Cities From the Sky

Sherman Fairchild, the photographer who transformed aviation

(Smithsonian Institution)

Sherman Fairchild

(Smithsonian Institution)

By the 1950s, the Fairchild company had expanded beyond aerial surveys and aircraft operations and was producing engines, navigation aids, optical instruments, electronics, even missiles.

Sherman Fairchild’s success had made him a wealthy man, allowing him to pursue his myriad interests, which included cooking lessons at the Cordon Bleu. In his Manhattan townhouse, Fairchild collaborated with vocalist Gene Austin, briefly entering the music business; combining his interest in the arts with his mechanical genius, Fairchild developed early magnetic tape players and high-fidelity amplifiers.

The Fairchild company (and its many subsidiaries) eventually produced more than 40,000 aircraft, including the PT-26, the P-47, the F-84, and the F-105.

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus