Cessna T-41 Mescalero
|Cessna T-41D of the 557th Flying Training Squadron|
|Role||Primary pilot trainer|
|National origin||United States|
|Primary users||United States Air Force|
United States Army
Indonesian Air Force
Turkish Air Force
|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 172F 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 Spring, Texas, in August 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 of the 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 in Colorado Springs.
Beginning in 1993, the United States Air Force replaced many 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.
The Air Force now trains all prospective USAF pilots and combat systems officers through a civilian contract with DOSS Aviation known as Initial Military Flight Screening which makes use of the Diamond DA20. This program is conducted for USAF line officer accession programs (e.g., USAFA, AFROTC, OTS), with said training taking place after these officers have been commissioned as second lieutenants. It is also conducted for USAF officers at the first lieutenant and captain level selected for flight training after an assignment as a nonaeronautically-rated officer.
Four T-41s remain at the Air Force Academy for the USAFA Flying Team, as well as to support certain academic classes.
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, first T-41D 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)
- United States Army (255× T-41B)
- United States Air Force (211× T-41A and 52× T-41C)
- 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 (all 5 currently airworthy)
- 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)
- Dover AFB Aero Club/Dover AFB, DE - 2 x T-41A, 1x T-41C (currently airworthy)
Aircraft on display
- United States
- 65-5168 – T-41A on static display in the airpark at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma.
- 65-5226 – T-41 on static display at Randolph Air Force Base, Universal City, Texas. It is 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.
- 65-5251 – T-41A on static display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. This aircraft was previously assigned to the United States Air Force Academy inventory.
- 67-14977 – T-41A on static display as part of the Officer Training School complex at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama.
Data from Global Security
- Crew: one
- Capacity: three passengers
- Length: 26 ft 11 in (8.20 m)
- Wingspan: 35 ft 10 in (10.92 m)
- Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
- Wing area: 159 sq ft (14.8 m2)
- Empty weight: 1,363 lb (618 kg)
- Gross weight: 2,500 lb (1,134 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Continental IO-360-D 6-cylinder air-cooled horizontally-opposed piston engine, 210 hp (160 kW)
- Propellers: 2-bladed variable-pitch propeller
- Maximum speed: 125 kn (144 mph, 232 km/h)
- Range: 626 nmi (720 mi, 1,159 km)
- Service ceiling: 17,000 ft (5,200 m)
- Rate of climb: 880 ft/min (4.5 m/s)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
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- 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. Macmillan Publishing Inc., 1974. Library of Congress 73-15288
- Krivinyi, Nikolaus: World Military Aviation, page 148. Arco Publishing Co, 1977. ISBN 0-668-04348-2
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- "Tecnam Completes Delivery Of 12 Trainer Aircraft To The Hellenic Air Force | Tecnam". 18 June 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
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- Patuxent River Navy Flying Club. "Aircraft". Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
- ( Eglin Aero Club. "Aircraft". Archived from the original on 2010-09-25. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
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- Gross, Tyler (August 25, 2010). "Construction of Vance's air park nears completion". Vance Air Force Base. Oklahoma. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
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- "Airframe Dossier - Cessna172 / T-41 Mescalero, s/n 65-5226 USAF, c/r N5226F". Aerial Visuals. AerialVisuals.ca. Archived from the original on 14 October 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Cessna T-41A Mescalero". National Museum of the US Air Force. Archived from the original on 22 November 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- Kimberly, Wright (October 29, 2010). "OTS salutes heritage with T-41 display". Maxwell Air Force Base. Alabama. Archived from the original on 14 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- "Maxwell AFB, AL T-41 OTS Display". Warbird Information Exchange. phpBB Group. Archived from the original on 22 September 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
- Hagedorn, Daniel P. (1993). Central American and Caribbean Air Forces. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-210-6.
- Shiel, Walt; Forsgren, Jan; Little, Michael (2006). T-41 Mescalero: The Military Cessna 172. Lake Linden, Michigan, USA: Slipdown Mountain Publications. ISBN 978-0-9746553-3-8.
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