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Cessna T-37 Tweet

Jet-Powered Advanced Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft

Cessna T-37 Tweet

Jet-Powered Advanced Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Cessna T-37 Tweet proved itself a popular jet-powered trainer for many world air forces for its time in the air - over 1,200 were produced.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1957
STATUS: Retired, Limited Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Cessna Aircraft Company - USA
PRODUCTION: 1,269
OPERATORS: Bangladesh; Brazil; Burma; Chile; Germany; Greece; Jordan; Khmer Republic; Morocco; Portugal; Peru; South Korea; South Vietnam; Thailand; Turkey; United States; Vietnam
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Cessna T-37 Tweet model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 29.27 feet (8.92 meters)
WIDTH: 33.79 feet (10.3 meters)
HEIGHT: 9.19 feet (2.8 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 3,869 pounds (1,755 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 6,598 pounds (2,993 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Continental-Teledyne J69-T-25 turbojet engines developing 1,025 lb of thrust each.
SPEED (MAX): 425 miles-per-hour (684 kilometers-per-hour; 369 knots)
RANGE: 932 miles (1,500 kilometers; 810 nautical miles)
CEILING: 39,199 feet (11,948 meters; 7.42 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 3,370 feet-per-minute (1,027 meters-per-minute)




ARMAMENT



None for true trainer versions. Some outfitted with 2 x 250 lb conventional drop bombs (mainly "C" export model).
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Model 318 - Cessna project competition designation.
• XT-37 - Prototype designation based on Model 318.
• T-37A - First production model featuring 2 x Continental J69-T-9 turbojets of which 534 produced.
• T-37B - Featured more powerful J69-T-5 powerplants, provisioning for wing tip fuel tanks and improved avionic systems.
• T-37C - Produced for export; Addition of underwing hardpoints.
• A-37 "Dragonfly" / "Super Tweet" - Lightly-armed ground attack aircraft based on the T-37 design.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Cessna T-37 Tweet Jet-Powered Advanced Trainer / Light Attack Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 2/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Cessna T-37 came about through a new United States Air Force (USAF) requirement calling for a lightweight, two-seat, jet-powered training platform under the "Trainer Experimental (TX)" program name of 1952. Cessna threw its hat into the ring and developed their "Model 318" which sat its twin turbojet propulsion scheme at the wingroots, featured a conventional single-finned tail arrangement and positioned its two crew in side-by-side seating. Wings were low-mounted monoplanes designed as straight appendages with clipped tips. A tricycle undercarriage rounded out the modern features. In 1954, the USAF moved ahead with the Cessna Model 318 design as the "XT-37" with three flyable prototypes ordered.

XT-37A designated the finalized prototypes featuring a pair of Continental YJ69-T-9 series turbojet engines. The engines were nothing more than local, license-produced copies of the French Turbomeca "Marbore" series engines - the same used to power the French-built Fouga "Magister" trainers (detailed elsewhere on this site). These units provided 920 lb of thrust output each and, coupled with the aerodynamically refined airframe, provided the nimble little aircraft with good performance. Speeds reached 390 miles per hour in testing and closer to 425 mph on later production aircraft. The program suffered a setback when the first prototype crashed during spin action and this led to modifications of the airframe and tail unit as a result - though spin recovery would remain a sticking point for the design for its entire career.

The T-37A "Tweet" followed as the initial production model to which 534 of the types were built (J69-T-9 engines fitted). The USAF began taking the aircraft on in June of 1956 for training purposes through the T-37A model where the aircraft was really put through its paces but generally regarded as a good, strong platform to fly by pilots. Since the aircraft operated under a USAF-mandated 25,000 foot ceiling, no pressurization was used for the cockpit. The USAF endorsement ultimately led to the line being adopted as a trainer and light attack aircraft with other American-allied air services around the world.




T-37B continued the line but with J69-T-25 engines (1,025 lb thrust output each) and were given improved communications and navigation fits. These arrived in 1959. T-37C included an inherent light attack function through underwing pylons (one per wing) and 269 of this mark were produced. External stores could total up to 500 lb.

XAT-37D was a proposed counter-insurgency model with light attack capability. Two prototypes were completed but serial production not had. YT-48A was a proposed T-37 development to be fitted with a pair of Garrett F109-GA-100 engines but this model was not pursued.

The United States Air Force did not find a true successor to the T-37 until the arrival of the Beechcraft T-6 "Texan II" (detailed elsewhere on this site). The Texan II was a shift away from turbojets and back to a piston-powered form. The last USAF T-37 was retired in July 2009 after 1,269 examples ad been built by Cessna. The A-37 "Dragonfly" (also known as the "Super Tweet") of 1963 was one of its more notable offshoots, 577 built to a light ground-attack aircraft specification for several air services including the USAF. These witnessed combat action in the Vietnam War (1955-1975).

Current operators of the T-37 line include Colombia, Ecuador and Pakistan. Former operators range from Bangladesh and Brazil to Turkey and Vietnam. Vietnamese forms were captured from South Vietnam following the Vietnam War.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 500mph
Lo: 250mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (425mph).

    Graph average of 375 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Cessna T-37B Tweet's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
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Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1269
1269

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


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Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue