Pacific Aerospace Fletcher FU-24 & Cresco


Country of Origin
New Zealand
Agricultural aircraft
Fletcher in the USA originally developed the FU-24 largely for agwork in New Zealand. The FU-24 flew for the first time in June 1954, and production and deliveries began during 1955, following certification on July 22. Seventy 195kW (260hp) Continental IO-470-D powered FU-24s and dual control FU-24As were built in the USA before Fletcher ceased production in 1964, and Air Parts (now Pacific Aerospace) of New Zealand acquired the production rights. Initial New Zealand production was of two models, one powered by a 215kW (285hp) Continental, the other a 225kW (300hp) unit. The subsequent FU-24-950 was powered by a 300kW (400hp) eight cylinder Lycoming IO-720, and was followed up by the similarly powered FU-24-954 from 1979. Like many ag aircraft, the Fletcher was a natural candidate for conversion to turboprop power. The resulting Cresco first flew on February 28 1979 powered by a 450kW (600shp) Avco Lycoming (now Textron Lycoming) LTP-101. Nine such aircraft were built, while a tenth was fitted with a 560kW (750shp) PT6A-34AG. Although PAC announced it would cease aircraft manufacture in 1994, PAC's new owners have placed the Cresco back into production. Initial production was of the LTP-101 powered Cresco 08-600, now the focus is on the PT6A powered Cresco 08-750. PAC also offers turbine FU-24 conversions with PT6s or Walter 601s.
FU-24-954 - One 300kW (400hp) Textron Lycoming IO-720-A1A or A1B fuel injected flat eight piston engine driving a three blade constant speed Hartzell propeller. Cresco 08-750 - One 560kW (750shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-34AG turboprop.
FU-24-954 - Max speed 233km/h (126kt), max cruising speed 209km/h (113kt), typical operating speed range 165 to 210km/h (90 to 115kt). Initial rate of climb 805ft/min. Service ceiling 16,000ft. Range with max payload and reserves 709km (383nm). 08-750 - Max speed 291km/h (157kt), max cruising speed at 75% power 261km/h (141kt). Initial rate of climb 1657ft/min. Service ceiling 26,000ft. Range with standard fuel and no reserves 726km (392nm).
FU-24-954 - Empty equipped 1188kg (2620lb), max takeoff 2465kg (5430lb). 08-750 - Empty equipped 1315kg (2900lb), normal max takeoff 2925kg (6450lb), ag (restricted) category max takeoff 3742kg (8250lb).
FU-24-954 - Wing span 12.81m (42ft 0in), length 9.70m (31ft 10in), height 2.84m (9ft 4in). Wing area 27.3m2 (294.0sq ft). 08-750 - Same except for length 11.07m (36ft 4in), height 3.63m (11ft 11in).
Typical arrangement seats pilot and passenger, and chemical hopper (capacity 1210 litres/265Imp gal/319US gal in FU-24-954, 1770 litre/391Imp gal/470US gal in Cresco). Can also be configured for freight work, or as a passenger aircraft can seat six in rear compartment (earlier models can seat five or six passengers).
Almost 300 FU-24s built in the USA and New Zealand (70 in US, balance in NZ) since 1955. Approx 30 Crescos built.
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Pacific Aerospace Fletcher FU-24 & Cresco
The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.