This website looks at the history of the European airlines from the humble beginnings following WW1 until 1945. It is run by Rob Mulder, who has written several books and numerous articles about civil aviation of this period. His proudest achievement in Norway was to receive the award “Aviation Enthusiast of the Year” (2013). Furthermore, two of his books have been awarded “Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year”.
On these pages we present a wide variety of articles about this subject illustrated with pictures and drawings. Under ARTICLES we present stories about different aspects of airlines and aviation events, detailed presentations of the fleet of European airline companies and a series of articles about a specific aircraft types in service with one of the European airlines.
You may also purchase books in the SHOP, among them our own publications.
Thank you for visiting my website.
EUROPEAN AIRLINES – Rob Mulder
Robertus (Rob) Josephus Maria Mulder (born in Bussum, Netherlands, on September 5, 1958) is a Dutch specialist in airline and the air transport history. Educated at the Heilige Hart School, John F. Kennedy School, Vondel School, Fontein MAVO in Bussum and Roland Holst College in Hilversum, he left the Netherlands after serving the military in Amersfoort and Seedorf (Germany). He settled in Norway, married and started after a business study at the Otto Treider’s private school in Oslo working for Tumlare of Scandinavia (later Tumlare Corporation). Relocated back to the Netherlands in 1989 he began a five years employment for Buro Scandinavia, but finally returned to Norway in 1994. Back in Norway he worked for Kilde Hotels Marketing, Kilde Norge AS and since 2001 for Nordic Tours Norge AS in Drammen and now Røyken.
Mulder is married to Monika Müller. They have three children (one daughter and two sons). He lives in Spikkestad, Norway. As well as his life-long interest in aviation, Rob enjoys also genealogic research and is active member of the Bardstjernen Lodge in Drammen.
Rob‘s inspiration for his aviation books are John Stroud, R.E.G. Davies and Norwegian author and journalist Odd Arnesen.
Mulder made his first airplane trip in 1977 when he flew in a Douglas DC-9-32 from Vienna to Amsterdam. He was allowed to enjoy parts of the flight in the cockpit. The oldest aircraft he has flown in so far was in August 2008 the Douglas C-47 / DC-3 of Dakota Norway, when he made a flight from Sandefjord Airport Torp (Norway) to Aalborg (Denmark) and return.
His first interest was the history of aviation in Austria. He wrote many pages of an unpublished manuscript on the subject. During his school years in Hilversum he published a small private aviation magazine covering news about civil aviation. He also started to write about the history of European airlines that were operating between 1910 and 1945 and finished up with over a 500-pages manuscript. Many of the histories from this manuscript ended on the web, under www.europeanairlines.no. This site was opened in September 2007.
October 2008: Mulder‘s book Junkers for Scandinavia was awarded the title “Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year 2008“
April 2014: The Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø, Norway elected Mulder as “Aviation Enthusiast of the Year 2013“.
October 2014: Mulder‘s book “Fornebu Lufthavn – En lufthavn blir til, 1934-1940” was awarded the title “Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year 2014“
October 2016: Mulder‘s book “Northrop Delta – AB Aerotransport” was nominated for the title “Swedish Aviation Book of the Year 2016”
October 2018: Mulder‘s book “The Beginnings of Norway’s Airlines, part 1: 1918-1922” was awarded the title “Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year 2018“
First book published
In 1987 Mulder published his first book in Norway: Luftbussen til Kontinentet about the first international air service operated out of Norway. It is a biography about Captain Wilhelm Meisterlin and his airline Norske Luftruter AS, who acted as general agent for Deutsche Luft Hansa AG in Norway between 1927 and 1934.
Series: A Piece of Nordic Aviation History
In the beginning of the nineties he started to work on a new book called “Junkers for Scandinavia”, a history of the German influence in Scandinavian and Baltic airlines up to the year 1926. This book specifically details the work by Junkers Flugzeugwerk AG in Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark. It also describes in detail, the history of the Danish airline Dansk Lufttransport AS. It was not published until 2007, and it was awarded the Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year Award for 2008. The book was the first of a series of books under the subtitle A Piece of Nordic Aviation History. Further titles followed in the next years:
May 2009: Ternen – Junkers W 34hi, LN-DAB, DNL’s første trafikkfly, 1935-1946, about the first airliner of the Norwegian airline Det Norske Luftfartselskap, Fred. Olsen & Bergenske AS. It was published in the Norwegian language with an English translation available.
