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Fairchild

 

As a result of the recognition achieved with the KRA Midget, Kreider-Reisner began manufacturing the Challenger, which became a popular sport plane in the 1920s. In the Spring of 1929, Fairchild acquired 82% of the common stock in Kreider-Reisner, making the Hagerstown company a subsidary of the Fairchild Aviation Corporation, which eventually became Fairchild Aircraft Company.

 

Kr-Re-GrnShed
The “Little Green Shed” off Pennsylvania Avenue in Hagerstown was part of the original Kreider-Reisner factory complex.


Sherman Fairchild founded Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation in 1925. Changed to Fairchild Aviation Corporation in 1929 with premises at Lonqueil, Quebec, and the parent company withdrew manufacturing license from Canadian Vickers. When The Aviation Corporation acquired a controlling interest. Sherman Fairchild withdrew in 1931, retaining a subsidiary, Kreider-Reisner Corporation, Hagerstown, Maryland, which was renamed Fairchild Aircraft Corporation in 1935. This became Fairchild Aircraft Division, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation, in 1939; Fairchild Stratos Corporation in 1961; Fairchild Hiller Corporation in 1964 on acquisition of Hiller Aircraft Company, acquiring Republic Aviation Corporation in September 1965 and this becoming the Republic Aviation Division of Fairchild Hiller Corporation and, later, the Fairchild Republic Company division of Fairchild Industries; Fairchild Industries Inc in 1971 (acquired 90 percent interest in Swearingen Aviation Corporation in November 1971, which became Fairchild Aircraft Corporation in 1982). Metro Aviation, with 97 percent shareholding in Fairchild Aircraft Corporation, sold by Fairchild Industries to GMF Investments, but in 1990 Fairchild Aircraft filed for bankruptcy protection and was sold to Fairchild Acquisition Incorporated that year. The name for producer of Metro, Merlin, and Expediter series of twin-turboprop commuter airliner, executive transport and freighter aircraft (plus MMSA multi-mission surveillance aircraft variant of Metro 23) became Fairchild Aircraft Incorporated. Finally, in June 1996 parent company Fairchild Aerospace bought 80% of the German manufacturer Dornier Luftfahrt from Daimler-Benz Aerospace, resulting in Fairchild Aerospace owning all of the renamed Fairchild Dornier U.S.A. Fairchild Aircraft Incorporated and 80% of Fairchild Dornier Germany Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH.


Fairchild built FC-1, FC-2 and Model 71 lightplanes 1925-1931. Continued production of Kreider-Reisner Model 24C8, later supplied in four-seat version as USAAF UC-61 Forwarder and as RAF Argus. M-62 Cornell trainer introduced 1940 with variety of engines. Wartime production was Bristol Bolingbroke for RCAF, and 300 Curtiss Helldivers for U.S. Navy 1943-1945. AT-21 gunnery trainer entered production in 1942. C-82 Packet twinboom cargo/troop transport flown September 1944; superseded by developed C-119, first flown November 1947. In the early 1950s, the number of Fairchild employees reached approximately 10,000 who built 1112 C-119s between 1948 and 1952. Manufactured 326 C-123 Providers 1954-1958, designed by Chase Aircraft. License-production of Fokker F-27/FH- 227 airliner began 1957; 205 built. Hiller UH-12 and H-1100 helicopters continued in production after acquisition of Hiller company. Production of Pilatus Turbo-Porters begun June 1966; 15 of COIN version delivered to USAF as AU-23A Peacemaker, transferred to Royal Thai Air Force. In 1967 work initiated on 52 USAF AC-119 gunships. Contracts awarded after acquisition of Republic for weapons delivery enhancement of F-105 Thunderchief, subcontract assemblies for McDonnell Douglas F-4, Boeing 747.


Won USAF A-X competition for close-support aircraft, prototype YA-10A flown 10 May 1972; production of A- 10A Thunderbolt II ended 1984 after 713 built, and were in U.S. service in A-10A attack and OA-10A forward air control variants with the USAF, Air National Guard and Air Force. Main feature of A-10A is nose-mounted GAU-8/A Avenger 30 mm seven-barrel cannon with 1,174 rounds of armor-piercing ammunition. Also manufactured wings for Merlin and Metro twin-turboprop aircraft.

 

While attending the Second Aircraft Show in Detroit, Michigan, Kreider was killed when his plane collided with another aircraft at Detroit Ford Airport on 13 April 1929.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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