Fairchild Merlin is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft for local airlines. Manufactured by Swearingen, followed by Fairchild.
The aircraft is the result of the evolutionary development of Swearingen Aircraft aircraft. The company researched its aircraft, carrying out many modifications of Beechcraft Bonanza and Queen Air aircraft. The hybrid aircraft had significant differences from its “parents”, however, it inherited the chassis from Bonanza and modified glider elements from Queen Air. The SA26 Merlin model was in many ways similar to the new Beechcraft Excalibur aircraft but had a different engine – the 6-cylinder TIGO-540. However, this engine was also produced by Lycoming, which supplied the power plants for Beechcraft, and competition complicated the work with the supplier. As a result, Swearingen decided to put Pratt & Whitney Canada turboprop engines on its aircraft, which gave birth to the SA26-T Merlin IIA modification.
A new plane took off on April 13, 1965. Several improvements were required, and shortly after receiving the certificate in August 1966, deliveries of production vehicles started, which laid the foundation for the Merlin / Metro family. Merlin IIA had a traditional all-metal riveted construction. As the power plant, two Pratt & Whitney Canada RT6A-20 TVDs of 550 liters were used. with. (410 kW), receiving fuel from the integrated fuel tanks in the wing. For the de-icing system, a selection of hot exhaust gases was used. The retractable three-post chassis had one wheel on each support and was driven by an electric motor in the same way as the flaps. Hydraulics were used only in wheel brakes. The cabin was airtight and had a freon air conditioning system.
In a typical configuration, the aircraft had a crew of two people and could carry six passengers. The cockpit was separated from the passenger bulkhead with a sliding door. Ease of landing and disembarkation was provided by a door with a built-in ladder on the left side of the fuselage.
In 1968, after the release of 36 aircraft, the engines were replaced by a Garrett TRE331-1-151G with a capacity of 665 electric power units. (496 kW). The air intakes of the theater were located above the fairings of the Hartzell three-blade propellers, which had a feathering and reverse system, as well as a synchronization system, which allowed to reduce noise and vibration. Although there were projects for the further use of the RT6A TVD, various modifications of the Garrett TRE331 engines were installed on all subsequent serial Merlin / Metro versions.
The release of Merlin IIB continued until 1972, but as early as 1968 work began on a completely new machine, which received the designation Merlin III. A total of 33 Merlin IIA aircraft and 87 Merlin IIB aircraft were produced.
The aircraft has a dozen options, among which there are civilian, military, and special versions.
It is operated in Belgium, South Africa, Argentina, Sweden, Thailand, and the USA.
- Type: Regional Passenger Aircraft
- Power plant: two AiResearch (Garrett) TPE-331-10U503G turboprop engines of 900 hp. each
- Maximum number of passengers: 11 people
- Practical ceiling: 9,144 m
- Flight range: 3,590 km
- Maximum take-off weight: 5.67 t
- Cruising speed: 645 km / h
- Wingspan: 14.10 m
- Wing Area: 25.80 sq. m
- Length: 12.85 m
- Height: 5.13 m