Cessna T-37 "Tweety Bird"


T-37 fuselage in the large hangar, 2007 • photo © James Kohan


MAPS' T-37 at the U.S. Air Force Museum 26 years ago.  Since 1981 it's been housed 
by (at least) 2 different aviation museums, and when recovered by MAPS was sitting 
out in a field.  Our restoration work will be to repair the corrosion that has set in.


T-37 fuselage in the ramp after arrival @ MAPS • photo © Steve Satchell


The amazingly complete cockpit in MAPS' T-37 • photo © James Kohan


Reskinning one of the Tweet's elevators • photo © Rick Willaman


Guests inspect T-37 wing restoration @ Spring 2007 Pancake Breakfast • photo 00000" size="1">©
James Kohan

05/05/2007 - Rudder and Vertical Stabilizer removal day

 
Crew Chief Steve Satchell                                                   Jim Kohan       

 
Left: After rudder removal, Steve works on removing vertical stabilizer Right: Tail surfaces removed.

05/19/207 - Parades, Nutplates 'n More

MAPS Air Museum participated in the City of Green's Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 28, 2007.  We displayed the T-37 Tweet in its current restoration state. Many thanks to the volunteers who are helping coordinate and prepare for our participation in the parade.


getting the T-37 trailored up for the City of Green Memorial Day parade • photo © James Kohan


new nutplates in the T-37 empennage.  Years of exposure to Southern weather caused most of the
fasteners to be corroded beyond repair, so replacements are being installed• photo © James Kohan



prior to prep and painting, we're tracing the current markings for duplication later.  We're in the 
process of removing nutplates from the vertical stabilizer as well • photo © James Kohan


The T-37 lined up for the 2007 Football Hall of Fame Community Parade, held July 29th, 2007.
  MAPS attracted a good amount of interest before and during the parade • photo © James Kohan

More Parade photos to come!

Aircraft Background:
Formerly assigned to the Florida Military Aviation Museum at Clearwater-St. Petersburg Airport, when the museum closed the aircraft were removed from the facility and placed in outside storage.  Officially a part of the U.S. Air Force Museum, Wright Patterson AFB collection, the T-37 has just been placed on indefinite loan to MAPS Air Museum for restoration purposes.

Aircraft Background:
The T-37 is a twin-engine primary trainer used for training USAF student pilots in jet aircraft operation. Known as the “Tweety Bird” or “Tweet,” it was the first USAF jet aircraft designed from conception as a trainer. Side-by-side seating in the T-37 made it easier for the instructor to observe and communicate with the student.  From the relatively docile T-37, student pilots would transition to the larger, faster T-38 Talon.  

The prototype first flew in October, 1954, and operational use of the T-37 started in 1957. In 1959 the T-37B, which featured uprated engines, an improved cockpit layout and better radio and navigation equipment, went operational with the Air Force. Eventually, all existing A models were also upgraded to B status.

The T-37C, with provisions for armament and extra fuel, was built for export. Both T-37Bs and Cs serve the air forces of several Allied nations. In all, nearly 1,300 T-37As, Bs and Cs were built before production ended in the late 1970s. In addition, nearly 600 A-37s — attack modifications of the T-37 — were built.

SPECIFICATIONS

Span: 33 ft., 10 in.
Length: 29 ft. 4 in.
Height: 7 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 6,580 lbs. loaded
Armament: none
Engines: 2 X Continental J69-T-25s of 1,075 lbs thrust each
Crew: Two
Serial Number: 57-2289

PERFORMANCE
Maximum speed: 410 mph.
Cruising speed: 350 mph.
Range: 650 miles
Service Ceiling: 35,000 ft.

35,000 ft.

Crew Chief's Update Log (Restoration Progress):
 03/02/2008 - Work has started on the rear control surfaces; new skins will have to be rebuilt for the elevators and rudder.  Some general cleanup and sheet metal work is continuing on the rest of the aircraft.

11/15/2007 - After a layout while the T-37 crew handled other duties, work continues on the T-37 'tail feathers' - the vertical stabilizier trailing edge has been cleaned and rudder attach points have been re-attached to the stabilizer.  The USAF-installed locking device for the rudder and elevators (installed as part of the demilling process) has been disassembled, cleaned and reassembled).  The vertical stablizer has been stripped and minor surface damage to the aluminum repaired. 

05/30/2007 - Work continues on the tail section.  New nutplates are installed on the horizontal stabilizer, and 1/2 done on the vertical stabilizer.  We've removed the nutplates that cover the elevator trim tab mechanism and are cleaning up that area next.>05/19/2007 - Work continues on getting the T-37 fuselage ready for the City of Green parade.  We're in the process of removing and replacing may of the nut plate fasteners that are on the tail section of the T-37.

05/05/2007 - The rudder and vertical stabilizer are removed to clean and facilitate panel replacement.
  
04/28/2007 - Work has started on the control surfaces.  One of the wings has been moved to the restoration building for cleaning, panel replacement, and paint prep.  The empennage (tail structure) is also in the restoration building, and both elevators have been removed to facilitate cleaning and repair work.  

04/12/2007 - Work has focused on the cockpit area of the T-37, with general cleanout and survey being done.  The windscreen and canopy glass has been removed, and after much persuasion, the canopy mechanism was able to be opened.  We are now in the process of stripping paint off the external skin to survey the condition of the external airframe sheetmetal. 

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