The T-37 is a twin-engine primary
trainer used for teaching the fundamentals of jet aircraft operation and
instrument, formation and night flying. Affectionately known as the "Tweety
Bird" or "Tweet," it was the first USAF jet aircraft designed from
conception as a trainer (as opposed to a modification such as the T-33).
Its flying characteristics helped student pilots prepare to transition to
the larger, faster T-38 "Talon" later in the pilot training program.
Side-by-side seating in the T-37 makes it easier for the instructor to
observe and communicate with the student.
The XT-37 prototype made its initial
flight on October 12, 1954, and the preproduction T-37A first flew on
September 27, 1955. Following modifications, the T-37A entered operational
USAF service in 1957. In 1959, the T-37B joined the USAF. Similar to the
-A, it had more powerful engines, a redesigned instrument panel and
improved radio communications and navigational equipment. In time, all -As
were modified to -B standards.
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: 9 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 6,580 lbs. max.
Engines: Two Continental J69-T-25s of 1,025 lbs. thrust ea.
Serial number: 57-2289
Maximum speed: 410 mph
Cruising speed: 350 mph.
Range: 650 miles
Service Ceiling: 35,000 ft.