council of European Aerospace Societies (CEAS)

1947-12-11 bezoek RLD bij S11 vleugel

Source: Collection Aviodrome

This photo was taken on December 11, 1947, during a visit by officials of the National Aviation Service (RLD) to Fokker to view the wing of the Fokker S.11 aircraft.

3rd from the left is C. Koning, director of the National Aviation Laboratory, diagonally behind H.C. van Meerten, chief engineer at Fokker, in addition W.T. Koiter (RLD) and next to him (with glasses) C.A.F. Falkenhagen (RLD). Koning, Koiter, Van Meerten and Falkenhagen have all held board positions at the NVvL.

Description of the NVvL history

On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the NVvL in 2016, an anniversary book was published about the NVvL:

Nederlandse Vereniging voor Luchtvaarttechniek: 75 jaar platform voor kennisuitwisseling