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The Airplane:

The Fairchild Metro Series aircraft which as presented herein includes the Metro, Metro II, Metro IIA, Metro IIIAC, Metro IIIBC, Metro 23 DC/CC, Merlin IV, Merlin IVA, Merlin IVC, Merlin 23, Expediter I Cargo, and Expediter 23 were developed as logical evolutionary aircraft from Merlin II Corporate aircraft. The Merlin II first entered corporate service in 1967. The first Metro and Merlin IV aircraft deliveries were in 1970. The Metro, Merlin IV, and Expediter series attained combined sales of 711 aircraft. All variants of the Fairchild Metro Series went out of production in 1996. The low acquisition and operating costs combined with the unmatched payload/range flexibility of the aircraft continues to make the Fairchild Metro Series of aircraft a premier choice of operators considering pre-owned aircraft in the 19 seat range to support their operations.

Highlights of the aircraft’s evolution include the transition from 12,500 lb maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) capability Metro II and Merlin IV/IVA aircraft in 1981, to options for 14,500 or 16,000 lb MTOW aircraft. The aircraft has a 31,000 ft maximum operating altitude. The zero fuel weight (ZFW) for Metro III/Merlin IVC aircraft can also be increased from its original 13,100 lb to 13,900 lb or 14,500 lb (via incorporation of service bulletin) increasing the flexibility range versus payload configuration options.

Economically viable and widely applied modifications are available for to convert production Metro III and Merlin IVC aircraft to access increased payload capabilities to 16,000 lbs MTOW aircraft. Incorporating all service bulletin modifications in essence increase from 13,100 lb ZFW and 14,500 lb MTOW to an aircraft capable of operating at 13,900 lb ZFW or 14,500 lb ZFW and 16,000 MTOW. The 19-seat twin turboprop is equipped with powerful 1,100 SHP Garrett TPE331 turboprop engines, and in its most capable Metro 23 incarnation has an even greater cruise speed (295 kt) as compared with the original Metro II/III/Merlin IV aircraft speed (260 kt).

The aircraft has offered superior safety levels since its inception, designed in compliance with FAR 23 requirements. Seat pitch in the passenger configuration is a comfortable 30 inches (.76 m) and includes options for inclusion of an aft lavatory. The cargo hauler incarnation of the aircraft in its most capable Metro 23 form includes the highest maximum useful load at 7,100 lb (3,220 kg) and maximum payload at 5,000 lb (2,268 kg) of any of its major competitors (Beech 1900D and Jetstream S31).

Fairchild Metros are flown by over 50 companies in 10 countries. The world fleet has logged more than seven million flight hours and carried more than 30 million passengers. At present, Fairchild Metro series aircraft enjoys increasingly wide spread use in its "second life" as a cargo hauler, quick change and air ambulance.

Metro III (most capable version) Specifications:

External Dimensions
Overall Span 57.00 ft. (17.70 m)
Height (maximum) 16.70 ft. (5.10 m)
Overall Length 59.40 ft. (18.10 m)

Passenger Cabin Dimensions
Width 5.17 ft. (1.57 m)
Height 5.00 ft. (1.50 m)

Baggage Compartment
Passenger Configuration
Volume 143.5 cu. ft. (4.1 cu. m)
Capacity 850 lbs. (385 kg)
Cargo Configuration
Volume 634.0 cu. ft. (18.0 cu. m)

Design Weights (note: Metro IIIAC model via inclusion of service bulletin)
Maximum Take-off 16,000 lbs. (7,257 kg)
Maximum Landing 15,500 lbs. (6,804 kg)
Maximum Zero Fuel 13,900 lbs. (6,305 kg) note: option for 14,500 ZFW
Passenger Configuration
Maximum Payload 5,000 lbs. (2,268 kg)
Cargo Configuration
Maximum Payload 5,600 lbs. (2,540 kg)

Performance Summary
Takeoff Field Length 4,300 ft. (1,311 m)
Landing Field Length 2,400 ft. (732 m)
Maximum Cruise Speed 265 kts. (485 km/h)
(ISA, typical cruise wt, FL180)

The Metro Cargo Hauler:

Metro Series Cargo Conversion Overview

Cargo up to 5,600 lbs may be distributed between compartments 1,2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. The cargo must be loaded in accordance with the aircraft weight and center of gravity limitations. Loose packages retained by the barrier nets must not exceed the floor loading of 100 pounds per square foot, or the total compartment capacities noted below. Loose packages in excess of 75 lbs and 15" square are considered non-standard articles and may be secured in any compartments (subject to total weight and floor limitations noted) by the use of the floor fittings and tie-down devices.

This aircraft is equipped, in all compartments, with anchor plate cargo tie-down rings and cargo track.

