Fairchild FC-1 / FC-2
|UTILITY AIRCRAFT||Virtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Fairchild|
In the early 1920s Sherman Fairchild was engaged actively in the business of aerial photography and survey. A variety of aircraft were used for this purpose, all with some shortcomings, so he designed what he considered to be an ideal aircraft for the purpose. Tenders for construction of a number of these aircraft appeared to be prohibitive, resulting in a decision to build them 'in house'. Thus Fairchild acquired premises at Farmingdale, Long Island, in which to begin aircraft manufacture, and the company's Fairchild Republic Division is still based at Farmingdale.
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 provided enclosed-cabin accommodation for a pilot and one or two passengers, and there were ample windows and ports for easy use of cameras. After extensive testing during 1926, the FC-1 was re-engined with a 149kW Wright J-4 Whirlwind 9-cylinder radial engine, being redesig-nated FC-1A in this form. Further tests followed into 1927 before 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 new Wright J-5 Whirlwind engine (standard) or Curtiss C-6 engine (optional). FC-2s were also available with float or ski landing gear in place of the standard main wheels. A total of 56 FC-2s were built over an eight-month period from 1 June 1927.