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Fairchild FC-1 / FC-2



In the early 1920s Sherman Fairchild designed what he considered to be an ideal aircraft for aerial photography and survey. Tenders for construction of a number of these aircraft was prohibitive so Fairchild acquired premises at Farmingdale, Long Island, to build them 'in house'. The FC-1 was built in Farmingdale, Long Island, New York, and towed 12 miles by truck to Rooservelt Field, where it first flew.

As first flown in mid-1926, the Fairchild FC-1 was of braced high-wing monoplane configuration, with a wing that could be folded for storage, a braced tail unit, tailskid landing gear and power provided by a 67kW Curtiss OX-5 8-cylinder Vee engine. The fuselage had an enclosed-cabin for a pilot and one or two passengers, and there were ample windows and ports for easy use of cameras.

The FC-1 received publicity in 1926’s Ford National Air Tour of the US, flying at an average speed of 90.3 mph. Richard H. Depew flew this first FC-1, carrying Corydon M. Johnson as a passenger. It finished 18th out of a field of 25 aircraft in a tour that began at Ford’s Dearborn Airport near Detroit, Michigan, and covrered 2585 miles.

After extensive testing during 1926, the FC-1 was re-engined with a 149kW Wright J-4 Whirlwind 9-cylinder radial engine, being redesignated FC-1A.



Further tests followed into 1927 and a decision was made to put the aircraft into production for general sales under the designation FC-2. This version differed by having increased cabin volume to seat a pilot plus four passengers, and a Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine (standard) or Curtiss C-6 engine (optional). FC-2s were also available with float or ski landing gear.

Fairchild created the six-passenger FC-2W-2. One, the Stars and Stripes, was used by Richard Byrd in his 1928 Antarctic Expedition.



A total of 56 FC-2s were built over an eight-month period from 1 June 1927.


The FC-2C was the first aircraft to be equipped with brakes and hydraulically operated landing gear.


Fairchild 61 FC-2W




Engine: Wright J-4, 200 hp
Top speed: 120 mph

Engine; 1 x Wright J-5 Whirlwind 9-cylinder radial, 149kW / 225 h.p.
Take-off weight; 1633 kg / 3600 lb
Empty weight; 980 kg / 2161 lb
Wingspan; 13.41 m / 43 ft 12 in
Length; 9.45 m / 31 ft 0 in
Height; 2.74 m / 8 ft 12 in
Wing area; 26.94 sq.m / 289.98 sq ft
Max. Speed; 196 km/h / 122 mph
Cruise speed; 169 km/h / 105 mph
Ceiling; 3505 m / 11500 ft
Range; 1127 km / 700 miles



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