Fairchild Model 91


Ernie always had an interest in seaplanes. His first pilot's license, after all, was for "hydroairplanes." However, we do not know why he had this photo of the Fairchild Model 91 Amphibian. In fact, it took considerable research even to discover what this airplane was. Both photos are stamped "Flying Dutchman Air Service" but were otherwise unlabeled.

The Model 91 was designed for Pan American, to be used for flying up and down rivers in China and Brazil. Pan Am ordered six, but the first one was delivered late and Pan Am cancelled their order for four of them. It came out in 1935. Including the prototype, only seven were ever built.

It appears that these may be pictures of the prototype. Only the prototype was built with retractible wing floats; all subsequent aircraft were equipped with fixed floats.

A reference (PDF format) describing the plane and its history is found in Skyways, April 2008.