Sometimes an opportunity comes along that is too good to pass up. That was the case with the museum’s newest airplane, a Fairchild F24R. With a Ranger engine tucked beneath the long cowling, the F24R joins our growing lineup of Fairchild aircraft including the Fairchild 22 we acquired last fall, the PT-19 that has been in the collection for quite a while, and our Warner powered 1938 F24G.
The Fairchild airplanes are a delight to fly with the solid feel of push-rod connections between pilot and flight control surfaces. Like the F24G, the F24R was one of the premier cabin cruisers of the 1930s and 1940s. Our F24R is a 1946 model built during the post-war boom (and soon to be bust) of general aviation. The airplane is in good flyable condition, but will need a restoration at some point if it wants to look as good as its F24G sibling.
Both the Fairchild PT-19 and F24R use the Ranger inverted straight six-cylinder, 441 cubic inch engine. We acquired the F24R with a complete second Ranger engine, a very useful bonus as we have three different Ranger powered aircraft (our Grumman Widgeon is one of the few still flying with Ranger power).
The original F24 came out in 1932 and was powered by a four-cylinder Cirrus engine producing just 95 horsepower. Eventually the seven-cylinder radial Warner Scarab and the six-cylinder Rangers would be the dominant engines for the four-seat airplane.
Our new F24R was the second to the last model 24 Fairchild produced after nearly 2,000 rolled off the assembly line.