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Photo ID: 1011440
click image to enlarge
Model: Fairchild 24W-40 Registration: NC404
Year: 1940 Serial Number: 172
Engine(s): Continental W670, 220-HP, 7-cylinder radial Owner: Jeff J. & Deanna J. Bertrand, Anchorage, AK
Location: Z41, Lake Hood Airstrip, Anchorage, AK Photographer: Ken Stoltzfus
Date: July 2004 Present Registration: Same Present Owner (FAA info): Same
Notes: 9/1404 - I was driving around Lake Hood for the umpteenth time when I spotted this Fairchild 24 which had apparently just arrived. Wow - - what a beauty! I bought a copy of the FAA files, where I got the following history.

On Dec. 11, 1940, Fairchild Aircraft, Division of Fairchild Engine & Airplane Corp., Hagerstown, MD applied for Airworthiness and Registration Certificates for Fairchild 24W-40, s/n W40-172. It was registered to Fairchild with Identification Mark "U.S.Navy GK-1 #7034". Interesting, that they would be issued a CAA Airworthiness Certificate, with a Navy registration!

Joe Baugher shows only three GK-1 aircraft, Navy #7032-7034. FAA Aircraft Specification A-707 references the Army UC-61 versions of the Fairchild 24, but not the Navy GK-1.

Note the venturis on the left side, to run the vacuum system for the gyros.

Photo ID: 1011441
click image to enlarge
Notes: Equipment in the December 12, 1940 weight and balance included a wind driven generator; quick release door hinges; Lear radio; gyros; blind flying hood; wheel streamlines and parachutes. It had a 145-HP, 7-cylinder Warner Super Scarab 50A engine with a Sensenich 86CA69 wood prop.

The file contains nothing on transfer from Fairchild to the Navy, and nothing for when it left the Navy. There is a December 1945, application for registration by the Safety Bureau of the Civil Aeronautics Board. Identification Mark on the application was 40-7034. It was given registration NC404.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011442
click image to enlarge
Notes: That's a Stearman type winter-front, and a Stearman air scoop on the right side. Stearman exhaust, too! That stuff used to be so cheap.

In May 1946 the aircraft was completely overhauled and modified for the CAB, for civil certification. It was still powered by the Warner 50A but now had a Fahlin D-629-63 prop and was registered as NC404, an identity it has carried for nearly 60-years. (Understandably, for a while it was N404 instead of NC404.)

In August 1949 the registration was cancelled. An October Bill of Sale shows a price of $375 and the purchaser as the U. S. Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Washington, D.C.

That’s a Curtiss Reed prop, probably about 96” diameter as used on many Wacos. They are much in demand.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011443
click image to enlarge
Notes: In July 1951, N404 was sold to Washington-Virginia Airport, Alexandria, VA, for $1417.75, and in August to William Payne of Arlington, VA. Airframe total time was 1331 hours. In October 1962 the aircraft was rebuilt in WV.

In June 1963 it sold to Alfred Hess of Suitland, MD; in September 1964 to Thomas F. Walton, Wilmington, NC; September 1965 to Dewey Taylor, Wilmington, NC; September 1966 to Midlands Aviation Corp. of Columbia, SC for $1,000; same month to Frank Thweatt, also of Columbia.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken

Photo ID: 1011444
click image to enlarge
Notes: Robert Ward of Charlotte, NC bought NC404 in November 1966. In September 1967 it was converted to the 220-HP, Continental W670 with Serv-Aero Engineering STC SA-4-45. Parts are much more available for the W670 and the performance was certainly improved.

In August 1976 it was bought by Ralph Dale, Moulton Boro, NH, and sold to Armond Giaccarini of Townsend, ME in May 1981 for $6500. The next lucky owner was Philip McColgan Jr. of Pelham, NH who paid $8500. Jeff and Deanna Bertrand of Heber Springs, AR and now of Anchorage, AK bought it in 1994 and are still the registered owners.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
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