Rural Planes

Is it just me or is it unusual to see a fleet of military aircraft lined up alongside grazing cattle?  Such was the scene in my neck of the woods in the days of yore.

Fairchild-built C-123’s sit in the background as cattle graze near the company’s main plant off of Rt. 11 north of Hagerstown in 1957. (Source: ‘Pegasus’ August of 1957 via Cracker Barrel Magazine’s Feb/Mar 2007 issue, back cover)

From 1931 to 1984, Fairchild Aircraft was one of the chief employers in Washington County, Maryland.  The workforce was a diverse group – younger and older, male and female – of various levels of education.  (At one time or another, three of my grandparents enjoyed the paychecks that Fairchild provided.)

Founded by Sherman Fairchild, the aircraft company was a leader in aerial mapping and photography equipment, and it produced the first U.S. aircraft (the Fairchild FC-1) with a fully enclosed cockpit and hydraulic landing gear.[1]

Over the years, Fairchild manufactured several more models for the military, including the C-123 Provider, a military transport aircraft built for the United States Air Force and later used by the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.