Cessna XT-37 'Tweet'

  Base model:T-37
  Designation System:U.S. Air Force
  Designation Period:1948-Present
  Basic role:Trainer

Not Yet Available

Known serial numbers
54-716 / 54-718


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 Guy E. Franklin
 Deatsville, AL
The Cessna XT-37 was the first specifically designed jet trainer and was built by Cessna Aircraft Company in Wichita, Kansas. Initially known as the Cessna Model 318, the prototype was flown in 1954. It had a top speed of 393 mph. The T-37 Tweety Bird or Tweet, referred to as such because of its ear-piercing engine whine that sounds like a fluttery whistle, was later adapted to become the A-37 Dragonfly, a ground attack aircraft used in Vietnam.

The XT-37 was very aerodynamically clean, and so an air brake was fitted behind the nosewheel door to reduce landing speed. Given that the landing gear was short and the engine intakes were consequently close to the ground, the XT-37 was equipped with screens that pivoted up over the intakes from underneath when the landing gear was extended to prevent foreign object damage.

The XT-37 was fitted with two Continental-Teledyne J-69-T-9 turbojet engines with 4.1 kN (920 lbf) thrust each. These were actually French Turbomeca Marboré engines, built under license. The engines incorporated thrust deflectors to allow the engines to remain spooled up during landing approach, permitting shorter landings while still allowing the aircraft to easily make another "go-round" in case something went wrong. Total weight of the XT-37 was 2.27 tonnes (5,000 lb).

Tests showed the XT-37 had a maximum speed of 630 km/h (390 mph) at altitude, with a range of 1,500 km (935 mi). The aircraft was unpressurized, and so limited to a ceiling of 7.6 km (25,000 ft) by USAF regulations.

Second T-37 prototype (Cessna)The initial prototype crashed during spin tests. The later prototypes incorporated new features to improve handling, including long strakes along the nose, and an extensively redesigned and enlarged tail. After these modifications, the USAF found the aircraft acceptable to their needs, and ordered it into production as the T-37A. Even so the aircraft remained tricky in respect of spin recovery; the recovery procedure was complex compared with most aircraft.

10/10/2006 @ 07:57 [ref: 14417]
 Wendell Hughes
 Morell, PE
I've always wondered why the T-37 had such a big horizontal
stabilizer. It would make for a very stable free flight
model, but looks out of proportion on an otherwise good
looking airplane.
07/25/2002 @ 21:55 [ref: 5370]


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