J. Wiley
(Aviation Researcher)
07/27/09 02:06 PM
Re: The Fairchild T-46A - What Happened?


Dear John,

How did a famous company like Fairchild design such a dawg?


The same can be said for Consolidated Vultee and the B-32. They had the -24 design locked down. Interesting wing, good performance but with some problems. Then they get the default position for backup on the B-29 when Lockheed and Douglas back out of the competition.

The -32 comes up like a bunch of rookies with NO experience designed it. Take the cowl flaps for instance. There were controls for the UPPER and LOWER cowl flaps.. 8 switches. ?? The pilot's seat was also screwed up. Raise the seat to see outside the cockpit and you had virtually no scan inside for instruments. Lower the seat to see the instruments and you could not see out. ??? The pressurization sys was so bad they junked it and went with an unpressurized airplane, especially after LeMay decided to take the -29s in low. And on and on and on.

And performance was atrocious when it came to range, speed and altitude. None were met as I remember. One has to wonder if taking them all to Walnut Ridge soon after the war was a routine reduction or revenge. At any rate, the entire fleet was quickly chopped up including some that were mostly brand new with very few hours on engines or airframes.

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