|TP 88 - Fairchild Metro III/Merlin IV C (1984-)|
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Fairchild (Swearingen) Metro have been one of the most sold commuter
aircraft in the class up to 20 seats.
The aircraft had the advantage to be faster than many of its
competitors and to be one of the first designs in its class with
pressurized cabin. The large rear door made the aircraft also well
suited for cargo operators.
first prototype of the Metro flew in August of 1969 and the latest
version of the aircraft, the Metro 23, which has a higher take off
weight, received certification in 1991. The Swedish Air Force has
operated three Metros in two different variants: Two of the type Metro
III and one of its successor, the Merlin IV C. The Air Force designation
was TP 88.
first Metro was leased in the fall of 1984 to serve as a VIP-transport
aircraft. The aircraft was often used by the Royal Family. It was
painted in the smart blue and white VIP colour scheme. The full
designation of this aircraft was TP
88A. It got the Air Force number 88001.
When the leasing contract expired in 1986, the 88002 was replaced
by a Merlin IV C, (TP 88B,
#88002) this time bought by
the Air Force. The aircraft had earlier been owned by the domestic
airline Skyways and had carried the civil registration SE-IRM. It became
painted as the 88001 and was also used or VIP-transports, including
passengers from the State, the Royal Court and the Air Force.
October 1987, a third TP 88, also of the variant Metro III, was bought
(official designation TP 88C, SwAF/n 88003). This aircraft was acquired as a flying
testbed for the evaluation of
the airborne early-warning radar FSR-890 Eri-Eye. This aircraft was
painted in the ”Viggen” camouflage scheme. Besides of the tests with
the Eri-Eye, 88003 was used as an ordinary transport
aircraft. The Eri-Eye is now operated together with six SAAB 340B (S
TP 88 was powered with two Garret TPE-331 turbo-prop engines, each of
at top: TP 88B (# 88002) at Ljungbyhed May 1988. Photo: Lars.
E. Lundin, Västervik, Photo below:
TP 88C (# 88003) at Ljungbyhed August 1996. Also this photo by Lars
E. Lundin. Photo
at bottom: TP 88A (# 88001), model exhibited at Flygvapenmuseum.
Photo at top: TP 88B (# 88002) at Ljungbyhed May 1988. Photo: Lars. E. Lundin, Västervik,
Photo below: TP 88C (# 88003) at Ljungbyhed August 1996. Also this photo by Lars E. Lundin.
Photo at bottom: TP 88A (# 88001), model exhibited at Flygvapenmuseum.
Length: 18,09 m. Span: 17,37 m. MTOW 6.600 kg. Max. speed: 475 km/h.
For the Model Builder
© Lars Henriksson