This collection consists of historical files on FI, its predecessors, and subsidiaries. The material consists primarily of historical/public relations material, including photographs and brochures, but also includes significant amounts of business records for FEAC, Kreider-Reisner, Hiller, Republic, Ranger, Stratos, and Swearingen. The collection also documents Fairchild's joint ventures with Fokker, Pilatus, and other aircraft manufacturers. The material also includes an extensive negative collection as well as film and videotape libraries.
Scope and Contents note:
Sherman Mills Fairchild (1896-1971) founded Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation (FAEC) in 1920. FAEC was incorporated in New York State for the purpose of developing, manufacturing and selling aerial photographic equipment. It went through many changes over the course of its existence. By 1971, FAEC was called Fairchild Industries, Inc. and had become an enormous corporation that produced such famous and history making aircraft as the Model 24 and A-10 as well as acquired other aviation industry giants such as Republic Aviation and Hiller Aircraft Company.
The Fairchild Industries, Inc. Collection, accessions 1989-0060 and 1990-0047, was donated to the Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution in 1989 and 1990. The collection consists of printed and photographic materials. The subject matter of the material has a wide scope that includes, but is not restricted to, the following subject areas: public relations, legal matters, production photography, aircraft drawings and manuals, company published materials such as brochures and press releases, and history files. This collection does not contain the engineering files or the complete photo holdings or corporate records of Fairchild Industries, Inc or any of its predecessors.
The collection was maintained for many years by Theron Rinehart, a Fairchild Industries employee. Due to the large size and lack original order, the Archives Division decided to create a database as well as a traditional finding aid for access to the collection. Access to the Fairchild Docs database is available from the Archives Division by appointment. Aircraft types and designations are listed in the database and finding aid as they are in The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Directory of Airplanes Their Designers and Manufacturers, edited by Dana Bell, 2002 (Greenhill Books: London). Folder titles are those that appeared on the original folders and dates are provided for those materials that had them. The material was rehoused by the Archives Division and is now in acid free folders and boxes. There are few instances of water damage; these materials are indicated in the finding aid and database.
This finding aid contains a corporate history and chronology of the companies owned by of Fairchild Industries, Inc and a list of the Fairchild, Hiller, Republic and Swearingen aircraft documented in this collection. The books, periodicals and artifacts that were part of this collection have been removed. This finding aid contains a list of these materials. Please ask for assistance in contacting the NASM Branch and Smithsonian Libraries and the NASM Aeronautics Division.
Sherman Mills Fairchild's personal papers, The Sherman Fairchild Papers, can be found in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.
The following information was taken from The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Directory of Airplanes: Their Designers and Manufacturers, edited by Dana Bell, 2002 (Greenhill Books: London).
"In 1924, Sherman Fairchild established the Fairchild Aviation Corp as the parent company for his many aviation interests. In 1930, The Aviation Corp (AVCO) purchased Fairchild Aviation and its subsidiaries, initially operating the various companies under their original names. The following year, Sherman Fairchild repurchased Fairchild Aviation Corp and began repurchasing the subordinate companies. In a December 1936 reorganization, Fairchild Aviation Corp divested itself of all aircraft manufacturing interests, placing them under a new Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co.
The original aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of Fairchild Aviation Corp was Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Co; it was created in 1924 to design and build aircraft as platforms for Fairchild's aerial survey cameras. Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing was one of the subsidiaries purchased by AVCO in 1930, but not one of the first companies repurchased by Sherman Fairchild. In 1931 AVCO combined the aircraft company with Fairchild Engine Co, forming American Airplane and Engine Corp. Fairchild Aviation Corp bought American Airplane and Engine in 1934, renaming the company the Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing and Engine Co.
In the 1936 reorganization that divided Fairchild Aviation Corp assets, Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing and Engine Co became Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co and took charge of all Fairchild aircraft and engine holdings. Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co became Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp in 1950 and Fairchild Stratos Corp in 1961. With the 1964 purchase of Hiller Aircraft Corp, Fairchild Stratos was renamed Fairchild Hiller Corp, then, again, renamed Fairchild Industries after the separation of all Hiller interests in 1973. Although Fairchild Industries closed and sold its military and commercial aircraft manufacturing divisions in 1987, "Fairchild" aircraft continued to be produced through the Swearingen Metro and Fairchild Dornier lines (see below).
Fairchild created, purchased, and merged with several companies during its history. The following are the most important subsidiaries:
Fairchild Aircraft Ltd was created in 1929 as Fairchild Aviation Corp's Canadian subsidiary. The company ended all aircraft production in 1948.
