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C-26 Metroliner

The C-26 is operated exclusively by the Air and Army National Guard and was first delivered in 1989. They have quick change passenger, medevac, or cargo interiors. The C-26A is the civilian equivalent of the Fairchild Metro III with the C-26B being equivalent to the Fairchild Metro 23. The C-26B(CD) [Counter Drug] and the UC-26 are National Guard Bureau aircraft used to support the Air National Guard in drug control operations. The UC-26C is a derivative of the Fairchild Merlin IVC. The C-26B provides time-sensitive movement of personnel and cargo, as well as limited medical evacuation. The UC-26C provides support to counter drug (CD) operations. Additionally, up to ten ANG C-26Bs are being modified to carry specialized electronic equipment used to support CD operations.

The C-26 aircraft, manufactured by Fairchild Aircraft Incorporated, is a high performance, fixed wing, pressurized, twin engine turboprop that has accomodations for a pilot and a co-pilot and 19 passengers and/or cargo or a combination of both. It is powered by two Garrett TPE331-12URH engines, rated at 1100 shaft horsepower (820 kw) takeoff power and 1000 shaft horsepower (746 kw) maximum continuous power and equipped with 106 inch (269 cm) diameter McCauly full feathering, reversible, constant speed four bladed propellers.

The aircraft represents an on-call, rapid response, modern air transport for high priority resupply and movement of key personnel to remote, unserviced or feeder sites. Specifically, the aircraft is used to deliver repair parts, equipment, technical teams, crash and accident investigation teams. In its role, such functions as range clearance, Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC), administrative movement of personnel, transportation connections and courier flights are accomplished.

The C-26 Contractor Logistics Support (CLS) Follow-On Acquisition effort in 1997 focused on providing full CLS for 32 Air National Guard (ANG) and Army National Guard (ARNG) C-26B aircraft and 1 ANG UC-26C aircraft. The C-26 Program Office used acquisition streamlining initiatives to remove all Military Standards & Specifications (MIL STDs/SPECs) from the RFP. The RFP Support Office was employed to support the C-26 program. The team also reduced government-mandated Contract Data Requirements Lists (CDRLs) from 22 to 4, and substituted a performance-based Statement of Objectives (SOO) for a Statement of Work (SOW). The requirement was designed to conform to Federal Aviation Administration certifications and standards, creating a high level of interest and competition within the commercial industry. These efforts resulted in program cost avoidance of approximately $33.4M.

On 23 January 1998 the US Air Force Aeronautical Systems Center Reconnaissance Systems Program Office (ASC/RAKBL) awarded a $5,489,211 contract to Versatron Corp. for a replacement Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) System for the Air National Guard C-26B Aircraft. The system is a third generation detector technology, non developmental item consisting of eleven installed and fully integrated systems and two complete spares. The FLIR system includes a Thermal Imaging System (TIS), color TV and Laser Range Finder all co-located in a single gimbal turret, plus any separate associated electronic units. The turret fits in the existing pod and weighs less than 145 pounds. The total system including the turret, electronic units and cabling weighs less than 285 pounds. The turret rotates a full 360 degree in azimuth field of regard and elevation coverage above 0 degree level elevation and beyond -90 degrees (NADIR). The FLIR is able to receive azimuth and elevation cue commands. The Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) and Noise Equivalent Temperature Difference (NETD) combined must result in a Minimum Resolvable Temperature Difference (MRTD) that provides thermal sensitivity and spatial resolution to detect and recognize a .5m x 2m man size target from other thermal sources or the background at 30,000 feet slant range under clear visibility weather conditions.


Metro III
Model SA227-AC
Metro 23
Model SA227-DC
Merlin IV-C
Engines - number 2
Engines -Type
  • TPE331-llU-601G or -611G
    (with Dowty Rotol propellers)
  • TPE331-llU-602G or -612G
    (with McCauley propellers)
  • TPE331-12UA-701G
  • TPE331-12UAR-701G
  • TPE331-12UHR-701G
  • TPE331-3U-303G
  • Engine Mfg. Garrett (AiResearch)
    SHP 11001100840
    Length 42.17 ft59.33 ft
    Wing Span 46.25 ft57.0 ft
    Height 16.83 ft16.67 ft
    Crew Seats 222
    Passengers 221914
    Ramp Weight 14,110 lbs16,600 lbs12,560 lbs
    Takeoff Weight 14,000 lbs16,500 lbs12,500 lbs
    Landing Weight 14,000 lbs15,675 lbs12,500 lbs
    Zero Fuel Weight 13,13014,500 lbs8,320 lbs
    Usable Fuel 652 gal652 gal544 gal
    Usable Fuel
    (@ 6.7 lb/gal.)
    3,480 lbs3,480 lbs3,645 lbs
    Max Range
    (NBAA IFR reserves)
    2,025 nm2040 nm1,580 nm
    SPEED Max Oper 248 (ktas) 248 (ktas) 248 (ktas)
    Ceiling 31,000 ft25,000 ft30,000 ft

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    Maintained by Robert Sherman
    Originally created by John Pike
    Updated Thursday, January 07, 1999 4:26:20 PM