Canadian Wings :: The History & Heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force

Fairchild 51

The Fairchild Aircraft Company carried on with progressive development of its FC-2 model aircraft, which first flew in 1926. It was a four-seat cabin monoplane designed for light transport. It featured composite construction including a welded steel fuselage and tail along with a strut-braced wooden wing and all-over fabric covering.

The 51 version standardized on four-longeron, aft fuselage construction and a 300 hp Wright R-975 radial engine was substituted. This variant was again designed with aerial photography in mind and therefore featured an enclosed and heated cabin with extra windows to allow for an improved downward view.

The RCAF again procured the type for this role. In the late 1930s, however, some RCAF Model 51 aircraft had light bomb racks under the fuselage and were used for practice bombing at Camp Borden.

aircraft specifications
CDN Reg:
US/NATO Reg.:
Manufacturer: Canadian Vickers under license from Fairchild
Crew / Passengers: one pilot and up to 3 passengers.
Power Plant(s): one 300 hp Wright R-975 radial piston engine
Performance: Max Speed: 131 mph ( 211 km/h) Cruising Speed: 105 mph ( 169 km/h) Service Ceiling: 15,500 ft (4,724 m)
Weights: Empty: 2,256 lb ( 1,070 kg) Gross: 4,000 lb ( 1,816 kg)
Dimensions: Span: 44 ft 0 in (13.4 m) Length: 30 ft 10 9/16 in (9.4 m) Height: 9 ft 1 in ( 2.77 m) Wing Area: 272 sq ft (25.27 sq m)
Armament: Provision for light bombs
A Fairchild 51 floatplane in RCAF colours (CF Photos)



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