Cessna T-41 Mescalero
|The T-41 Mescalero|
|Role||Primary pilot trainer|
|National origin||United States|
|Status||In limited service|
|Primary users||United States Air Force
United States Army
Royal Thai Air Force
Royal Thai Army
|Developed from||Cessna 172|
The Cessna T-41 Mescalero is a military version of the popular Cessna 172, operated by the United States Air Force and Army as well as the armed forces of various other countries as a pilot training aircraft.
Design and development
In 1964, the US Air Force decided to use the off-the-shelf Cessna 172 as a lead-in aircraft for student pilots rather than starting them out in the T-37 jet aircraft. The USAF ordered 237 T-41As from Cessna The first USAF class (67-A) of students began training on the T-41 from the civilian airport in Big Springs, TX in August of 1965.
The T-41B was the US Army version, with a 210 hp (160 kW) Continental IO-360 engine and constant speed propeller in place of the 145 hp (108 kW) Continental O-300 and 7654 fixed-pitch propeller used in the 172 and the T-41A.
In 1968, the US Air Force acquired 52 more powerful T-41Cs, which used 210 hp (160 kW) Continental IO-360 and a fixed-pitch climb propeller, for use at the Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs.
Beginning in 1993, the United States Air Force replaced much of the T-41 fleet with the Slingsby T-3A Firefly for the flight screening role, and for aerobatic training, which was outside the design capabilities of the T-41. The T-3A fleet was indefinitely grounded in 1997 and scrapped in 2006 following a series of fatal accidents at the United States Air Force Academy.
Four T-41s remain at the Air Force Academy in order to support certain academic classes as well as the USAFA Flying Team.
A number of air forces, including Saudi Arabia and Singapore, purchased various civilian models of the Cessna 172 for use in military training, transport and liaison roles. While similar to the T-41, these aircraft were not T-41s and were powered by the standard 172 powerplants available in the model year purchased. These included the 145 hp (108 kW) Continental O-300 in pre-1968 aircraft and the 150 and 160 hp (120 kW) Lycoming O-320 in later 172s.
- United States Air Force version of the Cessna 172F for undergraduate pilot training, powered by 145 hp Continental O-300, 211 built.
- United States Army version of the Cessna R172E for training and liaison duties, powered by 210 hp Continental IO-360, 255 built.
- A version of the T-41B for use by the USAF Academy, powered by 210 hp Continental IO-360, 52 built.
- A version of the T-41B for export under the Military Aid Program with 28V electrical system and simplified equipment, powered by 210 hp Continental IO-360, 238 built. The first T-41D was delivered to the Philippine Air Force in 1968.
- Angolan Air Force (5× Cessna 172 in service)
- Chilean Air Force (10× T-41D, already retired)
- Indonesian Air Force (55× T-41D)
- Paraguayan Air Force (5× T-41B)
- Vietnam Air Force (22× T-41D, no longer in service)
- United States Army (255× T-41B)
- United States Air Force (211× T-41A and 52× T-41C)
- Fort Meade Flying Activity/Fort Meade, Maryland - 3 x T-41C (all 3 currently airworthy)
- Jacksonville Navy Flying Club/NAS Jacksonville, Florida - 2 x T-41A, 1 x T-41B (two currently airworthy)
- Kirtland AFB Aeroclub/Kirtland AFB, New Mexico - 5 x T-41C
- Patuxent River Navy Flying Club/NAS Patuxent River, Maryland - 3 x T-41C (1 currently airworthy)
- Eglin AFB Aeroclub/Eglin AFB, FL - 2 x T-41A, 1 x T-41B (1 T-41A and 1 T-41B currently airworthy)
- Travis AFB Aero Club/Travis AFB, CA - 1 x T-41C (currently airworthy)
- Uruguayan Air Force (7× T-41D)
Aircraft on display
- United States
- National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio - T-41A on static display, previously assigned to USAFA inventory.
- Vance AFB, Oklahoma - 1 T-41A on static display in the airpark
- Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama - 1 T-41 on display as part of the Officer Training School complex.
- Randolph Air Force Base, Texas - 1 T-41A on display in park area adjacent to Randolph Inn Visiting Officers Quarters (VOQ) / Distinguished Visiting Officers Quarters (DVOQ) along with other historical ATC and AETC aircraft
- Lone Star Flight Museum, Texas - T-41B Mescalero on display and in operation
Data from Global Security
- Crew: one or two
- Length: 26 ft 11 in (8.21 m)
- Wingspan: 35 ft 10 in (10.92 m)
- Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
- Wing area: 159 ft² (14.8 m²)
- Empty weight: 1,363 lb (618 kg)
- Loaded weight: 2,500 lb (1,134 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental IO-360-D, 210 hp (160 kW)
- Maximum speed: 125 knots (144 mph, 232 km/h)
- Range: 626 nm (720 mi, 1,159 km)
- Service ceiling: 17,000 ft (5,180 m)
- Rate of climb: 880 ft/min (4.47 m/s)
- Pike, John (April 2005). "T-41A/C Mescalero". Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- United States Air Force (March 1998). "Broad Area Review of the Enhanced Flight Screening Program". Archived from the original on 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- Taylor, John: Jane's Pocket Book of Military Transport and Training Aircraft, page 67. MacMillian Publishing Inc, 1974. Library of Congress 73-15288
- Krivinyi, Nikolaus: World Military Aviation, page 148. Arco Publishing Co, 1977. ISBN 0-668-04348-2
- WarbirdFlight.Net (2007). "T-41B". Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- Pike, John (September 2006). "T-3A Firefly". Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- DOSS Aviation (2007). "About Doss IFS". Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- USAFA (undated). "United States Air Force Academy Aircraft". Retrieved 2008-05-13. Check date values in:
- Sheil/Forsgren/Little 1976, p. 76
- Jan Forsgren, Cambodia: Khmer Air Force History 1970-1975 (Part 2)
- Araneta, Macon Ramos (August 2008). "Air Force acquires 15 planes". Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- Sheil/Forsgren/Little 1976, pp. 91-92
- Niles, Rick (undated). "Our Fleet". Retrieved 2009-06-15. Check date values in:
- "Aircraft". Jax Navy Flying Club. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- "Kirtland Flight Center Aircraft". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- Patuxent River Navy Flying Club (undated). "Aircraft". Retrieved 2009-08-05. Check date values in:
- ( Eglin Aero Club (undated). "Aircraft". Retrieved 2011-02-13. Check date values in:
- ( Travis Aero Club (undated). "Aircraft/Rates". Retrieved 2011-04-30. Check date values in:
- Vance Air Force Base (16 August 2010). "Construction of Vance's air park nears completion". Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- This story was written by Kimberly L. Wright. "OTS salutes heritage with T-41 display". Maxwell.af.mil. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
- Lone Star Flight Museum (2009). "T-41 Mescalero Photo Gallery". Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- By Walt Shiel, Jan Forsgren, Michael Little (2006). T-41 Mescalero: The Military Cessna 172. ISBN 978-0-9746553-3-8.
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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