Fairchild KR-34

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Fairchild KR-34
Fairchild KR-34.jpg
KR-34
Role Utility biplane
Manufacturer Kreider-Reisner Aircraft
Fairchild Aircraft
First flight 1928

The Kreider-Reisner Challenger (later the Fairchild KR series) was an American utility biplane aircraft designed and produced by the Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company, which was later taken over by the Fairchild Aircraft Company.

Development[edit]

The C-2 Challenger was the first commercial aircraft developed by the Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company. The Challenger was a conventional mixed-construction biplane with a fixed tailskid landing gear. It had two open tandem cockpits for a pilot (at the rear), and passenger (forward) and was powered by a 90 hp (67 kW) Curtiss OX-5 inline engine. A number of variants were built designated the C-3 Challenger and C-4 Challenger which had detailed differences and different engines fitted. Late in 1928 the company introduced a new and slightly smaller design designated the C-6 Challenger.

In 1929 the company was bought by the Fairchild Aircraft Company who continued the production of the C-4 as the Fairchild KR-34 and the C-6 as the Fairchild KR-21. Although not built by Fairchild the C-2 was redesignated the Fairchild KR-31.

To act as an engine testbed a KR-21 was modified to use a Fairchild 6-390 engine (later named Ranger) and changes were made to the wing and landing gear geometry. The modified aircraft was known as the Fairchild KR-125. In 1931 a similar aircraft without the geometry changes but with a Ranger engine was sold under the designation KR-135.

In 1930, the KR-34CA, a military version of the Fairchild KR-34 based on the Kreider-Reisner C-4C Challenger design, was built in Farmingdale, New York. A light attack craft, it had two .30 caliber Browning machine guns mounted on the nose, firing through the propellers. The Chinese version had bomb racks under the fuselage. Two of this military version of the Fairchild KR-34 were sold to the warlord generals Liu Wenhui and Liu Xiang in Szechwan Province.

Variants[edit]

Kreider-Reisner C-4C Challenger
C-2 Challenger
Initial production version, later KR-31.
C-3 Challenger
C-2 with detail and engine changes.
C-4 Challenger
C-2 with detail and engine changes, later KR-34
C-6 Challenger
Smaller version of C-2, later KR-21.
KR-21B
KR-21
Redesignation of the C-6.
KR-31
Redesignation of the C-2.
KR-34
Redesignation of the C-4
KR-34CA
1930 attack aircraft version of the C-4C
KR-35
Redesignation of the C-4.
KR-125
One KR-21 modified to an engine test bed for the Fairchild 6-390.
KR-135
Production version of KR-21 with inline engine.

Specifications (KR-34)[edit]

Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 1674

General characteristics

  • Crew: two
  • Length: 23 ft 2 in (7.06 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 1 in (9.17 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 3 in (2.82 m)
  • Wing area: 285 ft2 (26.48 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1524 lb (691 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2368 lb (1074 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright J-6 Whirlwind Five 5-cylinder radial piston engine, 165 hp (123 kW)

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 120 mph (193 km/h)
  • Range: 510 miles (821 km)
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4265 m)

References[edit]

  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. 
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 1674