Fairchild M-258

Jos Heyman

ACCESS: Top Secret
15 February 2007
Reaction score
Enclosed is a picture of the Fairchild M-258 design which received the USAF designation C-138.
The picture was provided to me by NASM and is contained in their Fairchild Collection, Box 504, Folder 12.
Clearly a derivative of the Friendship, but with clam shell doors.


  • Fairchild 258.jpg
    Fairchild 258.jpg
    203.7 KB · Views: 407
Very interesting, indeed. Are you sure that it was based upon the Fokker design, or rather it is your feeling only?

Best regards,
Highly interesting...
I think this is the first information of the C-138 ever seen.
According to 'United States Military Aircraft Since 1908'- Putnam- this designation
should have been reserved for the USN ?
Andreas Parsch said:
The C-138 designation had originally been skipped and reserved for use by the US Navy (see also H-36/38). Later, it was planned for allocation to the Fairchild F-27 (license-built Fokker F-27 Friendship), if that type were acquired by the USAF. This did not happen, and therefore the C-138 designation remained unused. It is not known, why a designation was reserved for the F-27 before any firm plans to acquire the aircraft were actually made.
Source: http://www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/missing-mds.html

Jan F. Homma @ F27 Friendship Association said:
Right from the start Fairchild did try to get their hands on defense orders. But especially in 1960 and 1961 did Fairchild mainly concentrate on military orders for the US Army, US Air Force and US Marines. The four military versions of the Fairchild F-27C (an F-27A with cargo door, which, strangely enough, never was certified) were summarised under the Model M-258.
The M-258G was in fact an F-27A with cargo door and powered by RR Dart 8 engines (military version of the RR Dart 7 Mk-258) and with military communication and navigation equipment.
The M258H was the same as the M-258G, but equiped with double slotted high lift flaps and a fully movable horizontal stabilizer (STOL). Fairchild had plans to buy Fokker's F1 prototype.
The M-258J was the same as the M-258H, but had a cargo door at the rear of the shortened fuselage (rear loading)(Fokker F27MS). And the last M-258K again was the same as the M-258J, but powered by 2 General Electric T-64-GE-8s. Also, a version with Lycoming T-55 engines was developed. But it was all in vain. Not one order resulted.
They still had expectations for a defense order viz. an ASW version for the US Marines model M-294A, a STOL version for the US Navy and a standard version for the Strategic Air Command. A single order from these authorities would mean an assignment for minimal 100 units for Fairchild.
In the beginning of 1961 PanAm wanted to buy 5 Fairchild F-27As, so they could start a new airline, somewhere in Africa; this by order of the American Government. But the mandate did not materialise, even if an option had been taken.
Not a single United States Defense order was secured by Fairchild, in spite of a lot of effort and a lot of time. The lack of such an order became in fact the deatblow for the F-27 production in the US.
Source: http://www.fokkerf27.nl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=54&Itemid=39&limit=1&limitstart=1
Does anyone have any of Fairchild`s three-view or profile drawing of this proposed derivative of the Friendship?

In Box 98 Folder 11 of the Smithsonian's Fairchild Archive Collection there is this: F-27 (M-258) Military configuration, booklets
Also, in Box 503 Fodkler 12: Fairchild M-258 model, photographs
If someone want to write to the archivists, in a few months all curiosities will be satisfied.
I am planning to send a new request to the Smithsonian for other matters. If no one volunteers and you are VERY patient, I can add this.
Though probably not related to the C-138, I have found this Topping model of a military F-27 in the company's 1961 catalog. Information is sparse, but a total of 1,000 models had been produced by August 1958 at a price of $1.50 each. There never was an official military variant of the F-27, so was that wishful thinking on the part of Fairchild, or was a military version of the regular F-27 considered at some point? And if so, what designation might it have sported?


  • Topping.jpg
    110.6 KB · Views: 210
Metal model of Fairchild F27 proposal for United States Marine Corps by Verkuyl found on eBay.

(Alas, the model has rust and is without propellers.)


Seller's description:
VERKUYL metal model of FOKKER F27 -- marketed in USA by Fairchild Hiller. It is a large model length18.5 in, span 22 inches and height 11.5. wgt 5+ lbs.

In the early 1970s the USMC was in the market for a Combat Support Transport to replace the C117. Fairchild propsed a version of the F27 and appeared at USMC HQ with a slick brief and this model. To my knowledge this is a one of model. Model is camo paint and marked MARINES Some corrosion evident but decals/marking all good. Marines ended up with the C9B and the T39.

Models dont get as rare as is this one.


  • $(KGrHqF,!k8E-bsDt7ImBP)o4YV3+g~~60_57.JPG
    205.8 KB · Views: 31
  • $(KGrHqR,!oIE-uf2+zQdBP)o3+l0HQ~~60_57.JPG
    198.8 KB · Views: 24
  • $(KGrHqF,!iUE9juP+tjUBP)o3lBfHw~~60_57.JPG
    191.6 KB · Views: 23
  • $(KGrHqV,!jUE-cLl3gJiBP)o3Ltl+Q~~60_57.JPG
    197.5 KB · Views: 42
  • $(KGrHqJ,!ngE-5nv2B2RBP)o2yyuqw~~60_57.JPG
    188 KB · Views: 41
  • $(KGrHqR,!n4E-u)GW-4zBP)o2,3EpQ~~60_57.JPG
    189.5 KB · Views: 86
  • $(KGrHqJ,!lwE+FKuBNkjBP)o2CirZg~~60_57.JPG
    189.7 KB · Views: 88
  • $(KGrHqR,!k4E-P(MwBCmBP)o1qVkJ!~~60_57.JPG
    189.6 KB · Views: 94
Metal model of Fairchild F27 proposal for United States Marine Corps by Verkuyl found on eBay,


  • $(KGrHqF,!qEE-vkmR4P)BP)o5MCC7g~~60_57.JPG
    229.2 KB · Views: 16
  • $(KGrHqN,!g8E-6Devm-gBP)o4y,)l!~~60_57.JPG
    220.2 KB · Views: 16
Model of Fairchild F-27 in United States Air Force markings manufactured by Topping circa 1954 found on eBay.


Correct me if I am wrong, it is my understanding that the Fokker F27 Friendship, Fairchild F-27, and Fairchild Hiller FH-227, never entered service with the United States Air Force.


  • Fok8.JPG
    36.6 KB · Views: 14
  • Fok7.JPG
    33.6 KB · Views: 16
  • Fok6.JPG
    38.5 KB · Views: 14
  • Fok5.JPG
    26.5 KB · Views: 30
  • Fok4.JPG
    31 KB · Views: 29
  • Fok3.JPG
    41.6 KB · Views: 30
  • Fok2.JPG
    38.5 KB · Views: 33
  • Fok1.JPG
    36.7 KB · Views: 34

Similar threads

Top Bottom