- Max Speed: 205 mph
- Cruising Speed: 196 mph
- Range: 1325 miles
- Service Ceiling: 19,300 feet
- Wingspan: 38’ 2”
- Length: 29’ 9”
- Height: 9’9”
- Weight: 2,705 lbs gross, 4,630 lbs max
Four underwing hard-points for rockets, flares, or light ordinance such as a 7.62-mm
(0.3-inch) Minigun pack
2 x 210hp Continental 10-360 flat six
The Cessna O-2 Skymaster is a militarized version of the Cessna 337 which was produced for the U.S. Air Force in 1966 to replace the Cessna O-1 until a purpose-built Forward Air Control aircraft came on line. Notice the unusual location of the two engines – called a ‘tandem’ configuration, or ‘push-me, pull-you’. Because the Skymaster was a two seater, one crew member could be freed from piloting the aircraft to concentrate on the difficult mission of Forward Air Control, which included everything from marking targets for air strikes, to giving strike briefings to in-coming attack pilots, and avoiding ground threats. This made the O-2 ideal for the FAC mission, even if low-and-slow FAC pilots had to go without the protection of armor plating!
The O-2 was retired from USAF service in the 1980s, but a militarized 337, marketed as the Sentry, has been supplied by the CIA to forces in Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Senegal.During its production run, 544 O-2s were built.
Our O-2’s logs indicate that it was based at Hurlburt Field, Florida during the Vietnam era as a training aircraft. It is an authentic, documented military aircraft! It was purchased by Heritage Flight Museum in February of 2005, and is a beautiful restoration with most of it’s original military radios still working! One of the best parts of starting the aircraft is turning on the IFF and listening to it wind up or changing the frequencies of the VHF radio and listening to the servos crank over the new frequency. Of course keeping the radios running is a challenge but one we are meeting for the ones we currently use. We’ve discovered that our volunteer Rev Allender actually flew this aircraft at Hurlburt when he was training FAC’s for Vietnam.