May 2010: Valkyrien – Sikorsky S-43, LN-DAG, DNL’s amfibiefly, 1936-1938, about the amphibian of the Norwegian airline Det Norske Luftfartselskap, Fred. Olsen & Bergenske AS. It was published in the Norwegian language with an English translation available.
October 2011: Oliver Andre Rosto – A Life Dedicated To Aviation, about the norse-american Oliver Andre Rosto, who was the first Norwegian to have designed and built a flyable monoplane. He flew it successfully for the first time in 1913.
In November 2009 Mulder published the book ELTA – The First Aviation Exhibition Amsterdam, 1919 about the first major aviation exhibition after the First World War, held in Amsterdam between August 1 and September 14, 1919. More than one hundred aircraft visited the exhibition and more than 500,000 visitors were registered. The book was awarded Book of the Month in the British aviation magazine Aeroplane Monthly (April 2010) and rated Absolute Fabulously.
In co-operation with freelance aviation journalist Günter Endres, aviation historians Lennart Andersson and Günther Ott, Mulder published in September 2013 the book Junkers F 13 – The World’s First All-metal Airliner. This book was followed up in February 2015 with the book Junkers W 33/W34/K43 – Workhorse in War and Peace and in November 2016 with the book Junkers G 24, K30 and G 31 – Stepping Stones. Latter two books were written by Lennart Andersson, Günter Endres and Rob Mulder.
September 2013: Together with Günther Ott he as published in 2013 the book “Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor in Denmark”.
March 2014: His second biography is published called “Olav Grønskar – Flykapteinens likemann på bakken” about a flight dispatcher that started working for DNL – Norwegian Air Lines in 1939. After World War II, he continued working for the New DNL and later SAS. He was a very active person in music and volunteer work at the SAS-Museum. He is now 93 years old (2015).
June 2014: The book “Fornebu Lufthavn – En lufthavn blir til, 1934-1940” is published on the occasion of the inauguration of the airport of Oslo on 1 June 1939. The book describes the political process leading to the construction of the airport, the construction period itself and the operation of the airport until 1945.
January 2016: The book “Northrop Delta – AB Aerotransport” is published decribing the operation of the two Northrop Deltas belonging to AB Aerotransport. But als the history and earlier models designed and built by Jack Northrop are described in detail. Juanita Franzi has made the colour of the Swedish Northrop Deltas.
June 2017: The book “Alf Gunnestad – flypioner” is published describing the life of the famous Norwegian aviatior pioneer Alf Gunnestad.
June 2018: The book “The Beginnings of Norway’s Airlines, part 1, 1918-1922” is published celebrating the centenary of commercial aviation in Norway. On July 10, 1918, Det Norske Luftfartrederi was formed as the first national airline in Norway. Beside this airline numerous other initiatives started up with more than twenty aircraft imported to this small country, including German and British surplus aircraft, including Supemarine Channel, Travemünde F4L, Friedrichshafen FF49C and Hansa Brandeburg W29 and W33.
November 2019: The book “The Fokker Fours” is published. The book is about the four-engined Fokker-aircraft: the Fokker F-32, the Fokker F.XXXVI and the Fokker F.XXII, but also about the four-engined Fokker-projects. It soon turned out to be a popular book, especially on the overseas markets.
June 2020: The book “Kjeller – Vi Lander – en luftig bok om sivile fly på Kjeller før 1939” is published. It is a book in the Norwegian language about the arrival of civil aircraft on the military airfield of Kjeller, just north of Oslo up to the opening of the Oslo-Fornebu airport on June 1, 1939.
November 2020: The book “Pan American in Norway, 1935-1991″ is a book (76 pages) in the English language about the operation by Pan American World Airways and its services to Norway.