The Kreider Reisner Aircraft Co Inc was formed in 1927. Kreider Reisner became a wholly-owned division of (first) the Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Co in 1929, (second) AVCO's American Airplane and Engine Corp (which renamed KR aircraft "Pilgrims") in 1931, and (third) Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing and Engine Co in 1934. Kreider-Reisner was renamed the Fairchild Aircraft Corp in 1935, becoming Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co's principle US aircraft manufacturing subsidiary. Fairchild Aircraft Corp was renamed the Fairchild Aircraft Division in 1939, the Fairchild Aircraft and Missiles Division in 1961, the Fairchild Stratos Aircraft and Missiles Division in 1961, the Aircraft-Missiles Division in 1965, and the Aircraft Division in 1967. With a growing number of aircraft subsidiaries reporting to Fairchild Industries, the Aircraft Division was broken up in a corporate reorganization of the 1970s. While the Kreider Reisner Midget is listed under Kreider Reisner, all Kreider Reisner Challenger series aircraft (designated "KR" biplanes by Fairchild) appear under Fairchild.
In 1936 Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co founded the subsidiary Duromold Aircraft Corp to better account for time spent developing the Duromold wood/resin bonding process and the Model 46 aircraft. In 1938, the majority interest in Duromold was bought by a group of investors (including process inventor Col. Virginius E. Clark), who formed the Clark Aircraft Corp. Fairchild kept a minority interest in Clark, retaining Duromold as a holding company. In September 1938, Fairchild renamed its Duromold division Fairchild Airplane Investment Corp, and Clark created a subsidiary called Duramold Aircraft Corp (note the spelling change). In 1938 Duramold was renamed Molded Aircraft Corp. In 1939, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp bought back a controlling interest in Clark and renamed Molded Aircraft Duramold Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. The Duramold and Clark companies disappeared during one of Fairchild's World War II reorganizations.
In 1952 Fairchild licensed the rights to Dutch Fokker's F.27 medium-range airliner. In 1953, the USAF transferred production contracts for the Chase Aircraft Co, Inc C 123 to Fairchild. The Chase-built XC 123 and XC 123A appear under Chase, while Fairchild's C-123 production is listed under Fairchild.
In 1954, the American Helicopter Co, Inc (founded 1947) became the Helicopter Division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. The division closed by the end of decade.
In 1964, Fairchild Stratos purchased Hiller Aircraft Corp, and both companies were renamed: Hiller Aircraft Co Inc become a subsidiary of Fairchild Hiller Corp. In the 1973 reorganization of Fairchild Hiller into Fairchild Industries, Hiller helicopter interests passed to an independent Hiller Aviation Inc….
In 1965, the Republic Aviation Corp became Republic Aviation Division (also known as Fairchild Republic) of Fairchild Hiller Corp. In 1987, Republic was shut down when Fairchild Industries ceased building commercial and military aircraft.
Swearingen Aircraft formed in the late 1950s, modifying Beech aircraft for executive transport. In 1965 the company produced its first new design, the Merlin. In 1970 Swearingen began development of the Metro, a joint venture to be marketed by Fairchild Hiller Corp. As a subsidiary of Fairchild Industries, Swearingen became Swearingen Aviation Corp, in 1971, Fairchild Swearingen in 1981, and Fairchild Aircraft Corp in September 1982. When Fairchild Industries closed its aircraft design and production facilities in 1987, Fairchild Aircraft Corp was sold to GMF Investments, Inc; GMF continued to operate the company under the Fairchild name. In 1990, Fairchild Aircraft filed for Chapter 11 protection and was purchased by Fairchild Acquisition Inc as Fairchild Aircraft Inc. Fairchild Aircraft delivered its last aircraft in 2001. Most Swearingen designs are filed under Swearingen; the Metro and Expediter can be found under Fairchild.
In 1996, Fairchild Acquisition became Fairchild Aerospace. While continuing to operate Fairchild Aircraft, the company also purchased 80% of the stock of Germany's Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH (with the remaining 20% of shares held by Daimler Benz Aerospace). Dornier's aircraft manufacturing operations were taken over by Fairchild Dornier Luftfahrt Beteiligungs GmbH. In 2000, Fairchild Aerospace was renamed Fairchild Dornier Aerospace, with corporate headquarters moved to Germany. Dornier designs predating Fairchild's takeover are listed under Dornier. Subsequent designs are found under Fairchild Dornier."
The following lists companies owned by Sherman Fairchild Industries and their years of incorporation. Major divisions of Fairchild are also listed. This list does not include when these entities were divested of or liquidated.
