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Cessna T-41 Mescalero - United States (1964)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Cessna T-41 Mescalero Trainer / Liaison / Light Transport Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 8/17/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Cessna T-41 Mescalero  
Picture of Cessna T-41 Mescalero Trainer / Liaison / Light Transport Aircraft

The Cessna T-41 Mescalero was nothing more than a military adoption of the popular and commercially successful Cessna Model 172 product.

Because of the intricacies involved in training on jet aircraft, the United States Air Force adopted the Cessna Model 172 high-winged monoplane as a basic trainer. The Model 172 was introduced in 1964 as the T-41 "Mescalero" (Mescalero representing an Apache tribe) and retained all of the form and function of its civilian market product. Over 750 of the type delivered. The United States Army also took on the aircraft in a slightly different form though also in notable numbers.

USAF models were the initial T-41A variant and these were a version of the Cessna Model 172F product outfitted with a Continental O-300 engine of 145 horsepower. 211 of the type were procured in all. The United States Army form became the T-41B variant and these were based on the Model R172E product while being outfitted with a Continental IO-360 engine of 210 horsepower. 211 examples then followed. This then led to the USAF variant using the T-41C designation which carried the same engine as the Army T-41B.

The Mescalero line was seen in an export form as the T-41D which were shipped with Continental IO-360 engines. At least 238 of these were delivered. Those customers passing on the T-41D but requiring the services of such an aircraft simply purchased base Cessna Model 172 and pressed these into military roles while retaining the original Lycoming O-320 engines. Operators of the Mescalero proved plenty and ranged from Angola and Argentina to Turkey and Uruguay. Some operate even today (2015) though their numbers have dwindled considerably over the passing decades.

Throughout their service time aloft, the T-41 has been used in training, liaison and light transport roles.

Cessna T-41C Mescalero Specifications

Service Year: 1964
Type: Trainer / Liaison / Light Transport Aircraft
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): Cessna - USA
Total Production: 756

Operating Crew, Dimensions and Operating Weights

Operating Crew (Typical): 1
Overall Length: 26.90 feet (8.2 meters)
Overall Width: 35.76 feet (10.90 meters)
Overall Height: 8.86 feet (2.70 meters)

Weight (Empty): 1,367 lb (620 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 2,502 lb (1,135 kg)

Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

Engine: 1 x Continental IO-360-D engine developing 210 horsepower.

Maximum Speed: 144 miles-per-hour (232 kilometers-per-hour; 125 knots)
Maximum Range: 721 miles (1,160 kilometers; 626 nautical miles)
Service Ceiling: 16,995 feet (5,180 meters; 3.22 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 880 feet-per-minute (268 meters-per-minute)

Armament / Mission Payload


Global Operators (A-to-Z)

Angola; Argentina; Bolivia; Chile; Colombia; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; El Salvador; Greece; Honduras; Indonesia; Iran; Laos; Liberia; Pakistan; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; South Korea; South Vietnam; Thailand; Turkey; United States; Uruguay

Series Model Variants

T-41 - Base Series Designation
T-41A - USAF model; fitted with Continental O-300 engine of 145 horsepower; based on Model 172F; 211 examples produced.
T-41B - US Army model; fitted with Continental IO-360 engine of 210 horsepower; based on Model R172E; 255 examples produced.
T-41C - Based on T-41B; fitted with Continental IO-360 engine of 210 horsepower; 52 examples completed.
T-41D - Simplified export model with IO-360 engine; 238 examples produced.