The Fokker D.XXI took to the sky for the first time on March 27, 1936. It was a relatively inexpensive and highly maneuverable fighter; a low-wing monoplane with steel tube fuselage and wooden cantilevered wings. It was designed by Erich Schatzki for the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army Air Force, and was later used by the Finns. Its compact size made it well suited for dogfights. Indeed, several Finnish pilot became flying aces at the helm.