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The Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation, founded in 1920 by the inventor and entrepreneur Sherman Mills Fairchild (April 7, 1896 - March 28, 1971) was the manufacturer of a range of aerial cameras.
Sherman M. Fairchild was born in Oneonta, New York, in April 1896 as the only child of congressman and a founder of International Business Machines (IBM), George W Fairchild. Sherman attended college at Harvard, the University of Arizona, and Columbia, studying engineering and aerial photography (graduating from none of them). In 1917 Fairchild was rejected from the US military because of poor health. Determined to help with the war effort, he and his father went to Washington to see if his experience with cameras might be helpful. At the time, the aerial cameras available to the US Army produced poor quality images because the camera's slow shutter speed could not keep up with the motion created by the airplane. Fairchild developed a camera with an between-the-lens shutter which produced much clearer images. Even though the Army did not accept his camera until World War I had ended, it acquired two units for training. Fairchild started the Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation in February 1920 as a vehicle to built and distribute his aerial cameras. Soon after the US Army placed orders for the and made the Fairchild the standard military camera.
Cameras produced by FairchildEdit
Cameras produced by Fairchild:
Hand-held camera for aerial obliques, 57 x 7 format; black finish with wooden hand grips, with Carl Zeiss Tessar 250mm/f4.5 lens 
The F-8 was focal plane shutter camera for oblique aerial photos, manufactured by Fairchild (fitted with a Schneider Xenar 240mm/f4.5) and under licence by Keystone (fitted with a Wollensak-Tele 15"/f5.6).
Hand-held camera for aerial obliques, 7 x 7 format; black wrinkle finish with wooden hand grips, with Bausch and Lomb lens-astigmat 8 1/4in. f:4,
A Reconnaissance Camera, primarily operated by the US Navy, fitted with a range of lens cone options:
- 5.25-inch / f6.3
- 8.25-inch / f4
- 20-inch / f5
- 40-inch / f8
Aerial mapping camera with automatic data imprint. With aerostigmat lens 12-inch/f5
A large camera for oblique aerials, produced before 1929 and used by Bradford Washburn for many of his images of mountains and glaciers in Alaska.
Spotting camera. A hand-held camera, with a Kodak 95 mm lens and a focal plane shutter, was used by the pilot for recording points of interest while on general reconnaissance missions. With Kodak 95/ f3.5 lens.
The K-17 was a Reconnaissance and Mapping Camera with between-the-lens shutter camera for vertical and oblique aerial photos, using 9 1/2" wide roll film for 9" x 9" images, with exchangeable cones with Bausch and Lomb Metrogon lens of 6", 12" and 24" focal length 
- 6-inch / f6.3
- 12-inch / f5
- 24-inch / f6
The K-18 was a Medium to High Altitude Reconnaissance Camera for 9 1/2" wide roll film for 9" x 18" negatives. The camera was comprised of a single-unit housing and 24-inch / f6 focal length 
The K-19B Night Reconnaissance Camera for 9" x 9" format with a 12-inch / f2.5 lens cone 
The K-20 was a low altitude aerial camera for oblique photos, with a 6.375-inch / f4.5 lens, designed by Fairchild and manufactured under licence by Graflex
An focal plane shutter camera for 9" x 9" format with a range of lens cone options for 
- 6-inch / f6.3
- 12-inch / f5
- 24-inch / f6
- 40-inch / f5
- 40-inch / f5.6
- 40-inch / f8
An aerial camera for oblique photos, designed by Fairchild and manufactured under licence by Graflex
Camera designed for medium- to high-altitude night reconnaissance. Fitted with Kodak Aero-Ektar 305/f2.5.
Kamera für mittel-bis hoch gelegenen Nachtaufklärung konzipiert. Fitted with Kodak Aero-Ektar 305/f2.5.
Aerial Reconnaissance Still Picture Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in Martin RB-57E, RF-4, and RF-101A/C photo reconnaissance aircraft
Aerial Reconnaissance Still Picture Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in A-26A, RF-84F, and RF-101A/C photo reconnaissance aircraft
Aerial Reconnaissance Still Picture Camera; manufactured by Fairchild
Low-Altitude Panoramic Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in RF-4, RF-5E, RF-8A/G, RF-101, RB-57E, F-111C (Australia), and the Mirage III-O (Australia)
Notes specific to the use of the KA-56 in the Mirage III-O aircraft ..... The KA-56 was mounted inside a replacement nose cone that was fitted to the front of the aircraft in lieu of the normal Radar equipped nose cone. For additional Photo Recon capability, a pair of RAF sourced Vinten F-95 oblique recon cameras fitted into a module that replaced the normal DEFA 30mm Canon in the "Gun Bay".
Panoramic High-Speed Aerial Still Picture Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in OV-1, RF-8A/G, AQM-34 photo reconnaissance aircraft
Panoramic High-Speed Aerial Still Picture Camera (modified KA-60); manufactured by Fairchild; used in RF-8A photo reconnaissance aircraft
Panoramic High-Speed Aerial Still Picture Camera (modified KA-60); manufactured by Fairchild; used in F-105G photo reconnaissance aircraft
70mm Framing Camera; manufactured by Fairchild
Medium-Altitude Panoramic Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in RB-57E, RF-4B photo reconnaissance aircraft
Panoramic Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in AQM-34 photo reconnaissance aircraft
Panoramic Camera; manufactured by Fairchild
70mm Panoramic Strike Recording Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in A-7D, F-4E, F-100F, O-2A, OV-10C, RF-111C (Australia), P-3C (Australia) photo reconnaissance aircraft
Still Picture High-Altitude Mapping Camera; manufactured by Fairchild; used in RC-130A, RF-4 photo reconnaissance aircraft
High-Acuity Aerial Reconnaissance Camera System; manufactured by Fairchild; used with ES-25 photo reconnaissance aircraft
Panoramic High-Speed Aerial Still Picture Camera (KA-60C modified with larger 6000 ft. capacity magazine); manufactured by Fairchild; used in AQM-34 photo reconnaissance aircraft
- ↑ Wikipedia entry on Sherman Mills Fairchild
- ↑ Fairchild Aviation Corporation by the US Centennial of Flight Commission
- ↑ National Air and Space Museum Object A19710962000
- ↑ National Air and Space Museum Object A19710963000
- ↑ National Air and Space Museum Object A19710957000
- ↑ Bradford Washburn's Fairchild K-6
- ↑ National Air and Space Museum Object A19620090000
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Aerial Cameras by 20th Combat Mapping Squadron