Mulder was member of the now dissolved Norsk Flyhistorisk Forening. He is now member of Svensk Flyghistorisk Förening, Dansk Flyvehistorisk Forening and Air Britain. He runs several websites: www.europeanairlines.no; www.oliverrosto.com, www.eambooks.com, www.flyblader.com and www.chrisbraathen.com. Many articles for websites and aviation magazines have been written and published by him.
Books written by Rob J M Mulder
Luftbussen til Kontinentet (own publication, 1987)
Junkers for Scandinavia (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2007) – Awarded “Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year 2008”
Ternen – Junkers W 34hi, LN-DAB, DNL’s første trafikkfly, 1935-1946 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2009)
ELTA – The First Aviation Exhibition Amsterdam, 1919 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2009) – Aeroplane Monthly’s “Book of the Month, April 2010”
Valkyrien – Sikorsky S-43, LN-DAG, DNL’s amfibiefly, 1936-1938 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2010)
Oliver Andre Rosto – A Life Dedicated To Aviation (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2011)
Brevduen – Caproni Ca.310, LN-DAK – DNL’s crest for a mail plane (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2012)
Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor in Denmark (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2013)
Olav Grønskar – Flykapteinens likemann på bakken (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2014)
Fornebu Lufthavn – En lufthavn blir til, 1934-1940 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2014) – Awarded “Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year 2014”
Northrop Delta – AB Aerotransport (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2016) – Nominated for the title “Swedish Aviation Book of the Year 2016”
Alf Gunnestad – Flypioner (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2017), Norwegian language
The Beginnings of Norway’s airlines, part 1: 1918-1922 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2018), English language – Awarded “Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year 2018”
The Fokker Fours (European Airlines Rob Mulder, 2019), English language
Kjeller – Vi lander – en luftig bok om sivile fly på Kjeller før 1939 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Rob Mulder, med hjelp av Sigbjørn Modalsli), Norwegian language, June 2020
Pan American in Norway, 1935-1991 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Rob J M Mulder), English language, November 2020
Beauty of the Skies – de Havilland DH.91 Albatross (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Rob Mulder og Graham M Simons, 2022,“Norwegian Aviation Book of the Year 2022”
The International Aero Exhibition of Gothenburg, 1923 (European Airlines Rob Mulder), English and Swedish language, August 2023
Junkers F 13 – The World’s First All-Metal Airliner (EAM Books, Lennart Andersson, Günter Endres, Rob Mulder, Günther Ott, 2013)
Junkers W 33, W 34 and K 43 – Workhorse in War and Peace (EAM Books, Lennart Andersson, Günter Endres, Rob Mulder, 2015)
Focke Wulf Fw 200 Condor in Denmark (European Airlines Rob Mulder and Günther Ott, 2013)
Junkers G 24, K 30 and G 31 – Stepping Stones (EAM Books, Lennart Andersson, Günter Endres, Rob Mulder, 2016)
Junkers Ju 52/3m – A triple success – beyond the Luftwaffe (EAM Books, Lennart Andersson, Günter Endres, Rob Mulder, 2018)
Rohrbach – German All-Metal Aircraft Pioneer (European Airlines, Lennart Andersson and Rob J M Mulder, 2020)
Published for other authors:
Jakten på Thor Tjøntveit (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Per Arvid Tellemann), Norwegian language, 2019
Erik Engnæs – et flyverliv (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Runa Aadalen), Norwegian language, 2019
Curtiss Design 75 Hawk, P-36 and International Derivatives (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Dan Hagedorn, Amaru Tincopa) English language, 2021
Fairey Fox – Caught in the Tides of War, (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Edwin Hoogschagen), English language, 2022
En hobbyflyvers memoarer (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Tor Richvoldsen), Norwegian language, 2022
Flaggets Heder, Britiske direktiver, 1941-1945 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Nils Mathisrud) Norwegian language, 2023
Deutsche Lufthansa in Norway, 1927-1945 (European Airlines Rob Mulder, Rob Mulder, Günther Ott), English language
Fra Sjø til Luft – Fred. Olsen & Co tar av (European Airlines Rob Mulder) Norwegian language, 2024
The Beginnings of Norway’s airlines, part 2: 1923-1945 (European Airlines Rob Mulder), 2025