Fairchild C-26 Metroliner

Capt. Kevin Pickard, Naval Air Station Sigonella commanding officer stands with flight crew in front of a Fairchild C-26 Metroliner prior to his final flight on NAS Sigonella, April 28, 2022. NAS Sigonella’s strategic location enables U.S., allied, and partner nation forces to deploy and respond as required ensuring security and stability in Europe, Africa and Central Command. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Josh Coté)

The Fairchild Aircraft C-26 "Metroliner" is the designation for the Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner series twin turboprop aircraft in the service of the United States military. It was not officially named by the US Armed Forces, but is unofficially known by the same name as its civilian counterpart. The C-26A is the military version of the Model SA227-AC Metro III; the C-26B is the military version of the Model SA227-BC Metro III and Model SA227-DC Metro 23; and UC-26C is the military designation for the Model SA227-AT Merlin IVC.

Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Fairchild Aircraft
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Army
United States Navy
Developed from Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner



Military version of the Metro III (Model SA227-AC).


Military version of the Metro III (Model SA227-BC) and Metro 23 (Model SA227-DC).


C-26B modified with electronic surveillance equipment for drug interdiction missions (USAF operates 11 within the Air National Guard).


Was a used 1983-built Merlin IVC operated for several years as 89-1471. Modified with an integrated sensor package including forward looking infrared and high resolution radar.


C-26Bs transferred from USAF inventory and modified with new navigation equipment for the US Navy, four used for rapid response cargo and passenger transportation in Europe.


One range support aircraft operated by the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands.


Two range support aircraft operated by the US Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility Barking Sands with installed radar units.


Upgrade of 11 C-26B aircraft including an improved Rockwell Collins Proline 21 Electronic Flight Instrument System.

Specifications (C-26A)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 22/14 passengers
  • Length: 42 ft 2 in (12.85 m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 3 in (14.01 m)
  • Height: 16.83 ft (5.13 m)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 14,000 lb (6,400 kg
  • Fuel: 625 gal (2,370 L))
  • Powerplant: 2 × Allied Signal Garrett TPE-331-11U-601G turboprops, 1,400 hp (1080 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 288 knots (331 mph, 533 km/h)
  • Range: 2,025 nm (2,331 mi, 3,750 km)
  • Service ceiling: 31,000 ft (9,500 m)
  • Power/mass: 0.2 hp/lb (337.5 W/kg)


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