I have exciting news. We are the recipients of a propeller from a Fairchild Model 24 (1944 ). It was Donated to our Museum of Military Memorabilia by Captain David Dyke on behalf of the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association of Southwest Florida. This Propeller, Serial # 38615 was manufactured by the Hartzell Company of Piqua, Ohio in 1944. It flew on the Fairchild UC 61-K also called a “Forwarder”. This plane was used to patrol the Atlantic Coast of the U.S. for German Submarines toward the end of WWII. In the U.K. the aircraft flew as the “Argus”.
In Speaking with Captain Dyke he has informed us that part of the reasoning behind the donation of this propeller and the meeting we had with him, was to bring attention to other Veterans in the SW Florida area, to donate whatever items they may have to this Museum so they can be put on display and forever be preserved for history in a place where they will be appreciated.
Another reason was the hopes of Bringing the U.S. Naval Academy Alumni Association to the attention of other grads in the area in hopes that they might join the chapter.
This gives the chapter the opportunity to do something of a civic nature.
More on this Fairchild Model 24 (1944 )
The Fairchild Model 24 is a four-seat, single-engine monoplane light transport aircraft designed by the Fairchild Aviation Corporation in the 1930s. It was adopted by the United States Army Air Corps as UC-61 and also 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.
Design and development
Fairchild Aircraft was hit hard by the Great Depression in the early 1930s as airline purchases disappeared. Consequently, the company attention turned to developing a reliable and rugged small aircraft for personal and business use.
The Fairchild 22 became somewhat of a hit and led directly to the new and much improved Model 24 which gained rapid popularity in the early 1930s, noted for its pleasant handling characteristics and roomy interior. Having adapted many components from the automotive industry, expansion-shoe brakes and roll-down cabin windows. The aircraft was also affordable and easy to maintain. In production continuously from 1932 to 1948 the aircraft remained essentially unchanged aerodynamically and internally. The simple addition of extra passenger seating and optional equipment. The first models were equipped with only two seats, but in 1933 a third seat was installed and by 1938 a fourth was added. The interior was first created for the Model 24 in 1937 by noted American industrial designer Raymond Loewy. A minor airframe revision was made in 1938 with the redesign of the vertical fin and redesignation from C8 to F24G onwards.
As an innovative concept, the aircraft was available with two power plants, Warner’s reliable Scarab and Fairchild’s in-house 200 hp Ranger series in the F24 C8D, E and F. Initially the 1932 model Fairchild 24 C8B used a reliable and popular Warner 125 hp radial engine, and the Fairchild 24 C8C used the Warner 145 hp radial. American Cirrus and Menasco Pirate inline engines were also occasionally used in some earlier Fairchild 24s. Later models such as the popular 24Ws upgraded to the 165 hp Warner Super Scarab.
Designed for operations from relatively unimproved grass airfields, the sturdy undercarriage construction used a vertical oil dampened cylinder above the wheel with a pivoting strut attached to the lower fuselage. The result was a complex but undeniably solid undercarriage that could absorb large amounts of shock and was also adapted for the fitting of twin floats for water-based operations.
The sturdiness of construction of the aircraft has ensured many have survived to this day. The massive spruce main spars can be loaded up to 10g, and while that figure is unproved, all prewar utility category aircraft were designed to withstand at least 4.1g as opposed to the 3.8g postwar design limit standard.
The Fairchild 24 built by Kreider-Reisner Aircraft, Hagerstown, Maryland, a division of Fairchild Aviation Corporation, remained in production from 1932 to 1948, essentially the same airframe but with various power plant and configuration enhancements. In all, Fairchild constructed over 1500 Model 24s, with an additional 280 being constructed by the Texas Engineering & Manufacturing Company (TEMCO) in Dallas when that company purchased the manufacturing rights after World War II.
In 1941, the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) placed an initial order for 163 Fairchild C-61s; however, via Lend-Lease, 161 of these were shipped abroad. Under the auspices of this program, the majority of the 525 Warner Scarab Fairchild 24s/C-61s went to Great Britain. Most of these aircraft saw service as Argus Is and improved Argus IIs and were allocated to a newly formed adjunct of the Royal Air Force (RAF), the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA). An additional 306 Ranger-powered Argus IIIs were also used by the ATA. In British service, the majority of the Argus type operated with the ATA ferrying their aircrew to collect or deliver aircraft to and from manufacturers, Maintenance Units (MU)s and operational bases.
The Argus I was a Warner Scarab-equipped aircraft identified by its wind-driven generator located on the starboard struts, and was equipped with a black-painted propeller. The Argus II was also a Scarab-powered aircraft, usually with a transparent cabin roof. This mark was certified for heavier operational weight than the Mark I and was identified by its yellow propeller. The Argus III was equipped with the six-cylinder inverted inline Ranger engine.