Mills Fairchild established in 1925 the Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation to
develop and manufacture a plane specially for mapping flights. As this
was one of many corporations founded by Sherman Mills Fairchild,
he incorporated in 1927 the Fairchild Aviation Corporation as a holding company. The
Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation was one of the units in this holding.
In 1928 the Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company of Hagerstown, Maryland, was acquired
and renamed as the Fairchild Aircraft Company in 1935. In 1931 the development
of Fairchild's Model 24 started as an enclosed cabin version of the Fairchild K.R.22,
resulting in 1932 in the first flight of the two-seat Fairchild Model 24-CB. In 1933
the F-24 appeared as a three-seat touring cabin monoplane airplane and it was first
produced in small numbers with several types of power plant until 1937 when it was
supplanted in production by the four-seat Fairchild F-24J. In 1938 the F-24K appeared,
followed in 1939 by the F-24R-9 with the Ranger inline engine and the F-24W-9 with the
Warner Super Scarab radial engine. The Fairchild F-24W-41 was developed for service with the U.S.A.A.C.
as the UC-61 Forwarder but most of the airframes entered service with the RAF as the Argus
or were transferred to the U.S. Navy and re-designated GK-1. Over 1,980 Model 24s were
built by the time production ceased in 1947.
On 3 September 2004, Fairchild 24R-46A Argus III s/n 851 G-AJPI, painted in the USAAF '314887' colours, was photograped
at vliegveld Hoogeveen in the Netherlands. The Fairchild was built for the U.S. Army Air Corps as UC-61A Forwarder '43-14887'
but was, under Lend-Lease, assigned to the United Kingdom and entered service with the Royal Air Force as HB614. On 26 April 1947, the aircraft
was registered first G-AJPI in the UK as a Fairchild F-24W-41A Argus 2, powered by a 165 hp Warner R-500 Super Scarab radial engine. In 1977,
the G-AJPI was noted with the fake RAF-serial 'EV-851'. In the early eighties, the aeroplane was re-engined
with a 200 hp Ranger 6-440-C5 in line engine and the type changed by this modification into a Fairchild
24R-46A Argus III. In 1989, the G-AJPI was painted as the 'U.S.A.A.F. UC-86 Forwarder 43-14887'.