1937 Fairchild 24 Model G
Manufactured by the Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation in Hagerstown, Md., ninety Model 24G and twenty-five Model 24H were sold right up to the time of the Pearl Harbor attack and for a short time after the war. Production ceased in 1947. The sleek H model was powered by an in-line, 150 hp Ranger; the stubbier G model by a seven-cylinder Warner Scarab radial engine producing 145 hp. In 1937 the buyer had a choice of G models, the Standard or the show stopper Deluxe. The Standard could carry four passengers, the Deluxe only three - all the extras added an excess of 60 pounds to the weight of the aircraft. The aircraft at the Virginia Air Museum is a Deluxe. Built with the wealthy sportsman-pilot in mind, this handsome airplane was no stranger to praise. Among some of the extras were plush upholstery, roll down windows (utilizing window cranks and door handles from a 1935 Plymouth), wing flaps, extra instruments, electric fuel gauges and a hand-rubbed finish. If the Stinson Reliant was the Rolls Royce of private planes, then the Fairchild 24 qualified as the Cadillac. The aircraft at the Virginia Air Museum was donated by Lyall O. Steger of Grottoes, Va., and restored in Virginia Beach, Va., by Al Jenkins. This plane is Serial #2983 and was the seventy-fourth Model 24G built by Fairchild.
Back in the 1930's the Model 24G was occasionally featured in the Sunday funnies in the Smilin' Jack strip. The largest single customer of the Model 24G was the US government's Bureau of Air Commerce which ordered twenty-three. Twelve were of the standard model with complete radio sending and receiving equipment, and eleven were of the standard model fitted with extra fuel tanks for a cruising range of six hours. The twelve radio equipped planes were sold for a total cost of $66,528 while the eleven long range planes were sold without engines for a total cost of $38,489. The Deluxe model could be bought in 1937 for $5,890 complete. During World War II the Model 24G saw service with the Army Air Force as the UC-61 Forwarder and with the Royal Air Force as the Argus.
Sherman M. Fairchild - Company Founder
Sherman M. Fairchild's father was a New York congressman and one of the founders of International Business Machines (IBM). But the younger Fairchild's interest was photography. When he couldn't find a suitable platform for his invention, an aerial camera, he built the planes to carry them. Establishing Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation in 1925, he later acquired Krieder-Reisner Aircraft Company. Growing and expanding, Fairchild ultimately was an empire of companies with divisions building airplanes, cameras, and aviation and space equipment. Sherman Fairchild was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1979.
Courtesy of Ritaranta & Mäkinen's book: The Complete Civil Aircraft Registers of Finland since 1926.
200 H.P. Ranger 6-440-C2 powered Model 24-H (not at the Virginia Air Museum)
|Select the thumbnail to see a larger versions of each picture.|