Twin-engined jet aircraft for training in instrument flying, formation flying and night flying.
In the first half of the 1950s jet aircraft came on to the scene in the US Air Force. It was therefore also natural to use jet aircraft for the general elementary training of fighter pilots. The Cessna 318 was chosen and given the military designation XT-37. It first flew in October 1954. The aircraft was developed further and put into mass production for the USAF as the T-37A. The T-37B model was produced from 1959. Altogether nearly 1,300 T-37s of all models were built before production ceased in 1977. Pupil and instructor sit side-by-side in a spacious cockpit.
In 1964 the C-model arrived, with more powerful engines, weapon pylons under the wings and wing-tip tanks. This version was supplied to South Vietnam, Thailand, Peru and Greece among others. From 1969 inclusive certain B-models were modified as weapon platforms under the designation A-37B Dragonfly. The Americans used this type of aircraft on a large scale in Vietnam to track down enemy activity on the ground and then lead in fighter bombers to attack.
The Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s Cessna T-37B Tweet was built in 1957 and has the serial number 57-2247. The aircraft came to Bodø in 1997 through an exchange agreement between the Norwegian Defence Museum and the USAF Museum. Many Norwegian pilots were trained on this aircraft, which belonged to the flying school at Sheppards Air Force Base. The aircraft type is still in use at the flying school.
The aircraft is suspended from the roof in the Royal Norwegian Air Force Museum’s exhibition at the Norwegian Aviation Museum. It conveys knowledge about the training of Norwegian pilots in Texas over the last 30 years. The aircraft’s fuselage and wings are white. On the fuselage forward of the cockpit there is black anti-glare. The identification letters on the side of the fuselage and the numbers on the tailplane are in black. USAF roundels are located on top of/underneath the wings and the tail section. There is a NATO emblem on the vertical fin.
- Roar Glenne: Oppdrag Utført, Norges luftmilitære kulturarv
- Chant: The World’s greatest Aircraft.
- Jane’s: All the World’s Aircraft 1976-77