Status: In restoration
This is the only known photograph of Fairchild Razorback, G-CYWU.
The Only Razorback in Existence
Fairchild Razorback got its name due to the fact that it had what was known as a three-longeron fuselage. This gave it a triangular cross-section as compared with the later FC-2 models such as our FC-2W2, CF-AKT, which incorporated the stronger four-longeron construction.
Our aircraft, G-CYWU, was an RCAF machine that was recovered after languishing for 80 years at Artillery Lake in the Northwest Territories. When restored, G-CYWU will be the only Razorback in existence.
The wreckage includes pieces of the wooden wings as well as the metal fittings. The surviving wood spar fragments have been enormously helpful in guiding the reconstruction. The fuselage frame is on display to give visitors an idea of what our restorers start with.
In 2006, pieces of the aircraft were bundled on site and prepared to be lifted by helicopter to Fort Reliance. The first leg of this journey happened in 2007. In 2008, the shipment was transported by barge from Fort Reliance to Yellowknife and then transported by road in a container ship to Winnipeg. G-CYWU arrived in Winnipeg on September 11, 2008. All the firms involved in the recovery donated their services and we are thankful to them.
In the past year or so, we have allocated most of our resources to the restoration of this aircraft. This project has proven to be one of the most difficult restorations our team has worked on because of the state of the salvaged parts and the fact that each aircraft Fairchild built seemed to be somewhat customized for the customer.
We have had to make up many of our own drawings using old photographs, the rotted remains of the original wing spars and examinations of our Fairchild 71, which is similar in construction. While we do have blueprints for a Razorback, they are extremely complicated and no two are the same.
We have also done some cataloguing of the hundreds of rusted and rotted bits and pieces recovered from the crash site.
After nearly a decade of work by dozens of skilled volunteers, the wings of this aircraft are nearly complete and work has begun on the fuselage. Our welders did considerable work on the fuselage frame, replacing much of the tubing. Our woodwork crew completed the four box wing spars and the 38 wing ribs. They are presently assembling the starboard wing.
We have not been able to find a Lynx engine for this aircraft, so we are considering building a replica Lynx engine out of wood and fibreglass. We have a later, slightly larger Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah engine which we are considering for this project.