The maximum cargo weight limitations for this acceleration is predicated on the following factors: aircraft empty weight, aircraft zero fuel weight, and the aircraft’s maximum permissible take-off weight (gross weight) by aircraft model(s), i.e.; 12,500 lb, 14,500 lb or 16,000 lb Metro aircraft. The aircraft empty weight with C.G., empty MAC #, along with zero fuel and gross weight limitations are found in the aircraft weight and balance manual.

Cargo nets are provided to restrain cargo. They may be installed at fuselage stations 224, 275, 351, 411 and 492 (approximately). This STC provides for a supplemental auxiliary tie-down net capable of securing individual or collective loads.

The net is of rectangular design with mesh from side-to-side and hooks to attach to the floor seat tracks. The net also has the following characteristics:

  • Adjustable hooks and straps located on the aft sides with quick disconnect hooks on both ends to pull over cargo and secure as appropriate.
  • D-rings located fore and aft and left to right every 24" on its outside face to allow the operator to use the net to secure articles of smaller sized packages. This is accomplished by connecting the adjustable straps and relocating them to an appropriately located D-ring on the net.
  • Net hooks which are secured to the floor track by using cargo tie-down rings, which can be located every 24" on the applicable tracks.
  • Individual re-locatable tie down fittings shall not be located closer than 12" to any barrier net hook ring.
  • For individual containers or packages, the net can be wrapped around or over the article using the adjustable straps to quarter the article and secure it using appropriately located D-rings on the net and floor.
  • The adjustable straps located on each net can be removed by unclasping and used to secure packages or cargo individually or collectively as required (there are 4 removable straps per net).

Standard loading procedures concern all articles of freight or cargo that weigh less than 75 lbs (U.S.) single unit weight. The physical dimensions of any freight package is of no concern if its total weight is less than 75 lbs. The operator is unrestricted in loading of these articles into any loading compartment within the aircraft by quantity or size, (as long as floor loading and aircraft weight and balance are maintained within operating limitations) without further restraining beyond the vertical barrier nets. Any freight that falls outside of this weight limitation (75 lbs) shall be treated as non-standard loading and must be handled as such.

The procedures to be used for freight or cargo that is non-standard to the typical loads expected to be carried in this aircraft are also outlined. Non-standard loads are defined as freight or cargo that exceed the 75 lbs (U.S.) single unit weight and packages or containers that exceed the length of any of one cargo loading compartment.

Metro Cargo Specifications (Metro III model)

Compartment #1
Location: F.S. 163.00 to 224.00
Length: 5.08 linear ft.
Maximum Weight: 1,000 lbs. (454 kg)

Compartment #2
Location: F.S. 224.00 to 275.00
Length: 4.25 linear ft.
Maximum Weight: 1,000 lbs. (454 kg)

Compartment #3
Location: F.S. 275.00 to 351.00
Length: 6.33 linear ft.
Maximum Weight: 1,000 lbs. (454 kg)

Compartment #4
Location: F.S. 351.00 to 411.00
Length: 5.00 linear ft.
Maximum Weight: 1,000 lbs. (454 kg)

Compartment #5
Location: F.S. 411.00 to 492.00
Length: 6.75 linear ft.
Maximum Weight: 1,000 lbs. (454 kg)

Compartment #6
Location: F.S. 492 to 530
Length: 3.17 linear ft.
Maximum Weight: 600 lbs. (272 kg)

Total Payload: 5,600 lbs (2,540 kg) (Note: total varies depending on aircraft model & empty wt.)

The Modified Cabin (forward facing view)

The Modified Cabin (aft facing view)

The passenger compartment typically is equipped with 19 passenger chairs. The chairs are installed in two rows with individual seating on either side of the aisle. The back of some chairs fold, and the inboard armrest leg hinges up. To provide space for cargo the seats may be removed or stowed. A movable bulkhead provides visual isolation of the passenger and cargo compartments. Fittings are provided for its installation at each chair station as far forward as the aft emergency escape hatch. This enables conversion between passenger and cargo loading at 30-inch increments, with passenger loading through the forward door and cargo through the aft door. The cabin flooring is designed for uniformly distributed loading at 150 pounds per square foot. A cargo tie down net is provided as loose equipment. A shelf is installed just aft of the rear cargo compartment. The shelf is designed to carry additional remote-mounted avionics equipment as well as a number of standard equipment items. An upward lifting aft cargo door on the left side of the aircraft. The door is 51.25 by 53 inches in size.

The passenger entrance door is located on the left side forward of the prop plane and is of the air stair type. Three emergency exits incorporating normal cabin windows are provided. Each exit provides a 20 by 28 inch opening. Two are located on the right side of the fuselage over the wing and one is located on the left side of the aircraft over the wing.


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