Farmingdale Is Proud Of Fairchild- Hiller
At Fairchild Hiller's Republic Aviation Division, the technical
staff is pushing back the frontiers of technology in many
directions. But its efforts in two particular areas stand out.
First is the application of vertical and short takeoff and landing
technology to fighter- bomber design; the other is the fabrication
of the space age metal, titanium.
Few companies in the world can approach Republic in numbers
of fighter- bombers that have rolled off its assembly lines.
During World War II, more than 15,000 P- 47' s were produced;
after that war 8,400 F- 84, s rolled off the lines and carried the
bulk of the air war in Korea; and today the F- 105 Thunderchief
more than 800 of which were produced in Farmingdale, is the
principal reason for the success of the Air Force's interdiction
efforts in North Vietnam. Because of its awesome fire
power, and its ability to absorb punishment and still return, the
F- 105 is currently flying more than 75 per cent of the Air Force
strike missions over the north.
But imagine an aircraft with greater striking power than the
F- 105, more maneuverable than the F- 105, with a greater
payload radius, that could take off straight up. With no need for
long runways, this fighter- bomber could be dispersed throughout
the theatre. No longer would a i r fields be vulnerable targets
for the enemy.
Republic is designing such an airplane, called the US/ FRG
actical V/ STOL fighter, under contract to the United States
and West German governments. A German firm, EWR Sud of
Munich, is teamed with Republic on this project. Currently
in the systems definition phase, the decision will be made
next ; year on whether or not to proceed into the building of
Just as Republic's experience in the design and development
of V/ STOL aircraft gives it a unique capability in engineering,
so its experience in the use of heat resistant titanium gives
the company a unique capability in the area of manufacturing.
As early as 1953, when supersonic transports were still a
far off dream, Republic developed and began production of a
prototype Mach 3 interceptor, the XF- 103, constructed of
titanium and stainless steel. That program was terminated
by budget cuts but, nevertheless, since those early days,
Republic has processed over 2.5 million pounds of titanium,
has used nearly 1.5 million titanium parts on 15,000 major
assemblies, and has gained 2.5 million manhours of actual
experience in the fabrication of this metal. The aft fuselage
sections of the F- 4 fighter, all of which are produced by Republic,
are approximately one- half titanium. It was this depth
of experience that was largely responsible for Boeing selecting
Republic as a member of its supersonic transport team. The
SST will be of titanium construction to withstand the great
surface heating resulting from the higher speeds and Republic
will build a 60- foot fuselage section.
These are but two directions in which Republic is travelling
as it moves into a diversity of product lines, building for the
future. The F- 105 systems improvement programs; the Boeing
747 " jumbo j e t " program, for which Republic will build all the
moving parts of the wings; the F- 4 aft sections — these provide
a healthy base of business, to which other programs a r e being
added. These other programs include the safety car for New
York State; Micro- Vue, a portable information retrieval system;
programs for extravehicular activities in space; the Bikini
drone; studies of hypersonic vehicles which will travel at speeds
beyond Mach 4; systems for manned space stations; power conversion
systems; and many others.
The future looks promising at Republic. For the first time
since the dark days following the end of the production of the
F- 105, the division is hiring again. Business has stabilized;
the corner has been turned, Republic officials are looking forward
to a period of growth over the next several years.
The Republic F- 105' s which roared off the runways at
Republic Airport in the early 60' s are now carrying
the brunt of the air war into North Vietnam. The
Thunderchiefs fly more than 75 per cent of the Air
Force missions into the North.
One of the prinicpal contracts now under way at Republic
is the production of the aft fuselage sections of the
McDonnell F- 4 Phantom. As work on this program phases
out over the next few years it will be replaced by major
subcontracting on the Boeing 747 jumbo jet and the supersonic
2S Thursda/, March 16, 1957
The Boeing supersonic transport will whisk travelers
through the skies at 1800 miles an hour. Work on this
program will continue well into the 1990' s and Republic
Aviation, will produce a 60- foot section of the body oi
Farmingdale Observer Supplement
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.