The T-46 was the last project of the Fairchild Republic Corporation.

As part of the US Air Force’s failed attempt, the Fairchild T-46, was canceled in 1986 with only three produced. In 1982, the Fairchild-Republic Corporation, won the USAF competition to build the Next Generation Trainer for primary flight instruction, Designated the T-46. It was intended to replace the Cessna T-37 primary trainer aircraft.

It was even planned to produce 650 T-46s for the US Air Force. However, due to budget cuts, the Air Force terminated the T-46 program in 1986. As it was their only aircraft contract, the Republic Aviation Corporation was forced to close after over 50 years of continuously producing military aircraft.

Fairchild T-46
Fairchild T-46

The Fairchild T-46 has a length of 8.99 m, a wingspan of 11.8 m, a height of 3 m, an empty weight of 2.6 tons, and a maximum take-off weight of 3.2 tons. The plane looks flat, stout, placing its crew of two side-by-side. This produced a wider-than-normal fuselage as the turbofan engine housings straddled the fuselage, adding addition girth to the design. It was an H-tail, high-wing design, with simplicity, stability and low operating costs in mind. A retractable, wheeled undercarriage allowed for ground-running.

Power was from 2 x Garrett F109-GA-100 turbofan engines developing 5.9 kN of thrust each. This powered the aircraft to speeds of 457 miles-per-hour and cruising up to 383 mph. Range was out to 1,370 miles while its service ceiling was 46,500 feet.

The aircraft first flew on 15 October 1985. Costs had increased significantly during the development process, with the predicted unit cost rising from $1.5 million in 1982 to $3 million in February 1985. The project was cancelled a little more than a year later, for reasons that largely remain controversial. The Fairchild T-46 was the last project of the Fairchild Republic Corporation.


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