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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.

Biographical / Historical

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. 1920 -- Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation 1922 -- Fairchild Aerial Surveys (of Canada) Limited 1924 -- Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Incorporated 1924 -- S.M. Fairchild Flying Corporation 1925 -- Fairchild Aerial Camera 1925 -- Fairchild Caminez Engine Corporation 1925 -- Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation 1925 -- Fairchild Flying Company, Incorporated (name change from S.M. Fairchild Flying Corp.) 1925 -- Fairchild Aviation Corporation (holding company for Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation, Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc., Fairchild Flying Company, Inc, Fairchild Caminez Engine Corporation, Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation and Fairchild Aerial Surveys (of Canada) Ltd.) 1925 -- Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation 1926 -- Elliot-Fairchild Air Service, Limited 1926 -- Elliot-Fairchild Air Transport, Limited 1926 -- Fairchild Aviation, Limited (name change from Fairchild Aerial Surveys (of Canada) Limited) 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 1929 -- Fairchild Shares Corporation 1929 -- Fairchild Aircraft, Limited 1930 -- Fairchild-American Photo Aerial Surveys, S.A. 1932 -- Fairchild Airplane Sales Corporation 1934 -- Fairchild Aircraft Corporation 1936 -- Fairchild Aviation, Incorporated 1936 -- Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation (holding company for Fairchild Aircraft Corporation, Ranger Engineering Corporation and Fairchild Aircraft, Limited [50% stock]) 1937 -- Duramold Aircraft Corporation 1938 -- Clark Corporation 1938 -- Fairchild Airplane Investments Corporation 1938 -- Duramold Aircraft Corporation 1938 -- Molded Aircraft Corporation (name change from Duramold Aircraft Corporation) 1938 -- Duramold Aircraft Corporation 1939 -- Ranger Corporation 1941 -- AL-FIN Corporation 1941 -- Stratos Corporation 1945 -- Fairchild Pilotless Planes Division formed by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation 1945 -- Fairchild Personal Planes Division formed by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation 1946 -- Fairchild – NEPA (nuclear powered aircraft engines) Division is formed by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation 1949 -- Fairchild Guided Missiles Division (name change from Fairchild Pilotless Planes Division) 1953 -- Fairchild Speed Control Division formed by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation 1953 -- Fairchild Aviation, (Holland) N.V. 1954 -- American Helicopter Division formed by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation 1954 -- Fairchild Kinetics Division formed by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation 1955 -- Fairchild Armalite Division formed by Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation 1956 -- Fairchild Electronics Division (name change from American Helicopter Division) 1957 -- Jonco Aircraft Corporation 1958 -- Fairchild Arms International, Limited 1958 -- Fairchild Astronautics Division (name change from Fairchild Guided Missiles Division) 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] 1980 -- VSI Corporation 1980 -- Saab-Fairchild HB 1981 -- Fairchild Swearingen Corporation (name change from Swearingen Aviation Corporation) 1982 -- Fairchild Credit Corporation 1982 -- Fairchild Control Systems Company (name change from Fairchild Control Systems Company) 1983 -- Fairchild Space Company and Fairchild Communications and Electronics Company (formed from the Fairchild Space and Electronics Company) 1929 -- Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company, Incorporated [82% stock]




Fairchild Aircraft Corp




Fairchild Industries, gift, 1989, 1989-0060


277.95 Cubic feet (255 records center boxes)

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Scope and Contents

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.


No restrictions on access



Aerial photography

Aeronautics, Commercial

Aircraft industry

Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States



Collection descriptions

Archival materials




Financial records





Motion pictures (visual works)