The Fairchild F-27 and Fairchild Hiller FH-227 were versions of the Fokker F27 Friendship twin-engined turboprop passenger aircraft manufactured under license by Fairchild Hiller in the United States. The Fairchild F-27 was similar to the standard Fokker F27, while the FH-227 was an independently developed stretched version.
|F-27 / FH-227|
|A Fairchild Hiller FH-227B of VARIG at Congonhas Airport Sao Paulo in 1972|
|First flight||April 12, 1958 (F-27) |
February 2, 1966 (FH-227)
|Number built||128 (F-27) |
|Developed from||Fokker F27 Friendship|
The Fokker F27 began life as a 1950 design study known as the P275, a 32-seater powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart turboprops. With the aid of Dutch government funding, the P275 evolved into the F27, which first flew on November 24, 1955. The first prototype was powered by Dart 507s and would have seated 28. To correct a slight tail-heaviness and to allow for more seats, the second prototype (which first flew in January 1957) had a 3-foot-longer (0.91 m) fuselage, which would allow seating for 32.
By this stage, Fokker had signed an agreement that would see Fairchild build Friendships in the U.S. as the F-27. The first aircraft of either manufacturer to enter service in the U.S. was, in fact, a Fairchild-built F-27, with West Coast Airlines in September 1958. Other Fairchild F-27 operators in the U.S. included Air South, Air West and successor Hughes Airwest, Allegheny Airlines, Aloha Airlines, Bonanza Air Lines, Ozark Air Lines, Pacific Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines (1948-1989), Northern Consolidated Airlines and successor Wien Air Alaska. Fairchild subsequently manufactured a larger, stretched version of the F-27 being the Fairchild Hiller FH-227 which was operated by U.S. based air carriers Delta Air Lines, Mohawk Airlines, Northeast Airlines, Ozark Air Lines, Piedmont Airlines (1948-1989) and Wien Air Alaska.
Fairchild F-27s differed from the initial Fokker F27 Mk 100s in having basic seating for 40, heavier external skinning, a lengthened nose capable of housing a weather radar, and additional fuel capacity. They also incorporated a passenger airstair door in the rear of the aircraft, operated by a flight attendant, which eliminated the need for separate stairs on the ground.
Developments were the F-27A with more powerful engines and the F-27B Combi aircraft version. The F-27B Combi mixed passenger/freight version was operated in Alaska by Northern Consolidated Airlines and Wien Air Alaska.
Fairchild independently developed the stretched FH-227, which appeared almost two years earlier than Fokker's similar F27 Mk 500. The FH-227 featured a 1.83 m (6 ft) stretch over standard length F27/F-27s, taking standard seating to 56, with a larger cargo area between the cockpit and the passenger cabin.
In addition to the 581 F27s built by Fokker, 128 F-27s and 78 FH-227s were built. In February 2010, only one Fairchild FH-227 aircraft, FH-227E serial number 501 belonging to the Myanmar Air Force, remained in active service.
(Source:Roach & Eastwood)
Of the 78 FH-227's built, 23 crashed.
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1969-70.
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
Media related to Fairchild F-27 at Wikimedia Commons