Fairchild (Swearingen) Metro
1969
Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  AIRLINERVirtual Aircraft Museum / USA / Swearingen  

Fairchild (Swearingen) Metro

The Metro commuter airliner was a fundamentally new design based on experience gained from the smaller Merlin light transport, which itself was derived from the Beech Queen Air. In 1971 the Swearingen Company was acquired by Fairchild. Thereon the Metro continued to be produced in progressively improved variants until 1999, when production ceased with 1053 examples built.

Versions include the C-26A and B variants operated on a variety of missions for the Air National Guard. Meanwhile the Metro remains in service with many commuter and light freight operators, particularly in North/Central America.

Robert Jackson "The Encyclopedia of Aircraft", 2004


Specification 
 MODELMetro II
 CREW2
 PASSENGERS19
 ENGINE2 x 939shp Garrett AiResearch turboprops
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight7257 kg15999 lb
    Payload2268kg5000 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan14.10 m46 ft 3 in
    Length18.10 m59 ft 5 in
    Height5.10 m17 ft 9 in
 PERFORMANCE
    Cruise speed472 km/h293 mph
    Ceiling7620 m25000 ft
    Range w/max.payload346 km215 miles

Comments
michael, 12.03.2016

hegel when big Sky airlines was in billings montana back in 1998 I took my first flight on a fairchild metroliner from billings montana to spokane washington with 1 stop in great Falls montana the flight was OK going up but coming back home the flight was scary those planes are horrible in turbulence but those props were loud and I don't like the looks of the Fairchild metroliner I'll never fly them again but the next year my aunt got me on horizonairlines they had better planes they were CRJ700s

Blair, 26.11.2014

Tom, you got the story wrong. The one that crashed was the result of two captains in the cockpit. One was landing and the other decided they needed to go around so he selected gear up. Landed on the nacelles and slid off the end of the runway, over a dip getting airborne, and re-landed on a rise, breaking it's back. I was maintenance supervisor at Merlin Express, the Fairchild subsidiary that provided flight crews and maintenance for UPS, although not at the time of the accident. I did see the pictures though.

Capt. Fischer Britt Airways, 08.02.2014

My complaint about the Metro was the position of the gear control lever. The lever had a habit of getting kicked by the first officer when he seated himself. Cost me a belly skid on take-off at Galesburg one night.

Capt. Fischer Britt Airways, 08.02.2014

My complaint about the Metro was the position of the gear control lever. The lever had a habit of getting kicked by the first officer when he seated himself. Cost me a belly skid on take-off at Galesburg one night.

Capt. Fischer Britt Airways, 08.02.2014

My complaint about the Metro was the position of the gear control lever. The lever had a habit of getting kicked by the first officer when he seated himself. Cost me a belly skid on take-off at Galesburg one night.

Larry Ludwig, 21.05.2012

You don't measure time in Metros in hours, but in years. I learned to flush rivet in middle school on a field trip to the factory here in San Antonio. Fueled them when I was in college in LBB working for AvTech and we had the contract for Air Midwest. Started flying them for Martinaire out of Love field and spent about 5 years hauling freight for ABX, UPS, DHL, and all the others eventually. Metro (Original) with -10's would outrun the newer 227s all day long. UPS Expiditers couldn't compete. Watched them setup "Package Express" at the factory because UPS required the manufacturer to supply THE CREWS. Imagine that! Went to AMR Eagle in BNA and flew in the right seat for 2 more years (talk about starting over for half the pay) but it led to ATA and then AA in the long haul. Proud member of the Swearingen Glider Club after a deadstick (Mx didn't safety wire the throttles and the control rod ends seperated) landing at Love Field. Loved the airplane, took it to Alaska, Canada, Central America, and always brought us home, sometimes on one engine, but always got there. Chief test pilot at the factory has been my mentor for 30+ years.

Alan Swearingen, 14.02.2012

Thank you.

Tom, 12.12.2010

UPS had a dozen brand New Metroliners (Merlin IV) that they purchased in late 1983. One of them "Got Rolled" in the Wake of a Heavy 747 about midnight going into Louisville Kentucky. A "New Controller" put him in too close behind the 747 inside the OuterMarker and the aircraft did a 400 degree roll to the right at about 1,000 ft AGL., then recovered and went around. Sounds like "TOO Much Fun in the Dark". The Aircraft was "Inspected" and went back out with freight about 5 hrs later.

Bruce Patterson, 08.12.2010

I flew the Metro III's for Horizon Air from 1991 to 1998. Logged approximately 4500 hours in type. My favorite nickname for the plane was "APU's-on-a-stick" as the Garrett engines are commonly used as an Auxillary Power Unit on larger transport category Aircraft. The fanciest equipment the airline had installed on the aircraft were the HSI's and RMI's, no Flight Director's, No Auto-Pilot. One could size up the flying skills of your co-pilot with a single flight in this aircraft. The airplane was Hot in the summer, Cold in the Winter, and would definitely tell you when it had accumulated ice. The propellers would shed ice unevenly and begin to shake the airframe quite noticeably. I have many good memories of my time with this airplane.

Mike Kennedy, 11.11.2010

4000 hours in those things, flying for Wings West, Northeast Express (that's the red one in the picture over Canyon Lake, Texas), Air LA and Conquest Airlines. I took one to Baku, Azerbaijan once from Missouri - it never missed a beat.
Yeah, they were loud, but they seemed to get a little quieter ever year.

Scott Boyd, 07.11.2010

The long dart we used to call it. Flew one a couple of times when Sky West first started up but never went to work with them. Recycled Queen Air/King Air outer wings were used on the initial Merlins, but eventually they made new copies of the same wing.

Two things standout about the Metroliner for me: An FAA inspector, who was a total idiot grounded and Air Midwest plane in ABQ because it had cracks in the ventral fin, minor cracks in the composite structures in those days was very common and nothing snowballed into a major and costly problem. The other was the Metro, sitting on the ramp with
the brakes off and no chalks had the emergency JATO rocket motor go off and didn't budge an inch.

Al Obst, 18.10.2010

I flew the metro (some times called a sewer pipe w/wings) as Captain for Britt Airways out of Terre Haute, IN. You could keep your speed up the OM because 15 degrees of flap at 180kts, gear down at 160, props up and slow right down for landing. But mind your ear protection, those Garret's were loud

Andrew J Chitiea, 24.08.2010

The engine manufacturer was Garrett Air Research, spelled with/out the "e" as the last letter. Garrett was a subsiduary of The Signal Companies, who merged with Allied Corporation, who merged with Honeywell, which then adopted the name of "Honeywell, Inc."

Captai Nelson b. h. from Yemen, 13.05.2009

Garrette engine with 1250 HP and 5 blades
Speed 650 KM/H
Alt. 30,000 ft.
+ Honeywell / Garmin 1000.
ubgrading of the tail.

this is Metro 2000.

Andypilot333, 11.08.2008

Number four in my all-time top six favourite aircraft.

Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft


Virtual Aircraft Museum


All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com