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The Fairchild 24 emerged in 1932 and was originally designed to carry two people sitting side-by-side. The concept was rather successful; several civilian and military versions were developped with a choice of inline or radial powerplants. The original 1933 production 24C-8-C used a 145 hp Warner radial. The next thirteen years the model remained virtually unchanged but a third seat was added and in 1937 a fourth. The United States Airforce operated a number of C-61's and UC-61' which were named Forwarder. The Navy counterparts were GK-1 and JK-1 while the Coast Guard used the J2K. The British Royal Air Force had a number of Fairchilds under Lend-Lease contracts, naming them Argus.
With it's characteristic outrigger gear and Ranger or Warner powerplant, the F-24 is ready made antique. Some call it the "prettiest ugly plane". It is hump-backed, bowlegged and squats tail down but there is something appealing about the lines and angles in the landing gear and the multi-facetted windshield. Despite the fact that the last "24" left the factory in 1946 it still is plentiful because the military bought over a thousand. Since government policy was: buy one airplane and spares for fifty, spares are available and relatively cheap.
Production: more than 1000
Country of origin: USA
Engine: Warner Super Scarab 145 pk, Ranger inline aircooled 6-cylinder 165 hp/175 hp/200 hp Early F-24's also with 95 hp American Cirrus or 125 hp Menasco.
Cruising speed: 190 km/h, maximum: 209 km/h
Ceiling: 16.500ft / 5.030 m
Range: 754 km
Weight: empty 669 kg, max. 1089 kg
Dimensions: wingspan 11,07 m, Length: 7,26 m, Height: 2.24 m
The Early Birds Fairchild
The "Early Birds" Fairchild was built in 1939 with serial number R9-418. In the same year it was transported to Europe on SS. "Mauritania" (cargo papers were still available in Switzerland where '418' was registered as HB-EIM). First military registered 43-14454 it later was in service with the RAF as FS537. For a long time this Fairchild flew a regular mail-service in Switzerland. Since the early eighties of the last century it is part of the EB-collection. After a most meticulous restoration it is now airworthy and registered as "aircraft of historic significance" on the Dutch civil register as PH-FAI.