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Posted 6/23/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

The C-8 was the designation for the first production order of Fairchild Model 71 monoplanes tested by the Army Air Corps as XC-8. The C-8 was essentially identical to the XC-8. The primary difference was the upgrade of the engine to a version with 40 more horsepower. The more powerful engine did not increase the aircraft's performance, however.

In 1930, the Air Corps created a new designation system for photo reconnaissance and mapping aircraft using F-. The XC-8 became the first aircraft in the new series and was re-designated XF-1. The C-8 became YF-1 and was used for service acceptance testing. The aircraft was fitted with mapping and survey cameras and flight tested for suitability in this role.

The C-8/YF-1s were used primarily as light staff transports and for mapping air routes within North America. The aircraft was ruggedly built and could operate from just about any location with enough cleared space to takeoff and land. The plane could also be equipped with skis for operating on snow and ice, and floats for operating from lakes.

The C-8 was used throughout the 1930s and into the early 1940s before being phased out in favor of newer observation and liaison type aircraft.

Type Number built/
C-8 8 Production XC-8

Engine: Pratt & Whitney R-1340-7 Wasp radial of 450 hp
Maximum speed: 138 mph
Cruising speed: 110 mph
Range: 900 miles
Service ceiling: 17,500 ft.
Span: 50 ft. 0 in.
Length: 33 ft. 0 in.
Height: 9 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 5,500 lbs. gross weight
Crew: 1-2 (pilot and camera operator)
Cargo/passenger capacity: Six passengers or approx. 1,200 lbs. of cargo
Serial numbers: 30-388 to 30-395 

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