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Cessna T-37

The T-37, Cessna's first jet aircraft was the winner of a Design Competition for a two-seat side by side intermediate jet trainer, for which fifteen proposals were submitted to USAF Air Reseach and Development Command.

In the spring of 1954, the USAF awarded Cessna a contract for three prototype of the Model 318, and a contract for a single static test aircraft. The Air Force designated the type as XT-37.

Premier vol du T37, le 12 octobre 1954

Prototypes XT-37

The first flight was made on October 12, 1954 by pilot Bob Hagan.

This XT-37 prototype was lost in a flat spin; the pilot baled successfully but the airplane "splatted."

The XT-37 was fitted with two Continental-Teledyne J69-T-9 turbojet engines, French Turbomeca Marboré IIC engines built under license, with 920 lbf (4.1 kN) thrust each.

The T-37A was delivered to the U.S. Air Force beginning in June 1956. The USAF began cadet training in the T-37A during 1957.

The first T-37B was delivered in 1959. Instructors and students considered the T-37A a pleasant aircraft to fly. It handled well and was agile and responsive, though it was definitely not overpowered. It was capable of all traditional aerobatics maneuvers.

The last T-37B was officially retired from active USAF service on 31 July 2009


Cessna T-37A (model 318-A)

NASA Dryden research flight center Photo collection

The production T-37A was similar to the XT-37 prototypes, except for minor changes to fix problems revealed by the flight test program. The first T-37A was completed in September 1955 and flew later that year.

The T-37A was very noisy, even by the standards of a jet aircraft. The intake of air into its small turbojets emitted a high-pitched shriek that led some to describe the trainer as a "Screaming Mimi". The piercing whistle quickly gave the T-37 its name: "Tweety Bird", or just "Tweet".

T-37 pre-flight preparation on ramp. Source : Nasa Dryden Research Center Photo Collection

Exemplaires produits

XT-37 : 2 prototypes 

T-37A : 444 exemplaires

T-37B : 552 exemplaires 

T-37C : 273 exemplaires

T-37 Photo USAF
NATO - T-37 à Edwards AFB

Le Cessna T-37 sous toutes ses couleurs

Brazil - Brazilian Air Force

Cessna T-37C came to Brazil in 1967, being in active service until 1981, in a total amount of 65 units. They were ostensibly used as advanced training aircraft in jet aircraft training pilots of the Brazilian Air Force. They receive the FAB numbering 0870 to 0934. They were not armed.

T-37C aircraft still on the courtyard of the manufacturer in the United States, already with the Brazilian painting, waiting for the moment to be moved.

Grèce (Greece) Hellenic Air Force

Hellenic Air Force received the first 25 T-37C in the 60’s.

These aircrafts joined the 361 Basic Training Squadron based at Kalamata air base (120 Air Training Wing). In the 70’s and 80’s 15 more aircaft were bought from Jordan’s Air Force and were added to the fleet.

After 38 years of service the T-37 “Tweet” was retired from the Hellenic Air Force on October 27, 2002.

Greek Cessna T-37B of 361 Mira at Kalamata on 5.4.1996, Photo by Andy Marden
Anniversary T-37 "Ikaros" of the 120 ATW/361 Squadron, HAF Hellenic Air Force, Photo Konstantinos Grapsas
Cessna T-37 (67-14751 / TE-751), HAF, Kalamata (KLX / LGKL) Greece, September 18, 2007. With courtesy of the photographer Chris Lofting

Jordanie (Royal Jordanian Air Force)

15 aircraft, apparently ex-USAF T-37Bs had been delivered to RJAF. They equipped No 6 Training Squadron at the King Hussein Air Base (KHAB) in Mafraq.

The T37 were at KHAC until 1987 when the Casa 101 came into service as the basic jet trainer.

T-37b Jordaniens, Photo : Royal Jordanian Air Force

Pérou [Peru] Peruvian Air Force

The first seven Cessna T-37B jet trainer for the Peruvian Air Force took off on 20th 1961 July from Wichita en route to Lima, Peru, the seven were the first of fifteen purchased by the P.A.F to initiate all-jet training.

Those aircraft were included in the Us Military Assistance Program (MAP) concluded with friendly countries.

A total of 32 Cessna T-37B had been finally delivered to the Peruvian Air Force.

Cessna T-37, one of the first arriving in LIMA (Air pictorial, July 1961)


Le T-37 a été choisi comme avion d'entrainement pour l'armée de l'air Portugaise en 1961. Ce choix est le résultat d'une compétition gagnée face au Co/BAC jet-Provost T3.

20 Avions furent achetés et livré en 1963 avec les N° de série 2401 à  2421. Un lot supplémentaire de six avions  (2425 à  2430) sera commandé et livrée dans les années qui suivirent.

Ils furent employés sur base de Sintra, dans l'Escuadron 102  "Os panchos" ( Escuadron de Instructao de basico) . C'est à  partir de cet escadron que sera formé la partouille Asas de Portugal qui sillonera le ciel d'Europe durant de nombreuses années.

En Décembre 1990, un des avions d'Asas de Portugal perdi une aile en vol. Tous les avions furent inspectés et il fut identifié de sérieux problèmes de vieillissement dans les attaches d'ailes. Devant être prochainement remplacés par des Alphajet, il fut décidé de les interdire de vols et d'envoyer les pilotes aux états-unis en attendant le nouvel avion.

Avec l'aimable autorisation de Mike Freer (Touchdown Aviation). T37 de l'armée de l'air Portugaise, pris à Greenham Common le 26 juin 1977

Turkey (Turquie) Türk Hava Kuvvetleri

Turkey Air Force, Cessna T-37b, Izmir - Cigli, Turkey. June 5, 2001. With courtesy of Berry Vissers
Turkey Air Force, Cessna T-37b, Izmir - Cigli, Turkey. June 5, 2001. With courtesy of Berry Vissers