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Fairchild Metro and Merlin???

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Active member
Nov 28, 2001
Ok, here's an easy question.

What is the difference between a Fairchild Metro and a Merlin??? How can you tell them apart???

Thanks everyone.
Last edited:
Metros are long, Merlins are short fuselages. Early Metros were 226's that barely flew on 2 engines much less 1. The later ones were 227's, and 23's that were better. Both models of the Metros were Garrett powered. Early Merlins had different fuselages than the later Merlin 3b's. Some of the early Merlins were Pratt powered but the majority Garrett powered.
Correct with the exception of the Merlin IVc, which is a SA-227 which came configured for corporate with club and bench seating and a large forward wardrobe. Most of the IVc came with an nice avionics package and a Sperry autopilot.
Exactly right Metrosheriff, forgot about that one!!! We had the early Metro's at Rio Airways in Texas back in the eary 80's when I was there and before. I missed the 226's thank goodness and flew the Twin Otter. I know one guy who had 9 engine failures in the 226's. He was prematurely gray and his hands shook alot!!!

I flew the merlin IIB. It had the original dash 1's. after getting airborne, we'd have to level off at 50 ft to build airspeed. She would not climb until it read 120 on the airspeed indicator. I only had 1 engine failure. But, it had the best pressurization system for a cabin class twin, the same one in the 226. Oh yeah, we also had a funny designation, the SA 26 AT.
I got so carried away with all that nostagia that I forgot to write what I intended to. The original Merlin had it's own new body style but took the wings and gear from the Queen Air. (also brakes) These were pratt powered. They changed engine manufacturers to garrett and the first garrett powered merlin was the Merlin IIB; the pratt powered plane ( say that three times fast ) was the merlin IIA, I don't know if there was a Merlin I.
The Merlin I was - no kidding - Ed Swearingen's wife!! Can't explain that too well, but I had the same question of the factory people when I was there.

The only reason the early Merlins had the Beech sourced wing & tailplanes was that Swearingen ran out of funds! He had to resort to a previously certified design. The first "tall" airplane - the Merlin III, was actually his original design.

I operated a Merlin IIIB (dash 10 powered). I was one hell of a ride. Our maintenance staff and flight crews gained a healthy respect for that machine. I loved it.

I have flown a -6 powered IIB for the last few years.180KT cruise climb gets you about 1500-2000FPM.TAS at altitude is about 260KTS. It also has a nosewheel steering lock and hydraulic gear.The dead giveaway is the King Air tail vs. the cruciform Swearingen tail and the tall gear on other Merlins.I bought a magazine on EBay from 1967 that featured the SA26-AT on the cover,only 1 serial number away from ours.
My company was considering getting the dash 6 conversion to our IIB but there was too much structural work around the engine and wing mounting area. I guess what I'm trying to say is that my boss was too cheap. It sure would have made take-offs less exciting.

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