The Vietnam War presented an entirely new combat scenario. Forward Air Controllers (FAC) were being lost at an alarming rate while flying the single engine Cessna "Bird Dogs.” As they were directing close air support strikes, the FACs were subject to small arms fire from the jungle floor. This meant certain death if the engine was hit.
In 1967, the Air Force chose the Cessna Model 337 "Super Skymaster" to meet the twin engine Forward Air Controller air-support requirement.
The "Super Skymaster" was already on the production line when the Air Force awarded the contract. A gun sight was installed along with underwing pylons for smoke rockets. Other modifications included a smoke generator, glass panels in the lower starboard door for increased visibility and a loud speaker for psychological warfare.
Our 0-2A was built at Cessna's Wichita Kansas, assembly line and delivered to the United States Air Force 4410th Combat Crew Training Wing (Tactical Air Command), based at Eglin AFB, FL. In December of 1975, she was transferred to the 549th Tactical Air Support Training Group at Patrick AFB, FL, where she served until being retired to the Travis Heritage Center in May of 1983.
- Wing Span: 38'2"
- Length: 29'9"
- Height: 9'4"
- Maximum Speed: 199 M.P.H.
- Service Ceiling: 19,300 Ft.
- Range: 1,060 Miles
- Crew: 2
- Armament: Smoke rockets or 7.62mm Mini Gun Pods
- Engine: 2 x 210 H.P. Continental 10-360C engines
Information derived from “Travis Heritage Center” by Nick Veronico copyright Travis AFB Historical Society/Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Foundation. This book is available from the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum GIFT SHOP located in the Travis Heritage Center.