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Zackey_TNT

United States Aircraft (1950-2000)

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First Aircraft To be looked at is the comman but not very well knowen

 

Cessna T-37 (aka Dragon Fly)

 

The growing American military involvement in Vietnam in the early 1960s led to strong interest in counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft. In late 1962, the U.S. Air Force's Special Air Warfare Center at Eglin Air Force Base's Hurlburt Field in Florida evaluated two T-37Cs for the role.

The Air Force found the T-37 promising, but wanted an improved version of the aircraft that could carry a much larger payload, and had much greater endurance and better short-field performance. This meant a heavier aircraft with more powerful engines. In 1963, the Air Force awarded a contract to Cessna for two prototype YAT-37D aircraft: T-37s with modifications that included:

  • Stronger wings.
  • Three stores pylons on each wing.
  • Larger wingtip fuel tanks of 360 litre (95 US gallons) capacity.
  • A General Electric GAU-2B/A 7.62 mm "Minigun" Gatling-style machine gun, with a rate of fire of 3,000 rounds/minute and 1,500 rounds of ammunition. The weapon was fitted in the right side of the aircraft's nose behind a large, convenient access panel. A gunsight and gun camera were also fitted.
  • Better avionics for battlefield communications, navigation, and targeting.
  • Tougher landing gear for rough-field operation.

These changes meant a drastic increase in aircraft weight and the aircraft now had to carry a significant payload as well. Cessna, therefore, doubled the engine power by replacing the two Continental J-69 engines with General Electric J85-J2/5 turbojet engines with 2,400 lbf (10.7 kN) thrust each.

The first YAT-37D flew in October 1964, followed a year later by the second prototype. The second prototype had four stores pylons under each wing, rather than three, and the first prototype was upgraded to this configuration as well.

Test results were good, but USAF interest in counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft had faded for the moment. The program went into limbo for a time, with the second prototype "put out to pasture" at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

The war in Southeast Asia, however, continued to escalate. Losses of Douglas A-1 Skyraider close-support aircraft in US and South Vietnamese service proved greater than anticipated and USAF interest in COIN aircraft was revived. The YAT-37D seemed like a promising candidate for the job, but the Air Force felt that the only way to be sure was to evaluate the aircraft in combat.

As a result, the USAF issued a contract to Cessna for a pre-production batch of 39 YAT-37Ds, with a few minor changes relative to the prototypes, to be rebuilt from existing T-37Bs. These aircraft were initially designated AT-37D, but the designation was quickly changed to A-37A. The second prototype YAT-37D was pulled out of the Air Force Museum and upgraded to A-37A standards as part of the test program.

The A-37A had a gross takeoff weight of 12,000 lb (5,440 kg), of which 2,700 lb (1230 kg) was ordnance. The A-37A retained the dual controls of its T-37B ancestor, allowing it to be used as an operational trainer.

In combat "forward air control (FAC)" operations, the second seat was occupied by an observer. Only one crewman normally flew in the aircraft for close support missions, permitting a slight increase in ordnance.

 

General characteristics

Performance

Armament

  • Guns: 1× .308 in (7.62 mm) GAU-2B/A minigun (mounted in nose)
  • Hardpoints: 8 under-wing with a capacity of 1,230 kg
  • Gun pods: SUU-11/A (1× 7.62 mm M134 minigun), GPU-2/A (1× 20 mm M197 cannon), 30 mm DEFA cannon
  • Rockets: four pods, each with seven 70 mm/2.75 inch rockets (Mk 4/Mk 40 FFAR rockets in a LAU-32/A, LAU-59, or LAU-68 launcher) or (Mk 66/WAFAR rockets in a LAU-131 launcher)
  • Missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder
  • Bombs: 500 lb (241 kg) Mk.82 (×4 on multiple ejector racks), SUU-14 bomblet dispenser
  • Other: Napalm tanks, SUU-25/A Flare Dispenser

 

Now That we have the specs down lets look at what it looks Like

 

 

t37.jpg

Heres the Trainer Ves On a runway

A-37.jpg

Heres the one with guns and its in combat

Tweet_and_Super_Tweet.jpg

 

This Aircraft Even though it had been lost in time and forgoten. I'd Like to bring it to ADK As the shape and form of this aircraft is very unlike todays aircraft, This was one of the only Cessna Aircraft used in moden day combat (Cessna being mainly Civ Aircraft makers) As well as serveing in Vietnam War And the Salvadoran Civil War This aircraft proved to be very slow for a jet and thus great for CAS After the war, the USAF passed their A-37Bs from the USAF Tactical Air Command (TAC) to TAC-gained units in the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. In the early 1980s these aircraft were assigned to the FAC (Forward Air Control) role and given the designation OA-37B. The OA-37Bs were eventually phased out and replaced in the FAC mission by the much more formidable Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II in regular air force, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve service.

Today Very Few can be found flying at airshows and in Limited service in South American Air Forces

Edited by Zackey_TNT

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I have a big old book of WW2 planes. Got it from my grandpa who trained the b52 bombers how to acquire and aim at the targets through the scope. Got a pair of wings from him too.

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