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Fairchild UC-61K Forwarder
Fairchild UC-61K Forwarder (Argus III) 24W-46 (FAA Reg. Number N81395)
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This aircraft was originally built in 1946 under license by Texas Engineering and Manufacturing Company (TEMCO) in Dallas, Texas, as a Fairchild Model 24-W46 with a Warner Super Scarab 165 air-cooled, radial engine. The aircraft was in an accident in 1961 and its remains passed through several owners unrestored before being donated to Combat Air Museum in 1991. Museum volunteers restored it to a World War II UC-61K Forwarder configuration with a six-cylinder, inline, air cooled Ranger engine.

In March 1941, with Europe in its 18th month of World War II, the US Congress authorized the Lend-Lease Act. This Act gave President Franklin Roosevelt the authority to aid any nation whose defense he felt vital to the United States. The aid consisted of war materials such as tanks, airplanes, trucks, and other supplies, including food and services. Although primarily authorized to aid Great Britain, the Act was extended to China in April 1941 and to the Soviet Union in September 1941. By the end of the war, 38 nations had received Lend-Lease aid.

The Fairchild UC-61 series of aircraft were among the various aircraft sent to Great Britain. The series was based on the popular and successful civilian Fairchild Model 24 aircraft first flown in 1932. The United States Army Air Force named the UC-61 the Forwarder, but in British service the aircraft were named Argus I, II, or III. During World War II, a number of privately owned Fairchild Model 24s were bought by the US Army and placed into service.

No Model 24s were built during 1944 or 1945 as Fairchild was totally involved with military contracts building PT-19, PT-23, and PT–27 primary trainers and starting production of the C-82 twin-engine transport. In order to get to get the popular civilian Model 24 back into production after World War II, Fairchild created the Fairchild Personal Planes Division and subcontracted the production of Model 24s to TEMCO. Deliveries of new Fairchild 24s began in March 1946, but post World War II aviators had a glut of surplus aircraft to buy cheaply. By the end of 1947 only 218 aircraft had been sold, and production of the famous Model 24 ended that year. Remaining aircraft were sold off in 1948, and operations of the Fairchild Personal Planes Division ended in 1949.

Combat Air Museum’s Fairchild 24 received its airworthiness certificate on September 20, 1946 and was registered NC81395. Most of its flying career was in Kansas. Its last flight log entry was made November 10, 1961 as a 45 minute local flight to MKC (Kansas City, Missouri.) Its accident was sometime after this. The aircraft’s remains went through a handful of owners over the next 30 years until Mr. Al Gettings of Blue Springs, Missouri donated the plane to CAM in February 1991, along with an inline Ranger engine. The Fairchild went through an eight-year rebuild and restoration. Several museum volunteers assisted in the project, but Loyd Ellison (1922 – 2003) was the volunteer who did most of the restoration and rebuild. His work included fabricating the engine cowling by hand. The Fairchild made its first post-restoration flight on July 9, 1999. It is painted in Royal Air Force markings to represent a World War II Argus III Lend-Lease aircraft.

In 1991 it was donated to the Combat Air Museum and has since been restored from the ground up.


September 1946
Fairchild Personal Planes Division, Dallas, Texas
January 21, 1948
Fairchild Personal Planes Division, Wichita, Kansas
January 22, 1948
Bohen-Marie Ferrari, Fort Smith, Arkansas
June 24, 1948
Acid Engineering Company of Kansas, Lakin, Kansas
June 27, 1952
Acid Engineers, Inc., Lakin, Kansas
June 27, 1952
Yingling Aircraft, Inc., Wichita, Kansas
June 27, 1952
J&J Crop Savers, Lakin, Kansas
July 22, 1954
Acid Engineers, Inc., Lakin, Kansas
November 13, 1954
Lawrence O. Tenk, Jr., McPherson, Kansas
January 28, 1956
Horstman Construction Company, Inc., Olathe, Kansas
January 17, 1961
William W. Pollard, Parkville, Missouri
August 29, 1968
Leonard J. Specht, Kansas City, Missouri
April 30, 1978
Don Good Aircraft Sales, St. Joseph, Missouri
June 29, 1978
William C. Nichols, Marion, North Carolina
December 1984
William J. Seltzer, Jr., Concord, North Carolina
May 31, 1988
Donald W. Sink, Boone, North Carolina
January 31, 1991
Albert H. Gettings, Blue Springs, Missouri
June 20, 1991
Combat Air Museum
: (UC-61K)
Fairchild Aircraft
Basic Role:
Four Seat Light Utility Transport
One pilot plus 3 passenger seating capacity
Power Plant:
One 200 hp (149kW) Ranger L-440-7 six cylinder, inline, air-cooled engine
Maximum speed:
133 mph (214km/h)
Cruising speed:
112 mph (180km/h)
Max. Range:
465 miles (748 km)
Service Ceiling:
12,700 ft (3,870 m)
36 ft 4 in (11.1m)
26 ft 1 in (8.0m)
7 ft 7.5 in (2.32m)
Wing Area:
193 ft² (17.96 m²)
Weight (empty):
1,813 lb (822 kg) Loaded: 2,882 lbs (1307kg)
Max Takeoff weight:
2,882 lb (1,307 kg)
Serial number:
W46295 (FAA Reg. Number N81395)
Fairchild UC-61K Forwarder
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