T-37 "Tweety Bird"
T-37 fuselage in the large
hangar, 2007 photo ©
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
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 ©
The amazingly complete cockpit in MAPS' T-37 photo ©
Reskinning one of the Tweet's elevators • photo ©
Guests inspect T-37 wing restoration @ Spring 2007 Pancake Breakfast • photo 00000" size="1">©
05/05/2007 - Rudder and
Vertical Stabilizer removal day
Crew Chief Steve Satchell
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
getting the T-37 trailored up for the City
of Green Memorial Day parade photo ©
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 ©
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 ©
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 ©
More Parade photos to
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.
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.
Span: 33 ft., 10 in.
Length: 29 ft. 4 in.
Height: 7 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 6,580 lbs. loaded
Engines: 2 X Continental J69-T-25s of 1,075 lbs thrust each
Serial Number: 57-2289
Maximum speed: 410 mph.
Cruising speed: 350 mph.
Range: 650 miles
Service Ceiling: 35,000 ft.
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
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.
Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005 MAPS Air Museum