The Fairchild 22 Design and the 1932 Fairchild 22 C7B Parasol Monoplane, N12454

 
Copyright 2006, Doug Robertson, posted on 2006-06-01

 
 
 
The Fairchild 22 parasol monoplane introduced in 1931 for training and sport pilots was a transition design  between earlier  classic large, heavy radial engine powered biplanes of the era and and the newer light monoplanes to follow that would use 35 to 65 horsepower engines. The aircraft was built by Kreider-Reisner Aircraft, Inc., a division since purchase in April, 1929 by the Fairchild Aviation Corporation. The design genesis of the Fairchild 22 was the KR-21, a small biplane seating two in tandem with excellent performance on just 90 horsepower from a Kinner five cylinder air-cooled radial engine. Amos Kreider and Louis Reisner designed the KR-21 aircraft for efficient and low cost operation. See N107M for a beautifully restored 1930 Fairchild KR-21 example.
 
The Fairchild 22 monoplane first appeared in 1931, designed by K-R chief engineer George Hardman and a small staff, with the first 22 C7 model using an inverted 75 horsepower Michigan Rover four cylinder engine. This model was soon followed by the 22 C7A with A.C.E. Cirrus 95 four cylinder engine built in large numbers. The feature airplane of this article is the 1932 Fairchild 22 C7B model with an inverted Menasco Super Pirate D.4 engine of 125 horsepower. This model was the least common Fairchild 22 with inline engine and was priced higher than its predecessors. The Menasco 125 has an inverted cast block with four finned, air-cooled cylinders. The above two pictures show the uncowled Menasco Super Pirate engine.
 
The Fairchild 22s resembled a parasol wing version of the earlier KR-21 biplane, which had four ailerons on its biplane wings. The Fairchild 22 instead had nearly full span ailerons on its parasol wing braced above a slim fuselage, seating two in tandem with the pilot in the rear cockpit. These aircraft  originally had a spring-leaf tail skid. They were first operated from unprepared grass or dirt strips. The feature aircraft pictured has a tail wheel conversion for operation on prepared surfaces. I suspect most, if not all Fairchild 22s have been so converted.
 
A recognition feature was the slim, upright vertical stabilizer  and balanced rudder, together with the parasol wing. A Fairchild 22 C7D model in 1933 used the 90 horsepower Wright Gipsy four cylinder engine. A metal cover could be fit over the front cockpit when flying solo to help with streamlining. One hundred Fairchild 22s were built with various inline engine power.
 
The appearance of the Fairchild 22 substantially changed with the introduction of radial power in late 1933. The Fairchild 22 C7E powered by a 125 horsepower Warner radial featured improved streamlining, carrying the circular shape of the engine firewall back through the reshaped rounded, fuller fuselage. The 22 C7E was followed by the C7F and C7G; these were powered by the 145 horsepower Warner Super Scarab radial. 
 
The 22 C7F model introduced redesigned ailerons to a more conventional size, extending only halfway from near wingtip toward the center wing section. This no doubt also decreased adverse aileron yaw. The vertical tail was enlarged with the higher horsepower and was more rounded than that of the inline-powered models. The deluxe C7G model added an electrical system with starter, and other extras adding to the empty weight. The Warner higher-powered models with full NACA engine cowlings were custom built to order in the Depression and were so priced. Just 25 were constructed. A different reference estimate puts total  Fairchild 22 production at over 200 aircraft from 1931 to 1935, counting all models. I found about 32 remaining FAA-registered Fairchild 22s in the A-D database.
 
N12454 pictured here is a rare 1932 Fairchild 22 C7B with Menasco Super Pirate 125 horsepower engine owned by a southern California lady pilot. It is marked with the NC prefix, which with NX, is allowed by the FAA for certain older aircraft originally registered under the old CAA numbering system. It was undergoing maintenance including oil change when these photographs were taken last month. An SZP A&P mechanic who also is a pilot is a noted expert on Kinner and Menasco engines. It was a rare treat for me to see and photograph an uncowled Menasco Super Pirate engine. One does not see these every day! The aircraft has an all-flying horizontal stabilizer with controllable elevator. See the stabilizer feature in the right picture. There are more of my pictures of N12454 on the aircraft profile page. Click on the top picture to see the N12454 Aircraft Profile page.
 
The rear cockpit with basic original-appearing instruments and stick control of N12454 is shown. Visiblity from the pilot cockpit is fairly good because of the high parasol wing and the slim fuselage. I do not have full specification and performance figures for the illustrated 22 C7B model, so will provide available information on the 22 C7A, 22 C7D, 22 C7F and 22 C7G models. Understand that specs and performance varied somewhat with each engine model Fairchild 22.
 
Fairchild 22 C7A
Specifications:
 
Engine: A.C.E. Cirrus 95, 95 Hp
Wingspan: 32' 8"
Wing area: 170 sq. ft.
Length: 22' 0"
Height: 8'
Weight empty: 916 lbs.
Gross weight: 1,500 lbs.
 
Performance:
 
Max speed: 105 mph
Cruise speed: 90 mph
Initial rate of climb from sea level: 675 ft/min.
Range, cruise speed: 315 miles
Original price FAF: $2,775 
 
Fairchild 22 C7D
Specifications:
 
Engine: Wright Gipsy 90 horsepower
Wingspan: 32' 10"
Wing area: 170 sq. ft.
Length: 21' 11.5"
Height: 8'
Gross weight: 1,550 lbs.
 
Performance:
 
Max speed: 114 mph
Cruise speed: 94 mph
Landing speed: 44 mph
Original price (1933) FAF: $2,475
 
Fairchild 22 C7F
Specifications:
 
Engine: Warner Super Scarab 145 horsepower
Wingspan: 32' 10"
Wing area: 170 sq. ft.
Length: 22'
Height: 8'
Weight empty: 1,102 lbs.
Gross weight: 1,750 lbs.
 
Performance:
 
Max speed: 140 mph
Cruise speed: 115 mph
Landing speed: 48 mph 
 
Fairchild 22 C7G
Specifications: 
 
Engine: Warner Super Scarab 145 horsepower
Wingspan: 33' 0"
Wing area: 173 sq. ft.
Length: 22' 2"
Height: 8'
Weight empty: 1,240 lbs.
Gross weight: 2,100 lbs. 
 
Performance: 
 
Max speed: 135 mph
Cruise speed: 120 mph
Stall speed: 50 mph
Original price deluxe C7G, (1935?) FAF: $5,350 
 

Contact author Doug Robertson    All Articles    Home