Fairchild amphibian airplane being hoisted onto the Brisbane River, at the Royal Queensland Aero Club in Archerfield, Brisbane, and Pan American Airways Fairchild in flight
Saturday 7 March 1936
FAIRCHILD AMPHIBIAN. Dual Purpose Aircraft. INGENIOUS LANDING GEAR.
Considerable interest has been aroused in Australian aviation circles by the Fairchild high-speed amphibian machine which arrived, partially dismantled, in Brisbane last week, and is being assembled for use by the American Museum of Natural History's re- search expedition to the Fly River, New Guinea.
When the machine, the revolutionary appearance of which was shown by photo- graphs in the "Herald" on February 25 and March 4, was undergoing its tests in America, it was stated in "Aero Digest" that its pro- duction had followed an unprecedented amount of aerodynamic research, in which the New York University collaborated with the factory's chief designing engineer.The general specifications show that the machine has a carrying capacity of eight passengers and two pilots, 180 gallons of fuel (giving a range at cruising speed of 750 miles), and 10001b of freight.
With a 650 h.p. Pratt and Whitney engine the machine has a maximum speed of 184 miles an hour at 3000 feet, and a cruising speed of 158 miles an hour when using only 65 per cent, of available power.The engine is mounted well above the wings and the racelle is streamlined and filleted into the top of the wing centre in a most ingenious fashion. Considerable in- genuity has also been employed In the arrange- ment of the retractable landing gear. When alighting on land the main landing wheels and tail wheel are in normal position, but when the machine Is in flight or about to descend on water, the landing wheels and shock absorber struts are folded neatly back- wards and upwards into recesses on the under side of the wings, while the tail wheel disappears into the aft part of the hull.The lavish electric system of the 'plane Is utilised to operate all of the retracting mechanism for landing wheels, tail wheel, and wing floats. A single hand-operated crank Is installed for operating any of the mechanisms in case of emergency._