Fairchild XNQ

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Fairchild XNQ-1.jpg
Fairchild XNQ-1 tested as the T-31
Role Primary trainer
Manufacturer Fairchild
First flight 7 October 1946
Number built 2
Fairchild XNQ at Airventure 2009, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

The Fairchild XNQ (T-31) (Model M-92) was an American trainer designed as a standard primary trainer for the U.S. Air Force during the 1950s. If the Fairchild XNQ had gone into production in its T-31 guise, it would have been the first United States Navy-designed airplane used as a standard primary trainer for the U.S. Air Force.

Design and development[edit]

Before 1947, the Navy had always used slightly modified versions of Air Force aircraft. Designed by Fairchild Aircraft as a replacement for current primary trainers, the XNQ-1 was the fastest primary trainer to date. The Model M-92 featured a controllable pitch propeller, flaps, electronically operated retractable landing gear and all-metal skin with fabric-covered rudder, ailerons and elevators.

Its unobstructed, one-piece bubble canopy provided instructors and students seated in tandem with all-round visibility, and its cockpit instruments were arranged to match those found in a 600 mph jet fighter or a 5,000-mile, long-range patrol plane. To help students recognize the instruments, the landing gear handle was in the shape of a tiny landing gear wheel, and the flap handle was shaped like the airfoil of a flap.

Operational history[edit]

The XNQ-1 basic/advanced trainer was developed for the U.S. Navy and was first flown by Richard Henson on 7 October 1946. Two prototypes were flown as XNQ-1 (BuNo. 75725 & 75726). Delivered to the U.S. Navy in 1947 for trials, they were rejected; tests had revealed problems with exhaust fumes leaking back into the cockpit.

The first prototype was subsequently to receive a number of engine upgrades, first powered with 320 hp Lycoming R-680-13, then finally with an horizontally opposed 350 hp Lycoming GSO-580. The aircraft was destroyed in a crash in 1950.

The second aircraft (BuNo. 75726) with a larger stabilizer was evaluated by the USAF in 1949 as a replacement for the AT-6, being selected on 24 March 1949 as a primary trainer. Designed to be acrobatic to teach pilots basic maneuvers, such as stalls, spins, rolls and dive pullouts, Fairchild received a contract for 100 aircraft as the model 129, USAF designation T-31. However, the order was cancelled later in 1949, in favor of the Beech T-34 Mentor.

Fairchild dropped plans to develop the design as the company concentrated on other production contracts, including the Fairchild C-119.


The second aircraft, privately owned, was still on the civil register on 15 January 2006[1] in airworthy condition.


General characteristics

  • Crew: two, pilot and instructor
  • Length: 8.3 m (27 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 12.4 m (40 ft 8 in)
  • Height: 2.7 m (8 ft 10 in)
  • Empty weight: 1,338 kg (2,974 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,754 kg (3,898 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming R-680-13 radial, 238 kW (320 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 282 km/h (175 mph)
  • Range: 1,537 km (955 miles)
  • Service ceiling: 4,880 m (16,000 ft)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ "Antique Attic". Atlantic Flyer, June 2006.
  • Green, William and Gerald Pollinger. The Aircraft of the World. London: Macdonald, 1955.

External links[edit]