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Restoration

Cessna T-50 Bobcat (UC-78)

Known for its exceptional performance, minimal downtime and low cost, the AT-17 (later UC-78) was well suited to withstand the punishments of an advanced military trainer.  

The reliable and dependable aircraft was derived from the Cessna T-50.  It helped to keep the Cessna Aircraft Company alive in 1939 and found fast acclaim in the post war civilian market.  

This low-wing, twin engine, cabin monoplane, Navy designation JRC-1, was constructed with a chrome moly steel tube fuselage, wood and fabric completed the airframe.  

Unique features include the electrically actuated, retractable tail wheel and wing trailing edge flaps.  

  

The “Bamboo Bomber” is perhaps best known for its debut in the1940-50’s radio and television adventure series “Sky King,” starring Gloria Winters and Kirby Grant, the pilot and owner of the aircraft.

 

Service History

  • Delivered: Oct 11, 1943
  • Oct 11, 1943 - Accepted by the USAAF
  • Oct 12, 1943 - Transferred to US Navy VJ-9, later VJ-12 San Diego, CA
  • Stricken: Oct 31, 1945
MFG: Cessna

First Produced: 1940

Powerplant: (2) Jacobs R-755-9

Horsepower: 245 lbs each

Prop: Hamilton C/S

Service Ceiling: 22,000 ft

Cruise: 175 mph

Top Speed: 195 mph

Range: 750 miles

Empty Weight: 3,506 lbs

Gross Weight: 5,700 lbs

Wing Span: 41’11”

Wing Area: 295 sq. ft

Length: 32’9”

Height: 9’11”

Armament: None

Number Built: 5,400 total

1,354 UC-78s

 

Yanks acquired this aircraft in 1991.