The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village

A Croatian entrepreneur called Robert Sedlar bought a retired Fokker 100 aircraft and put it in the middle of a village in rural Croatia. He is turning the aircraft into an entertainment venue that will fully open in July 2022. We caught up with him to see how the project was going and to bring you some exclusive photos.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The Fokker is 30 years old, but it has been given a whole new life. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

A Fokker 100 in the middle of a Croatian village

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Robert Sedlar, a Croatian entrepreneur who bought a 30-year-old Fokker 100 aircraft and brought it to a Croatian village called Strmec Stubički.

The Fokker is being turned into an entertainment venue that will be fully open in July 2022, but it is already proving very popular even as a work in progress.

The aircraft is booked for children’s parties nearly every weekend. Three music videos and part of a movie have already been shot here. The Fokker also hosts bachelor’s parties and bridal showers and, together with the adjacent hall, team-building days.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The aircraft interior is equipped for children’s parties. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

This 30-year-old Fokker 100 aircraft once served a very different purpose. It flew for Indonesia’s Sempati Air, Brasil’s TAM Linhas Aéreas, and USA’s Jetran, among others. Its last operator was SunAdria Airlines of Croatia on behalf of Trade Air, up until 2011.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The aircraft is literally in a village. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

Mr. Sedlar purchased the Fokker after finding out that it was serving no purpose in Croatia’s Osijek Airport, where it was held after Trade Air withdrew it from use. It was originally due to become a restaurant, but this plan was abandoned.

After purchasing it, he then spent six weekends in Osijek Airport disassembling this Fokker 100 with a group of his friends. They cut it up into eight pieces. The 34-meter aircraft body was a single piece, as were each of the two wings.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The venue is still a work in progress. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying
The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The special livery applied is sport-themed because Mr Sedlar was himself a sportsman. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

Then, in October 2019, a convoy of three truck trailers transported the disassembled Fokker from Osijek Airport to Strmec Stubički, the village in rural Croatia where Mr. Sedlar has been re-assembling the Fokker aircraft ever since then.

The project is almost complete: the aircraft is almost entirely whole again, as visible from the photos. A sport-themed livery has been applied to one side, bearing the imagery of Croatia’s most famous sports stars. The other side bears no livery, and so it will remain.

One of the stars on the special livery, skiing champion Ivica Kostelić, even performed a guitar concert on this very Fokker aircraft.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
There is no livery on the left-hand side of the aircraft. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

The full project will not be finished until July 2022, when Mr. Sedlar will also link the wing of this Fokker 100 aircraft with the adjacent swimming pool. By next summer, it will be possible to slide down the aircraft into the pool.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The wing will have a slide that will lead into the swimming pool. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying
The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The cockpit is equipped with parts of an Airbus A320 simulator. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

The interior contains Airbus, Dash, and Fokker seats

The interior of the aircraft currently has tables for billiards, table football, and table tennis. There is also a bar section and a fridge.

The cockpit is equipped with actual cockpit parts that make it a popular venue feature for children’s parties. The back of the aircraft will soon also include a small bathroom and a private room.

There are three seating areas, made up of original seats from Fokker, Airbus, and DHC aircraft.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
Four chairs remain from the Business Class original Fokker aircraft. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

In the front, four business class seats have been kept from when this Fokker 100 was still flying for SunAdria on behalf of Trade Air. A new layer of white leather was applied to the four seats to help with durability.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
There are Fokker, Airbus, and Dash seats inside. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

Also in the front, there is an old row of seats from a Croatia Airlines Airbus A320 family aircraft. The Croatian flag carrier threw out these seats when it retrofitted its Airbuses with new slim seats several years ago.

In the back, there are seats from a Dash 8 aircraft formerly belonging to an aircraft registered in Switzerland. Mr. Sedlar had bid for the whole Dash 8 aircraft in an auction but was outbid by an American businessman who, however, did not require the seats but only the aircraft cockpit of the Dash.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
The plastic cups are from the original batch used by Croatia Airlines until the airline switched to paper cups. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

Even the cups for refreshments at the adjacent venue have airline branding. As the logo clearly indicates, these cups were used by Croatia Airlines as part of its on-board catering up until the airline switched to paper cups for environmental reasons.

The luggage compartments have been removed, the floor re-carpeted, and the lighting and the interior frame are new too, although all retain their original style.

The Croatian Entrepreneur Who Bought A Fokker 100 For His Village
Mr. Sedlar proudly posing in the Fokker’s interior. Photo: Jakov Fabinger | Simple Flying

We will be back in Strmec Stubički next year to celebrate the full opening of the Party Avion venue once all the additional features are incorporated. The Fokker is likely to be a big hit.

What do you think of the 30-year old Fokker 100 aircraft being an entertainment venue in a rural Croatian village? Share your thoughts on this story in the comments.

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