W.T. LARKINS COLLECTION
No. 11780. Fairchild 45A JK-1 (0800 c/n 4006) US Navy
Photographed by W.T. Larkins

Fairchild 45A JK-1

01/31/2013. In 1935, when recovery from the depression appeared assured, Fairchild introduced the five-place Model 45, designed by George Hardman. Registered NX15060 (c/n 4000) and powered by the Jacobs L-4 engine with 225 horsepower, the prototype Model 45 was first flown by Richard Henson on May 31, 1935.

The production Model 45A (sixteen built, c/n 4001 to 4016) was the first low-wing monoplane to offer easy control, high lateral stability, and high speed. It introduced aileron-to-aileron flaps termed the most effective ever incorporated into a private plane. Powered by a 320 hp Wright XR-760-6 engine, the low-wing plane was designed to provide airliner luxury to the private pilot and was billed as the "Sedan of the Air." The Model 45 could take off fully loaded in less than 600 ft (183 m) and land at a glide angle of three to one, touching down almost imperceptibly.

The USN acquired a single example in 1936, initially flown as NC16365, later with BuNo. 0800. Designated JK-1 and finished in partial blue, it initially served as the flagship of Admiral Ernest King, then Chief of Bureau of Aeronautics. At NAS Anacostia in 1937, it transferred to NAS San Diego in 1938 and to NAS Alameda when the latter opened in November 1939. Two more JK-1s (BuNo. 34112, 34113) joined the USN during WW II when civil machines were pressed into service.

Created January 31, 2013