Cessna O-2A Skymaster

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Cessna
Markings
602nd Tactical Control Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, 1977
Designation
O-2A
Registration
N37581
Serial Number
68-6901

Cessna O-2A Skymaster

The Cessna O-2A is a militarized version of Cessna’s civilian Model 337 light twin-engine business aircraft. The unusual push-pull engine layout was intended to provide the benefits of a two engine aircraft without the dangers of a conventional twin that arise when one engine fails. The first flight of the 337 in January of 1961 led to nearly two hundred civilian sales by 1965. At that time the original fixed-gear version gave way to a retractable-gear aircraft. It was this upgraded version that the U.S. Air Force selected in December 1966 to serve as a Forward Air Controller or FAC in Vietnam. Basically identical with the civil version except for the addition of four hard points on the wings for minigun and rocket pods, and the addition of windows in the lower fuselage for the observer the O-2 entered service in 1967 and proved to be very successful in Vietnam. Primarily used to direct air strikes, some Skymaster’s were also equipped with loudspeakers and special radios for psychological warfare. The O-2 remained in service with the Air Force until the late 1980s when the last of them were retired.

Specifications
Wingspan 38 ft
Length 29 ft 2 in
Height 9 ft 5 in
Weight 4,850 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 192 mph
Service Ceiling 17,000 ft
Range 900 miles
Engines 2 Continental IO-360-D reciprocating engines, 210 hp each
Crew 2