Jump to content

Did you ever fly one of these


Recommended Posts

Found the mention in the book I was reading.  Note the link to Canada, so I wonder if any hung around after the end of the war.

Cessna T-50 / C-78


Cessna Aircraft's first twin-engined lightplane, built and flown in 1939, was a five-seat commercial transport typical of many very similar aircraft which became fairly common in the USA during the late 1930s. Designated Cessna Model T-50 by the company, it was of low-wing cantilever monoplane configuration and of mixed construction. Wings and tail unit were of wood, the latter with fabric covering; the fuselage, however, was a welded steel-tube structure with fabric over lightweight wooden skinning. Retractable tailwheel type landing gear and wing trailing-edge flaps were both electrically actuated.

In 1940 the military potential of this aircraft, as a trainer suitable for the conversion of pilots from single-engine to twin-engine types, became apparent almost simultaneously to two North American nations. First was Canada, which required a machine of this type for the Commonwealth Joint Air Training Plan, and 550 aircraft were supplied under Lend-Lease, these being designated Crane 1A.

The second requirement was for the US Army Air Corps which, in late 1940, contracted for the supply of 33 T-50s for sevice evaluation, allocating to them the designation AT-8. These were powered by two 220kW Jacobs R-680-9 radial engines, but service trials showed that these were unnecessarily powerful for use in a two-seat trainer, and when in 1941 the first real production contracts were placed, less powerful engines by the same manufacturer were specified.

The initial production version, designated AT-17, was equipped with Jacobs R-755-9 engines driving wooden propellers. A total of 450 was built, and these aircraft were followed into production by 223 of the generally similar AT-17A, which differed by having Hamilton-Standard constant-speed metal propellers. The later AT-17B (466 built) had some equipment changes, and the AT-17C (60 built) was provided with different radio for communications.

The original use of Cessna's T-50s had been in a light transport role, and in 1942 the USAAF decided that these aircraft would be valuable for liaison/communication purposes and as light personnel transports. Production of this variant totalled 1,287, the aircraft being named Bobcat and given the designation C-78, later changed to UC-78. In addition, a small number of commercial T-50s were impressed for service with the USAAF under the designation UC-78A.

The USAAF's requirement for the two-seat conversion trainers had been difficult to predict, and when it was discovered in late 1942 that procurement contracts very considerably exceeded the training requirement, Cessna was requested to fulfil the outstanding balance of the AT-17B and AT-17D models as UC-78B and UC-78C Bobcats respectively. Both were virtually identical, but differed from the original UC-78s by having two-blade fixed-pitch wooden-propellers and some minor changes of installed equipment. Production of these two versions amounted to 1,806 UC-78Bs and 327 UC-78Cs.

In the period 1942-3, the US Navy had a requirement for a lightweight transport aircraft to carry ferry pilots between delivery points and their home bases, as well as for the movement of US Navy flight crews. This led to the procurement of 67 aircraft, generally similar to the UC-78, which entered service under the designation JRC-1. Many examples of USAAF Bobcats remained in service for two or three years after the end of World War II.







 ENGINE 2 x 450hp Jacobs R-755-9 radial piston engines
    Wingspan 12.78 m 42 ft 11 in
    Length 9.98 m 33 ft 9 in
    Height 3.02 m 10 ft 11 in
    Max. speed 314 km/h 195 mph
    Ceiling 6705 m 22000 ft
    Range 1207 km 750 miles


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum in Brandon, MB has a number of Anson trainers and Cranes.  One Crane is called 'Stubby', and is for people to climb in and get an onboard experience.  The other is partially restored and awaiting funds to complete the job.

We have six flying trainers which are available for rides; Harvard MkII, Fairchild (Fleet) Cornell, DH82A and DH82C Tiger Moths and a Stinson HW75.  Our extremely rare Fleet Finch I (16R) is near completion of its total rebuild and will be available this summer.

We also have the only memorial in Canada to those who went through the BCATP and died, either overseas or in and around Canada.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...