The Fairchild 22 was built Fairchild’s Kreider-Reisner division in Hagerstown, Maryland. K-R had been building Kinner-powered biplanes, but when the depression struck, these planes were too expensive and were not selling well. Fairchild responded with a simpler and inexpensive, open-cockpit, parasol-wing design: the Fairchild 22. Appearing in 1931 and initially selling for $2675, the 22 was a success.
The various models of Fairchild 22 are distinguished by the type of engine installed.
* C7, Rover 75 hp 4 cylinder inverted inline
* C7A, Cirrus Hi-Drive 95 hp 4 cylinder inverted inline
* C7B, Menasco C-4 Pirate 125 hp 4 cylinder inverted inline
* C7D, Wright Gipsy 90 hp 4 cylinder upright inline
* C7E, Warner Scarab 125 hp 7 cylinder radial
* C7F, Warner Super Scarab 145 hp 7 cylinder radial
* C7G, Warner Super Scarab 145 hp 7 cylinder radial
Early 22’s were built with inline engines, and the resulting aircraft had a small frontal profile and a dainty appearance, that many consider the quintessential Fairchild 22. There are very few of the inline-engined Fairchild 22’s still flying.
Starting in 1934 the Fairchild 22 was changed to use a Warner radial engine. This caused the fuselage to be contoured to match the larger frontal profile of the radial and as a result the aircraft appears to be much beefier. A cowling was also installed and fairings added around strut junctions to reduce drag.
Fairchild 22’s tended to break up in flight when performing demanding aerobatics. The airframe was apparently strengthened in the final C7G model version, which is reputed to have type certificate stress limits of 10 positive Gs.
The 22 was produced until 1935 when the market demanded higher performance and the comfort of enclosed cockpits.
Specs and details from Aero Digest, April, 1935:
Fairchild Aircraft Corporation, Hagerstown, Maryland