Fairchild F-27 Fuselage Arrives at Hagerstown Aviation Museum

Ready to go, the F-27 sits on a truck in Greybull, Wyoming awaiting its journey home to its birthplace in Hagerstown, Maryland. (image via Hagerstown Aviation Museum)
United Fuel Cells


The Hagerstown Aviation Museum in Hagerstown, Maryland has just taken delivery of a Fairchild-Hiller F-27A airliner, an aircraft originally built in 1958 at the now-dormant Fairchild Aircraft factory located at the same airfield as the museum (Hagerstown Regional Airport). Interestingly, the museum’s present home is the old Fairchild Aircraft Flight Test Hangar, dating from 1943!

363417667 671647118313973 8432467401465335971 n
The F-27’s fuselage, still on the delivery vehicle, sitting inside one of the Fairchild factory buildings following its arrival in Hagerstown, Maryland on July 27th, 2023. (image via Hagerstown Aviation Museum)

As many will know, the Fairchild F-27 is actually a license-built version of the Fokker F-27 Friendship, a successful turbo-prop commuter aircraft designed in the Netherlands during the early 1950s. Fairchild-Hiller built just over two hundred examples at their factory in Hagerstown, Maryland. The type enjoyed some success in the U.S. market, with a number of significant regional airlines operating the type.

363805856 671037758374909 6875364099672027569 n
The first F-27 to roll off Fairchild’s production line in Hagerstown, Maryland during 1957. (image via Hagerstown Aviation Museum)

363796305 671037741708244 6257482554280146141 n
Fairchild’s F-27 production line in full swing during the late 1950s. (image via Hagerstown Aviation Museum)

363797806 671038251708193 7789898717856982717 n
A Fairchild F-27 under construction in Hagerstown, Maryland circa 1960. (image via Hagerstown Aviation Museum)

This particular example first flew in early 1959, the thirty third example off the production line. Butler Aviation (Pepsi Cola Bottling) registered the aircraft as N1004 in April, 1959. It underwent conversion into a freighter (F-27F) soon after in 1961. Ross Aviation of Albuquerque, New Mexico acquired the airframe in 1975. Then in 1980, the U.S. Navy made use of the aircraft as “UC-27A” BuNo.161628, initially basing it at the Naval Air Development Center (NADC) in Johnsville, Pennsylvania, where it took part in various assignments. During the latter stages of its military career, Imperial Aviation Inc operated it on the Navy’s behalf to support the Atlantic Underwater Test and Evaluation Center (AUTEC) on Andros Island in the Bahamas. The F-27 closed out its U.S. Navy service in 1988 while flying from the Naval Air Warfare Center – Aircraft Division, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Patuxent, Maryland.

The legendary Hawkins & Powers (H&P) aerial firefighting operator acquired the F-27 from the Navy in August, 1988, basing it at their home in Greybull, Wyoming and re-registering it as N127HP. H&P leased the aircraft to to various operators overseas, with periods of storage until D&G Incorporated’s acquisition in 2000. The aircraft then passed through a handful of additional owners, but remained at Greybull until withdrawn from use and stored there in 2008.

363389768 670622228416462 1632130837077340669 n
The Hagerstown Aviation Museum’s Fairchild F-27 as seen in Greybull, Wyoming shortly before the disassembly process began for the journey home to Hagerstown, the city of its birth in 1959. (image via Hagerstown Aviation Museum)

Circa 2014, the The Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting placed it on display at their facility in Greybull, with the Hagerstown Aviation Museum acquiring the airframe as a donation in 2016. While the aircraft was in excellent condition, with a fully-equipped passenger cabin and cockpit, the Hagerstown museum decided against trying to fly the F-27 to its new home, as it had remained idle for too long. This summer, the museum had the opportunity to disassemble the airframe and transport it to Maryland on a flatbed truck through the generosity of several donors. The main fuselage arrived in Hagerstown on July 27th, and is now safely in the museum’s hangar. The wings and center section await delivery on a second shipment, which will hopefully take place sometime soon.

363352091 670642825081069 4622927153288038079 n
D&G Incorporated disassembled the F-27 within their hangar in Greybull, Wyoming. (image via Hagerstown Aviation Museum)

Anyone wishing to help this remarkable museum preserve the important heritage of Fairchild Aviation should click HERE to find out how.

5950b96b53fca257ead878469b70e12a?s=150&d=mp&r=g
 | Website

Richard Mallory Allnutt's aviation passion ignited at the 1974 Farnborough Airshow. Raised in 1970s Britain, he was immersed in WWII aviation lore. Moving to Washington DC, he frequented the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, meeting aviation legends.

After grad school, Richard worked for Lockheed-Martin but stayed devoted to aviation, volunteering at museums and honing his photography skills. In 2013, he became the founding editor of Warbirds News, now Vintage Aviation News. With around 800 articles written, he focuses on supporting grassroots aviation groups.

Richard values the connections made in the aviation community and is proud to help grow Vintage Aviation News.

Array
About Richard Mallory Allnutt (Chief Editor) 1061 Articles
Richard Mallory Allnutt's aviation passion ignited at the 1974 Farnborough Airshow. Raised in 1970s Britain, he was immersed in WWII aviation lore. Moving to Washington DC, he frequented the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, meeting aviation legends. After grad school, Richard worked for Lockheed-Martin but stayed devoted to aviation, volunteering at museums and honing his photography skills. In 2013, he became the founding editor of Warbirds News, now Vintage Aviation News. With around 800 articles written, he focuses on supporting grassroots aviation groups. Richard values the connections made in the aviation community and is proud to help grow Vintage Aviation News.

Be the first to comment

Graphic Design, Branding and Aviation Art

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*