1926 -- Fairchild Air Transport, Limited (name change from Elliot-Fairchild Air Transport, Limited)
1927 -- Fairchild Aviation Corporation (reorganization and refinancing of the following subsidiaries and minority holdings, Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation, Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc., Fairchild Flying Company, Inc, Fairchild Caminez Engine Corporation, Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation, Fairchild Aviation, Limited, Compania Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. [20% stock] and International Aerial Engineering Company [20% stock])
1928 -- Faircam Realty Corporation
1928 -- Fairchild Boats, Incorporated
1928 -- Fairchild Engine Corporation
1928 -- V.E. Clark Corporation
1928 -- West Indian Aerial Express, Incorporated
1928 -- Fairchild Aviation Corporation of Illinois
1958 -- Fairchild Aircraft and Missiles Division (name change from Fairchild Aircraft Division)
1958 -- International Aluminum Structures Incorporated
1960 -- Astrionics Division (name change from Electronics Systems Division)
1960 -- Aircraft Service Division
1961 -- Fairchild Stratos Corporation (operating division, subsidiaries and affiliates: Aircraft-Missile Division, Aircraft Service Division, Electronic Systems Division, Stratos Division, Fairchild Arms International Ltd, Fairchild Aviation (Holland) N.V., and Aerotest Laboratories, Inc.)
1962 -- Space System Division formed by Fairchild Stratos Corporation
1962 -- Data Systems Engineering formed by Fairchild Stratos Corporation
1964 -- Hiller Aircraft Company, Inc
1964 -- Fairchild Hiller Corporation (name change from Fairchild Stratos Corporation; division and subsidiaries: Aircraft Missiles Division, Aircraft Service Division, Electronic Systems Division, Data Systems Engineering, Space Systems Division, Stratos Division, Hiller Aircraft Company, Inc., Fairchild Aviation (Holland) N.V. and Fairchild Arms International, Inc.)
1965 -- Republic Aviation Corporation
1965 -- Republic Aviation Division
1965 -- Electronic and Information Systems Division (formed by combining Electronic Systems Division, Data Systems Engineering and similar disciplines from Republic Aviation Corporation)
1966 -- Burns Aero Seat Company, Incorporated
1966 -- Fairchild Hiller – FRG Corporation
1966 -- Aircraft Division (formed by combining Aircraft-Missiles Division and Hiller Aircraft Company, Inc.)
1966 -- Space and Electronics Systems Division (formed by combining Space Systems Division and Electronic and Information Systems Division)
1966 -- Industrial Products Division (forms from the Industrial Products Branch of Stratos Division)
1967 -- S.J. Industries, Inc.
1967 -- Air Carrier Engine Services, Inc.
1967 -- Fairchild Chemical Corporation
1967 -- EWR-Fairchild International
1968 -- Fairchild Aircraft Marketing Company
1968 -- FAIRMICCO
1969 -- Fairchild-Germantown Development Company, Incorporated
1970 -- Fairchild Aviation (Asia) Limited
1971 -- Fairchild Industries, Incorporated (name changes from Fairchild Hiller Corporation, division and subsidiaries: Fairchild Aircraft Marketing Company, Fairchild Aircraft Service Division, Fairchild Industrial Products Division, Fairchild Republic Division, Fairchild Space and Electronics Division, Fairchild Stratos Division, Burns Aero Seat Company, Incorporated, Fairchild Arms International, Ltd., Fairchild Aviation (Asia) Limited, Fairchild Aviation (Holland) N.V., Fairchild-Germantown Development Company, Incorporated and S.J. Industries, Inc.)
1971 -- Fairchild KLIF, Incorporated
1971 -- Swearingen Aviation Corporation
1972 -- American Satellite Corporation
1972 -- Fairchild Minnesota, Incorporated
1972 -- Fairchild International Sales Corporation
1979 -- Bunker Ramo Corporation [18.4% interest]
1980 -- American Satellite Company
1980 -- Space Communications Company (Spacecom) [25% interest]
This collection consisted of 10 cartons of photographs that were at first loaned, and then donated, from the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences (IAS) in 1968 when they were dissolving their library. After the photographs arrived at NASM, they were divided and placed in the Technical Files. As of 2009, 817 images have been identified and cataloged as being from the Sherman Fairchild Collection. The images include shots of balloons, gliders, airships, aircraft, aircraft instruments, engines, uniforms, aerial photographs, and early concepts of flight.
Biographical / Historical:
Sherman Fairchild (1896-1971) had a long and varied aviation career; included in his many contributions to the aerospace field was his work with aerial cameras and his aircraft companies, including Fairchild Industries.
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Gift, 1968
No restrictions on access.