Fairchild 71


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Fairchild 71

Basically an updated version of the Fairchild FC-2W2, the Fairchild 71 incorporated many improvements that resulted from experience with the FC-2 and its variants. Providing comfortable seating for a pilot and six passengers, it was powered by a 313kW Pratt & Whitney Wasp 9-cylinder radial engine. The Fairchild 71 was built in modest numbers from 1928 until 1930, when it was replaced in production by the Fairchild 71 A. This differed primarily by having a few degrees of sweepback on the wings, and it introduced a number of refinements to the interior.

Though civil operators acquired most of the Fairchild 71s and 71As, the US Army acquired one Fairchild 71 for evaluation as a light transport under the designation XC-8; dedicated later for photographic work it was redesignated XF-1; eight service-test aircraft were ordered underthe designation YF-1, and all nine of the foregoing were later redesignated C-8. Six production Fairchild 71As followed with the designation F-1A, later redesignated C-8A The US Navy also acquired a single example for service test under the designation XJ2Q-1, later redesignated R2Q-1.

In 1930 a Canadian branch of the company was established at Longueuil, Quebec, as Fairchild Aircraft Ltd. In addition to providing support for something like 70 Fairchild aircraft operating in Canada, it began producing the Fairchild 71 for the Canadian Department of National Defence. These aircraft differed from standard by the removal of the features introduced for passenger comfort and were equipped specifically for aerial photography. A commercial Fairchild 71-C was built and marketed later and was available also as the Fairchild 71-CM with a metal-skinned fuselage.

With a view to meeting Canadian requirements for a freight carrier of greater capacity than the standard Fairchild 71, the Fairchild Super 71 floatplane was developed in 1934. Of slightly greater span, it had also a longer and entirely new oval-section fuselage of light alloy construction. The pilot was given a cockpit on the upper surface of the fuselage, to the rear of the cabin, with a somewhat restricted forward view between the top of the fuselage and the undersurface of the wing. The cabin could accommodate eight passengers, but the seats were easily removable to create an uncluttered cargo space. Large cargo doors were inset in the port side of the cabin and a passenger door to starboard, the entire accommodation being heated and ventilated. Power was provided by a Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engine enclosed completely in a low-drag cowling. Only two Super 71s were completed and supplied to the Canadian Department of National Defence.

Fairchild Super 71

 MODELSuper 71
 ENGINE1 x Pratt & Whitney Wasp 9-cylinder radial piston engine, 388kW
  Take-off weight3175 kg7000 lb
  Empty weight1544 kg3404 lb
  Wingspan17.68 m58 ft 0 in
  Wing area36.24 m2390.08 sq ft
  Max. speed249 km/h155 mph
  Cruise speed209 km/h130 mph
  Range1314 km817 miles

J.L. Bradshaw, e-mail, 01.04.2015 00:19

I flew N13934 for Abbott Aviation in Challis, Idaho (LLJ) in 1963 /1964. It was Powered by an PW R-985 (450 HP). Great short field and load carrying aircraft. We used it in the Idaho back country to supply the many hunting and fishing lodges there. It was also a favorite with the US Forest Service to haul smoke jumpers and supplies to the forest fires. I flew many hunters and fishermen into the back country during those days. It was an easy airplane to fly, sort of like a big super cub. It had a fold up bench along the left side that held 8 passengers and folded up quickly to allow transporting of cargo. It had a small access door on the left side of the cockpit and a large fold up door on the right side of the cabin. Many times I flew cargo into or out of the back country then passengers on the next leg. It was also a favorite of the river guides to get their boats to Indian Creek landing field at the head of the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. We could load a 20 man life raft and all its sweeps and gear in the large cabin. The only other competing aircraft around at that time was the Ford Tri-motors operated by Johnson Flying Service at Missoula, Mt. Another interesting thing about N13934 was that it was said to have been one of the aircraft used by Col. Byrd during his expedition to the North Pole. The airplane I flew looked nothing like the one at the museum that wears the same N number. I have many pictures as it was when I was flying it and will share if anyone wants to see them.


wayne, e-mail, 29.02.2012 23:21

airworthy 1928 Fairchild FC-2W2 N-13934, SN 531 lives at Golden Wings Flying Museum. Length-33' 2", Height-9' 6".


Scott MacNeil, e-mail, 03.12.2011 09:39


I have a question you may be able to help with.
Canada's Department of Indian Affairs Annual Report for the year ending 1929 states: " The Royal Canadian Air Force, through the Department of National Defence, after some unexpected incidents, supplied a cabin plane, a new 71 Fairchild WX, with wasp engine. Ontario, through the Department of Lands and Forests, supplied a Baby Moth, O.A.C." Wondering if you could tell me if this plane was built in U.S. or Canada & how many passengers it could accommodate.

Scott MacNeil


Dallin, 18.04.2011 21:03

this plane gets me hard


Guy La Casse, e-mail, 13.03.2010 04:43

Hi Peter,The lenght is 35 ft. 6 in., the height is 10 ft. 6 in. We have the only one in existence here at WCAM.MB.CA Winnipeg Manitoba Canada. This is a beautifull aircraft. Cheers. Guy. ...I am planning in making a model in 1 /18 scale as a weathervane...( in solid wood) Have made the Sikorsky S-38, just finished making the CL-84 Dynavert, also made the Norseman and a Cessna 185, also a P-40 for a friend.


Hugh Young, e-mail, 25.11.2009 00:09

It would be interesting to know the names of the company executives.


Peter van der Jagt, e-mail, 23.08.2007 14:49

What I mis is the lenght and height in the specifications!!
Do you have this data available for me? I would be very much obliged. Best regards - PPJ


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