Fairchild Metroliner is a twin-engine turboprop aircraft of local airlines. Manufactured by Swearingen, followed by Fairchild.
The Fairchild Metroliner is a further development of the early offspring of the Swearingen Merlin aircraft. The plane received an elongated fuselage and a new tail unit. The nose of the aircraft went from Merlin. Turboprop engines for the aircraft were first supplied by Pratt & Whitney, and then by Garrett. The aircraft was introduced to the market as an administrative 10-seater liner.
Soon, the latest version of the Merlin family was created, the SA226-T Merlin III aircraft, equipped with a new nose, landing gear, wing, and tail, as well as Garrett engines. The version of the Merlin III with an extended fuselage, accommodating 22 passengers, was called the SA226-TC Metro. However, due to U.S. air law prohibiting aircraft with more than 19 passengers from flying without cabin attendants, Metro’s capacity was limited by this number.
The creation of the prototype Metro was started in 1968 and a year later the plane made its first flight. In 1974, the original aircraft was replaced by a new model SA226-TC Metro II, of which about 20 units were produced. The new version changed the oval portholes and mounted the RATO complex – Rocket-Assisted Take Off – in fact, a rocket engine in the tail of the aircraft, which improves take-off characteristics from shortened runways and acts as a backup engine in case of the main failure.
The updated version of Metro III offered improved systems, increased engine power, and take-off characteristics. Further development gave birth to the Metro IV model, later called the Metro 23, so named due to the requirement of FAR Part 23 certification rules. The Metro 23 EF model had an additional niche under the fuselage for greater luggage capacity.
In the future, aircraft of new modifications Metro V and Metro VI was developed, capable of carrying 25 passengers.
Over the entire production period, 703 Metro aircraft of various modifications were built, 158 other aircraft built based on SA226 and SA227 were also produced. As of 2012, some 342 Metro aircraft were still in operation.
- Metro, Metro II, Merlin IVA, Metro III, Merlin IVC, Metro 23, Metro 23EF;
- C-26 Metroliner – US Military Version;
- TP88 – Metro III (two sides) built and delivered to the Swedish Air Force as VIP transports.
- Type: Regional Passenger Aircraft
- Power plant: two Garrett AiResearch TPE-331 turboprop engines of 1100 hp. each
- Maximum number of passengers: 19 people
- Practical ceiling: 7,620 m
- Range: 2 131 km
- Maximum take-off weight: 7.25 t
- Cruising speed: 515 km / h
- Wingspan: 17.37 m
- Wing Area: 28.71 sq. m
- Length: 18.09 m
- Height: 5.08 m