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FAIRCHILD HILLER FH-227 (N2707R)

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After doing quite a bit of checking in FA's photo gallery, I have not been able to find even one pic of an F-27 wearing Piedmont paint, so I dug out this 50-year-old Kodak 127 film B & W of Piedmont's N2707R, named "James River Pacemaker," flying over Gravelly Point Park while on its short final to Washington's National Airport (now KDCA). This half-century old print, snapped with a Kodak Brownie camera, was pretty faded, but I scanned it and then used an editing program to beef up the contrast in order to make it viewable again.
A special Thank You to FA member "skyhawkrg" for providing me with the name of the location where I took this photo. I took this way back in the 60s while my family was visiting Washington, D.C., and I was not able to remember the correct name of Gravelly Point Park, so skyhawkrg provided the name to me.

Comments

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Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
I have entered the Airline Code as "PDT"; however, the correct Airline Code is actually "PAI." The Piedmont Airlines seen in this picture is the airline that existed from 1948 to 1989. That airline was based in Winston-Salem, N. Carolina. In 1989, PAI was absorbed into the US Air system (which today is now known as American Airlines). The present-day Piedmont Airlines (code "PDT") is HQed in Maryland.
The Winston-Salem based Piedmont flew both types of Fairchild aircraft: the F-27 Friendship seen in this picture and also the longer FH-227. (Am I right, Dave S., or do I have my facts confused?)
Dave Sheehy
Hi Gary- I am not sure about the Fairchilds, but your timeline and synopsis of the original Piedmont is spot on. I believe the carrier now known as Piedmont used to be called Henson Airlines. Thanks for saving that old B&W Piedmont shot and posting it here. Long live the Speedbird!
CHRIS ROBEY
Hi guys! this looks to me like an F27 with her shorter fuselage length. Around seventy seven feet. A great shot which highlights the slotted Fowler (wing area increasing) trailing edge flaps. This gave us a Vref as slow as 95 knots at a light landing weight in the early production model F27 series 200s...
Roy Hunte
Uh Chris, check the description, it says F27, could be a FA glitch.
Roy Hunte
Great shot Gary!
Great resurrection of an old photo!
Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
Dave, Chris, and Roy .. Hi again guys. TY for the comments.
Dave, I was doing a bit of research on N2707R this morning. I found info on two F27s registered as N2707: one registered N2707 and the other formerly registered N2707R. As of right now, I am still unable to definitively determine which one of those had previously been PAI's "James River Pacemaker"; however, either way, the news wasn't good. After ending its service with the original Piedmont Airlines (PAI), this F27 had gone on to one of two other airlines. The info I tracked revealed that "JRP" either went to an airline on the west coast and then crashed in Alaska as N2707 in the mid 60s or it went to Air Manila, received a new reg. #, and crashed in the Philippine Republic in the late 60s. No injuries or fatalities in either crash, but in both crashes the F27 was written off, so no matter which one it was, the James River Pacemaker did not survive its flying years unscathed.
Chris, Hi and Thanks for the detailed info. I did enter "F27" when I uploaded this pic but the FA identifier came up "Fairchild Hiller 227." Piedmont Airlines operated both F27s and FH227s, and their F27s had the model prominently displayed on the tail as seen here. I appreciate getting the more detailed info from you about the F27s. Thanks, Chris.
Roy ... my earliest pictures with the Kodak Brownie were all B & W, not because there wasn't color film back then (lol), but because I was a kid and B & W film was all I could afford to buy. I really wish these 127 film pics had been color film. I hesitate to post them because no one really likes B & W nowadays, but hey, what the heck, these aren't "nowadays" pics, so they are what they are. TYVM for your support and positive comment, Roy.
(Wave to all)
Tom Vance
Good stuff Gman. You give me hope as I have boxes full of B&W airliner negatives - one of these days I'll start posting...
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