|1965 T-37B Dragonfly / Tweety Bird
|Two 1025-lb Continental J69-T-25s
|33 feet 9 inches
|29 feet 3 inches
|8 feet 10 inches
|6,382 pounds, Empty Weight: 3,870 pounds
|900 statute miles
|Estrella Warbirds Museum
This Plane In Flight
One of the most prominent of the trainer/attack type aircraft was the Cessna Model 318, the Air Force's dual-engine and dual-purpose T-37/A-37, popularly known in various forms as the Dragonfly, Tweety Bird, Tweet, or Super Tweet. The A-37 combat version was developed from the T-37 trainer, which was the standard jet trainer form the mid-'50s into the '70s. As A-37 it served with distinction in an attack role during the Vietnam War and, in its larger role, flew for decades as a primary trainer for the USAF. Both T-37 and A-37 also provided a wide range of services in the air forces of other nations.
Our Cessna T-37B was initially restored to the last Air Force colors and more recently restored to the colors worn by these birds while on patrol in Viet Nam.
The first T-37A was completed in September 1955, making its maiden flight that year, and was delivered to the USAF in June 1956 for use in cadet flight training. Both instructors and students considered T-37A an extremely pleasant aircraft to fly. It handled well and was agile and responsive. Although certainly not overpowered, it was also capable of all traditional aerobatic maneuvers.
T-37B was the next version, with up-rated J-69-T-25 engines to provide about ten percent more thrust and better reliability in its rigorous training schedules.
The prototype XT-37C was a modified T-37B. Primary changes included stronger wings, with a stores pylon under each wing outboard of the main landing gear well for combat duties. T-37C could also be fitted with wingtip fuel tanks, each with a capacity of 65 US gallons, that could be dropped in an emergency. A computing gun sight and gun camera were added, and it could be fitted with a reconnaissance camera mounted inside the fuselage, as well