Fairchild 24R Argus
The Fairchild Model 24 is a four-seat, single-engine monoplane light transport aircraft designed by the Fairchild Aviation Corporation in the 1930s. It was adopted by the United States Army Air Corps as UC-61, the RCAF and also by the Royal Air Force. The Model 24 was itself a development of previous Fairchild models and became a successful civil and military utility aircraft.
As an innovative concept, the aircraft was available with two powerplants, Warner's reliable Scarab radial engine and Fairchild's in-house 200 hp Ranger in-line series in the F24 C8D, E and F. Initially the 1932 model Fairchild 24 C8B used a reliable and popular Warner 125 hp radial engine, and the Fairchild 24 C8C used the Warner 145 hp radial. American Cirrus and Menasco Pirate inline engines were also occasionally used in some earlier Fairchild 24s. Later models such as the popular 24Ws upgraded to the 165 hp Warner Super Scarab radial engine. The 1946 F-24R was equipped with a 175-hp Fairchild Ranger engine.
Designed for operations from relatively unimproved grass airfields, the sturdy undercarriage construction used a vertical oil dampened cylinder above the wheel with a pivoting strut attached to the lower fuselage. The result was a complex but undeniably solid undercarriage that could absorb large amounts of shock and was also adapted for the fitting of twin floats for water-based operations. The sturdiness of construction of the aircraft has ensured many have survived to this day. Some suggest the massive spruce main spars can be loaded up to 10g, and while that figure is unproved, all prewar utility category aircraft were designed to withstand at least 4.1g as opposed to the 3.8g postwar design limit standard.
CH2A's 1946 Fairchild 24R was donated by the previous owner to the association. He had purchased it from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum in Hamilton, ON, who had restored the aircraft to airworthy status and painted it in its current RCAF markings. The paint scheme commemorates one of only two Argus' taken on strength by the RCAF in WWII. Argus 4809 served at RCAF Station Rockcliffe from November 1940 until October 1945. The other Fairchild 24H, registered as 699, was struck off strength in December 1942.