Cessna T-41 Mescalero
|Cessna T-41D of the 557th Flying Training Squadron|
|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 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 Springs, TX 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 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.
The Air Force now trains all prospective USAF pilots and navigators-nee-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 non-aeronautically rated officer.
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)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- 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. 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
- 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 (n.d.). "United States Air Force Academy Aircraft". Retrieved 2008-05-13.
- 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 (n.d.). "Our Fleet". Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- "Aircraft". Jax Navy Flying Club. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
- "Kirtland Flight Center Aircraft". Retrieved 2010-12-22.
- Patuxent River Navy Flying Club (n.d.). "Aircraft". Archived from the original on April 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-05.
- ( Eglin Aero Club (n.d.). "Aircraft". Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- ( Travis Aero Club (n.d.). "Aircraft/Rates". Retrieved 2011-04-30.
- Vance Air Force Base (16 August 2010). "Construction of Vance's air park nears completion". Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- 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.
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