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Fairchild M-62 / PT-23 / PT-26 / Cornell




The Fairchild M-62 first flew in March 1939 and was used by the USAAF as a primary trainer. Between February 1940 and May 1944, some 8,000 aircraft were produced in the United States, Canada and Brazil.




The PT-19 basic trainer was the military version of the M-62. The aeroplane was ordered in 1940 as the PT-19 with open cockpits and the 130.5-kW (175-hp) Ranger L-440-1 inline. These 270 aircraft proved to be only the beginning of a veritable flood, for next came 3,703 PT-19As with minor improvements and the 149-kW (200-hp) L-440-3 engine, and 917 PT-19B blind-flying trainers with a hooded front cockpit. Sales commenced in 1940 but so many orders resulted in licence production. Airframe production out-stripped engines and the Continental R-670 was substituted in 1942 resulting in the PT-23; the PT-23A was the blind-flying equivalent of which 261 were built.


The St. Louis Aircraft Corporation built 44 Fairchild PT 19 and 306 PT 23. The Army gave St. Louis Aircraft production contracts for the Fairchild designed PT-19 trainer. During 1942-44, St. Louis Aircraft built and delivered 350 of these primary trainers, in two versions: the PT-19A, with a Ranger in-line engine, and PT-23/PT-23A, with a Continental radial. These trainers were all test-flown at St. Louis Aircraft's own flying field, adjacent to the St. Louis Car factory on North Broadway in St. Louis.
Fairchild PT-19A (left) and PT-23A (right) trainers in St. Louis Aircraft factory, 1944


PT-19s were operated by Civilian Pilot Training schools throughout the war in conjunction with the Army Air Force, the principal user.

The RCAF adopted the PT-23 and PT-26 as the Cornell, built by Fleet Aircraft Ltd, Toronto. country Fleet Aircraft Company of Canada built 1642 Cornells under license, and they were designated either as PT-23s or PT-26s. The latter were distinguished by their cold-weather, enclosed canopy. The RCAF selected the Cornell as a successor to the Tiger Moth and Fleet Finch. The RCAF first flew Cornells in 1940 and retired the last one in 1947.

The more advanced PT-26 was fitted with an enclosed heated cockpit and IF instruments. 1,727 of this type were built in PT-26, PT-26A and PT-26B variants.


Two developments of the Fairchild M-62s appeared in the 1960s. One was the Funk F-23 built at Broken Arrow in Oklahoma and first flown in 1962, and the other was the Weatherly WM62C.

An overall total of 7260 were eventually constructed by mid-1944.




Engine: 130.5-kW (175-hp) Ranger L-440-1
Wing span: 31 ft 11 in.
Length: 27 ft 8 in.
Wing area: 200 sq.ft.
Empty weight: 2,000 lbs.
MAUW: 2,700 lbs.

Engine: Ranger L-440, 175 hp.
Cruise: 113 mph
Range: 430 miles

Fairchild PT 19 A Cornell

Engine : Ranger L-440-C5, 197 hp
Length : 27.723 ft / 8.45 m
Height : 7.612 ft / 2.32 m
Wingspan : 35.991 ft / 10.97 m
Wing area : 199.995 sqft / 18.58 sq.m
Max take off weight : 2736.4 lbs / 1241.0 kg
Weight empty : 2022.0 lbs / 917.0 kg
Max. speed : 106 kts / 196 km/h
Cruising speed : 88 kts / 163 km/h
Service ceiling : 13205 ft / 4025 m
Wing load : 13.74 lb/sq.ft / 67.00 kg/sq.m
Range : 348 nm / 644 km

Engine: Continental R-670-4, 220 hp.

Engine: 1 x Continental R-670-4, -5 or-11, 164kW (240hp).
Span: 10.97m (36ft ).
Length: 7.9m (25ft 11 in)
Max TO weight: 1111 kg (2,450 lb)
Max speed: 128 mph at sea level.
Operational range: 330 miles.

PT-26 Cornell

Engine: Ranger L-440, 200 hp.
Gross weight: 2,741 lbs
Empty weight: 2,022 lbs
Fuel capacity: 45 Usgals
Top speed: 126 mph
Cruise speed: 114 mph
Stall speed: 53 mph
Initial climb rate: 675 fpm
Range: 450 nm
Service ceiling: 17,300 ft
Seats: 2

Fleet Aircraft Ltd PT-26B / M62-A3
Engine: Ranger 6-440-C5, 200 hp
Wing Span: 36ft 11in (11.2m)
Length: 28ft 8in(8.43m)
Height: 7ft 7in(2.3m)
Speed: 122 mph (195 km/h)

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