Hagerstown Aviation Museum’s Collection Grows with the Addition of the RC-26B “CONDOR” Aircraft

Cover Photo: A maintenance specialist for the Wisconsin Air Nation, 2022. The RC-26 has been stationed at Truax Field since January 1992, and was assigned to the ANG counter-drug program in 1996, supporting both state and federal counter-narcotics, counter-insurgency and homeland security missions. (Senior Master Sgt. Paul Gorman/Air National Guard)

HAGERSTOWN, MD News (2/14/2023) – The Hagerstown Aviation Museum is eagerly awaiting the arrival of a 1993 Fairchild RC-26B “CONDOR” Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) Aircraft on February 15, 2023. This aircraft has been retired from active service after serving state and federal authorities in various missions, including combatting narcotics, providing photographs of flood damage, identifying search and rescue sites for the US Coast Guard, and searching for forest fires. The aircraft uses infrared and electro-optical imaging to find and map targets.

The aircraft’s journey from Houston, Texas, to the Hagerstown Regional Airport is expected to be an exciting event for aviation enthusiasts and the public. The plane is scheduled to arrive between 12:00pm and 1:00pm, and the museum has invited everyone to witness the event. The aircraft will join the museum’s collection of twenty-five historic aircraft housed in the original 1943 Fairchild Aircraft Flight Test Hangar.

The RC-26B Program began in 1989, and these aircraft were spread across Air National Guard units in ten states. The program came to an end in December 2022, and thanks to the efforts of the GSA and DGS Surplus Property Division of Maryland, the Hagerstown Aviation Museum was able to acquire one of these historic Fairchild aircraft.

The museum’s mission is to preserve, research, interpret, and educate the public about the aviation heritage of the Hagerstown, Maryland region. The museum has collected thousands of artifacts related to the region’s aviation history, and the addition of the RC-26B to its collection will undoubtedly help it to tell untold stories of this special unit.

The RC-26B was primarily used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, and it played a crucial role in helping authorities combat narcotics. The aircraft could fly at high altitudes and used its infrared and electro-optical imaging systems to identify targets. Its capabilities helped the authorities locate and apprehend drug traffickers, preventing the spread of narcotics in communities across the country.

The plane also helped authorities provide photographs of flood damage, enabling authorities to assess the situation quickly and allocate resources effectively. It identified search and rescue sites for the US Coast Guard, helping the authorities rescue people in distress. Additionally, the RC-26B searched for forest fires, allowing authorities to take action to prevent fires from spreading.

The RC-26B has served the country for over three decades, and its arrival in Hagerstown is a testament to its significance in the nation’s history. The public is invited to witness this historic event and learn about the aircraft’s contributions to the country’s security.

The Hagerstown Aviation Museum’s collection of historic aircraft is a testament to the region’s contribution to aviation. The museum’s mission to preserve, research, interpret, and educate the public about the aviation heritage of the Hagerstown, Maryland region has helped it collect thousands of artifacts and twenty-five historic aircraft.

The addition of the RC-26B to the museum’s collection will undoubtedly help the museum to continue its mission. The aircraft’s unique capabilities and its contributions to the country’s security make it a valuable addition to the museum’s collection. The Hagerstown Aviation Museum has done an excellent job of preserving the region’s aviation history, and the arrival of the RC-26B is a testament to its commitment to this mission.

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