The restoration of this Fairchild F-24 has been successfully completed with a maiden flight on Thursday August 18, 2016.
Read the news item for the inaugural flight HERE.
Fairchild F-24R Crew
Norm Swagler, Al Smith, Jim Price, Howard Ulm, Barry Roberts, Jim Hinckley, George Sands, Mike Hohls.
The Fairchild Model 24, is a four-seat, single-engine monoplane light transport aircraft that was used by the United States Army Air Corps as the UC-61 and by the Royal Air Force. The Model 24 was itself a development of previous Fairchild models and became a successful civil and military utility aircraft.
Sherman Fairchild withdrew from The Aviation Corporation in 1931, but retained control of the subsidiary Kreider-Reisner Company of Hagerstown, MD, which he renamed Fairchild Aircraft Corporation in 1935. The F-24’s lineage goes back to the 1933 Kreider-Reisner three-seat Model 24C. The four-seat Model 24J was introduced in 1937 and was built with both Ranger and Warner engines. The Ranger-powered variant became the 24K in 1938, and 1939 saw the 24R and 24W variants powered by Ranger and Warner engines, respectively. The Ranger engine was manufactured by the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation.
The Arrival Of Our FAIRCHILD F-24R
Some years ago the Southern California Wing decided to purchase a Fairchild F-24R aircraft. It was in many pieces and the Wing was not in a position to start restoration of the aircraft at that time, so the bits and pieces were placed in storage. Then last year we were approached by Roy Trillia from Berkeley, CA, who also had a Fairchild F-24R which he had been restoring since 1994, about donating his aircraft to the Southern California Wing. We asked Wing member and Oakland resident Bill Montague to take a look at the Fairchild in neighboring Berkeley and he reported that Roy had done an excellent restoration, with the fuselage being almost entirely restored, the vertical and horizontal tail surfaces being fully restored and recovered, and the aircraft’s Ranger engine had been overhauled.
Roy’s F-24R was built in 1947 for export directly to the Argentine Army as F24R46 with Argentine registration LV-AFH. After service with the Argentine Army the F-24R was transferred (or sold) to the CLub Argentino de Paracaidismo (Argentine Aeronautics Club) in 1968 and it was ultimately sold to Vito Meiller in 1992 who in turn sold the F-24R to Roy Trillia in 1994. The F-24R left Buenos Aires in a crate aboard the steamship San Pedro on April 22, 1994, and arrived in Houston Texas on May 18 of that year, where it cleared customs and was forwarded to Oakland, CA via railroad.
The Wing Staff saw Roy’s Fairchild as giving us a big leg up on the restoration of our Fairchild and voted to accept the aircraft which was officially transferred to CAF ownership on January 30, 2004.
Bill Montague took on the job of arranging the move of the F-24R from Oakland/Berkeley to Camarillo. He enlisted the aid of a friend, J.D. Perrizo, who owns an 18-foot flat-bed trailer. J.D. made two trips from Oakland to Camarillo, the first on February 21 and the second on March 13, 2004. He managed to get all of the pieces to us and we had an absolutely magnificent F-24R46 fuselage and associated parts and pieces in our maintenance hangar. Many thanks to Roy Trillia for donating the aircraft to us, and also to Bill Montague and J.D. Perrizo for getting it to Camarillo.
Incidentally, the CAF High Sky Wing in Midland, TX operates a Fairchild F-24R, and it was named “Best Liaison Aircraft” at Airsho 2003. Their aircraft is in the paint scheme of a U.S. Coast Guard J2K, the U.S. Navy designation for the Fairchild F-24R. The U.S. military designation for the aircraft was UC-61, known as the Forwarder, most of which were F-24W variants, so designated because of the Warner radial engine employed by that model. The F-24R designation indicated the engine was a Ranger inverted in-line.
As you can see from the photos the F-24’s fuselage is of welded steel tube construction and makes extensive use of wooden formers and stringers. The wings and tail surfaces are also made of wood. A fuel tank is located in each wing root. The fuselage structure is very pretty to look at with all of it’s woodwork.
Update: July 2013 It has been 8 years but our Fairchild has wings now!
The F-24R fuselage arriving on J.D. Perrizo’s trailer on
February 21, 2004.
(L to R) Barry Roberts, Steve McCartney, Alan Gaynor, and Marc Russell. Photo by Casey de Bree
© Photo by Casey de Bree (L to R) Barry Roberts, Jeff Whitesell, Marc Russell and Alan Gaynor unload the F-24R46 fuselage from the trailer on a cold and wet Feb. 21, 2004 evening.
Norm Swagler, a retiree of Grumman Corp., putting his expertise to good use on the Fairchild F-24R’s wing.
Looking up at the left wing – now attached to the fuselage. The crew is working on attaching flap fixtures to the wing.
© Photo by Dave Flood
Here is the Ranger L-440-3 inverted inline engine, capable of producing 200 hp
Here’s Norm, adjusting the trailing edge of the right wing to accommodate the fixtures on which to attach the flap.
Fairchild F-24R Restoration Crew Robert Albee (Chief) Norman Swagler Al Smith Jim Price Jim Hinckley Dave Sica Gil Brice George Sands
Type: Liaison / Communication / Instrument Trainer
Built: 1946 (total of 632)
Carries: 4 people
Engine: 200 h.p. Ranger L-440-3 inverted inline
Wingspan: 36′ 4″
Range: 470 miles
Used in military forces of: USAAF, USN, USMC, USCG,
RAF, RCAF, RAAF, Finland
November 2015 Restoration Update:
Great strides have been made towards the completion of this project. On November 3, 2015 the F24 was rolled out of the restoration hangar for the first time in many months for an engine run up test. You know we are getting close to completion when you see something like this take place.