Fairchild Metro III - Charter info
The Metro III (Fairchild Metroliner III) is twin turbo-prop private jet. It’s an evolution of the Swearingen Merlin turbo-prop which evolved into the Merlin II to finally become the Metro III. Even though it took some time after its release, the aircraft became very a popular commuter. At Private Jet Charter, we like all private jets and this one in particular has a special place in our hearts. That’s why we would like to share it with you today.
Facts about the Fairchild Metro III
Aircraft Type: Turboprop
Range: 1300 miles (2130 km) 1150 nautical miles
Crew: Captain, First Officer & Cabin Attendants
Cabin dimensions: Length 25 ft (7.6m), Width 5 ft 2 in (1.6m), Height 5 ft (1.5m)
Luggage capacity: 143.5 cubic feet (4.1m³)
Let’s start with some numbers
The Metro III was first flown in August 1969 and was finally introduced in 1972. The builder, Fairchild (which bought Swearingen and was later renamed Fairchild Dornier) has delivered more than 600 of them! The price of the aircraft varies depending on its age and condition, and since they are no longer made, you will only find second hand aircraft between 300 000 dollars to 600 000.
The length of the plane is 59.4 feet, its width is 57 feet and its height is 16.8 feet. The cabin (without the cockpit) is 5.17 feet wide and about 25 feet long. You will have to bow your head a little bit as its height is of only 5 feet.
The maximum fuel capacity of the Metro III is average with 5405 pounds. The empty weight of the aircraft is 8,737 pounds. It can take off as heavy as 14500 pounds. It is equipped with 2 Garrett AiResearch TPE-331 turbofan engines of 820 KW of power. That’s a lot of power for such a plane!
The Metro III performs well on short runways and can fly for up to 2 hours. It can cover distances as long as 1150 nautical miles at a maximum speed of 311 knots. Its operational speed however is of 278 knots.
The Metro III was developed from the Merlin and received a new fuselage (and a new nose), a vertical fin, wings, landing gear and a cruciform tail. It was even later stretched so that it could seat 22 passengers. However, due to FAA regulations it is not possible to seat more than 19 passengers if no flight attendants are on-board. Its greater wing span makes it fairly economical to operate. The latest version released (the Metro 23) features an even better take-off weight thanks to more powerful engines and system improvements derived from the military version of the jet.
Since the aircraft was developed in the 70’s its cockpit has a very specific style. It features mechanical gauges, classic switches and alarm buttons as you can see on the picture above. The cabin has seats that recline by 30 degrees (an interesting new feature for the time) and can have an aft lavatory as an option. The aircraft also features other configurations than corporate such as air ambulance and a military version.
Travelling in Boeing Business Jet / BBJ
The cabin of the Metro III is fairly long and wide, however, it is not very high and you will be required to walk with your head bent to move around the cabin. The seats are comfortable and recline by 30 degrees. This is less than more modern seats on more modern aircrafts but considering the year these aircrafts were developed, it’s already fairly impressive. The cabin is also quite luxurious. It is pressurized, which allow the aircraft to fly higher while the air in the cabin is still comfortable and breathable. The Metro III is an efficient commuter and flights are usually short so its lack of entertainment system shouldn’t affect you too much.
Video of a Fairchild Metro III landing.