Federal Aircraft Corporation CM-3


ACCESS: Top Secret
Senior Member
Jan 28, 2008
Reaction score

Federal Aircraft Corporation CM-3

The CM-3 was built by a group of aircraft mechanics formerly employed at Ryan Mechanics Monoplane Co. They formed the Federal Aircraft Corporation in Los Angeles during February 1928 before moving to San Bernardino, California. They engaged William Waterhouse as the principal stress engineer on their CM-3 design. Ribs design was undertaken by O.R. McNeel, F.C. Ayars and H. Hunold. During the late 1920s the firm claimed that they had orders for 50 examples from various distributors but only one was ever built. The entire project was abandoned when the employees all left when the money ran out.

The design was loosely based on the five-seat Ryan Mechanics Lone Eagle monoplane that the founders of Federal had all been involved with. The type was conceived to satisfy the need for a three seat monoplane with and enclosed cabin to be used as an express or mail feeder as well as for student instruction. The aircraft was designed to be flown from the front or rear seat. The seating was all in-line.

The CM-3 was to be powered by a Hallett engine which produced 130hp at 1,800 rpm. Despite it being an unusual engine it performed well in the prototype.

The aircraft was built or chrome molybdenum seamless steel tubes, including the wing ribs. It was fabric covered. The CM-3 was a strutted high wing aircraft with fixed undercarriage. The wings were metal and built as two parts. It featured an unusual strut arrangement between the engine area and the landing gear leg. It had a conventional tail with a tripod skid arrangement at the rear.

The sole example appeared in white (wing and horizontal tail surfaces) , blue (fuselage and struts) and red (vertical tail surfaces). The initial price was advertised at $5,800 per unit, but this was later raised to $8,000. Production variants were to have a wine brown fuselage and terracotta orange wings and tail. These later models were to have two large starboard doors.

The Federal Aircraft Corporation name was later resurrected in 1937 by a company based in Lindenhurst, Long Island, New York, manufacturers of the Federal XPT-1 Trainer.


Engine: 1x Hallett 7-cylinder radial (130hp)

Length: 25 ft 9 in

Height: 7 ft 10 in

Wingspan: 39 ft 6 in

Wing area: 256 sq ft

Wing chord: 7 ft

Maximum speed: 115 mph

Cruise speed: 95 mph

Landing speed: 35 mph

Empty weight: 1,450 lb

Gross weight: 2,150 lb

Payload weight: 500 lb

Disposable load: 930 lb

Rate of climb: 750 ft per min

Service ceiling: 12,000 ft

Absolute ceiling: 15,000 ft

Wing loading: 9.5 lb per sq ft

Power loading: 18.6 lb per hp

Range at cruising speed: 400 miles

Endurance at cruising speed: 4.5 hours

Accommodation: Three

Aerofoil: Gottingen 398

Production: One

Skyways – The Journal of the Airplane 1920-1940
(#35) July 1995
Aviation 12 January 1929 issue


  • Federal_Aircraft_CM-3_Project_Schematic.jpg
    95.1 KB · Views: 29
  • Federal_Aircraft_CM-3_(NASM_1A-44396)_Image.jpg
    105.4 KB · Views: 27
  • Federal_Aircraft_CM-3_Wing_Section_Image.JPG
    72.6 KB · Views: 21
  • Federal_Aircraft_CM-3_Rear_Image.JPG
    43.6 KB · Views: 20
  • Federal_Aircraft_CM-3_(NASM_1A-44399)_Image.jpg
    58.5 KB · Views: 28

Grey Havoc

Senior Member
Oct 9, 2009
Reaction score
They were misfortunate with their timing, the Great Depression killed a lot of promising projects.

Similar threads