Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
|An OA-37B Dragonfly aircraft from the |
|National origin||United States|
|First flight||October 1964|
|Status||Limited service in |
The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet, is an
The growing American military involvement in
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
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
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
The war in
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 "