Fairchild was an American aircraft and aerospace manufacturing company based at various times in Farmingdale, New York; Hagerstown, Maryland; and San Antonio, Texas.
The company was founded by Sherman Fairchild in 1924 as Fairchild Aviation Corporation, based in Farmingdale, and East Farmingdale, New York. It was established as the parent company for Fairchild's many aviation interests. The company produced the first US aircraft to include a fully enclosed cockpit and hydraulic landing gear, the Fairchild FC-1. At some point, it was also known as the Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing Company. The Fairchild Aircraft Ltd. of Longueuil, Quebec, Canada was an aircraft manufacturer during the period of 1920 to 1950, which served as a subsidiary of the Fairchild company of the United States. The Fairchild Engine Company was formed with the purchase of the Caminez Engine Company in 1925. In 1929, Sherman Fairchild purchased a majority stock interest in Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company of Hagerstown, Maryland. The company moved to Hagerstown in 1931.
A series of related designs beginning with the Fairchild FC-1 and continuing to the Fairchild 71 were designed for aerial photography as a result of dissatisfaction towards available aircraft which were incapable of flying steadily enough at a sufficient altitude. In 1935, Fairchild was hired by the US government to do aerial photograph surveys of the United States to track soil erosion and its effects. Their performance and carrying ability led to them becoming one of the most popular bushplanes of the era. A Fairchild 71 monoplane, the Virginia, was taken as one of three aircraft by Richard E. Byrd on his 1928–1929 expedition to the South Pole. It was used for test flights and reconnaissance.