20 -- This photo is from
the album of Air Mail Pioneer Ernest A. Johnson who worked for
the U.S. Air Mail Service from 1-21 to 4-24. Can you identify
this single-engine plane? E-mail to
Air Mail Pioneers
Caption ID from Daniel
E. D. MacMurray: III #5 is a lovely Fairchild FC-2W2.
It was built in 1928 in response to the need for more interior
room for passengers and cargo. The aircraft was particularly
popular with "bush" pilots. The aircraft pictured in Mr.
Johnson's photo, N-S7 was actually owned by the Aeronautics
Branch of the Department of Commerce in 1928. I think
this was the period when author Gore Vidal's father was assistant
to the director and was quite likely the plane's pilot at some
Caption ID from Ian
MacFarlane: This is a picture of a Fairchild model 71.
It has a P&W 9 cyl, 420 hp radial engine. It seats 7 people.
They were built from 1928 through 1930. The design bears
ATC #289. See "U.S. Civil Aircraft Series, Volume 1, by
Joseph P. Juptner. Published by TAB Aero, Division of
McGraw-Hill, Inc. Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294-0850 in
1962. pp 221-223. Also in Volume 3.
Updated reply from Ian
MacFarlane: I went back to my references and to
www). It appears that the Fairchild FC-2Cs were sometimes
upgraded to Model 71 specs by changing the Wright 160 engine
to the P&W 9-cyl 420 hp engine.
That would explain two different models each carrying the NS-7
registry -- being the same airframe.