About the Dragonfly

cessna_a37bThe Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, or Super Tweet, is a United States light attack aircraft developed from the T-37 Tweet basic trainer in the 1960s and 1970s. The A-37 served with distinction during the Vietnam War and in peacetime service afterwards.

Number 54, in the photo, resides in New Zealand, owned by a group of aviation enthusiasts.It is one of the most popular aircraft in the NZ airshow circuit. One of the owners, Maurice Hayes, took me up in 54 for an hour of dual instruction and familiarization. My first and only flight in an A37 to date. But other flights are coming soon. (Thanks Maurice!–it was a blast).

Specifications (A-37B Dragonfly)
Data from The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 28 ft 3.4 in (8.62 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 10.3 in (10.93 m (including tip tanks))
  • Height: 8 ft 10.3 in (2.70 m)
  • Wing area: 183.9 ft (17.09 m)
  • Empty weight: 6,211 lb (2,817 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 General Electric J85-GE-17A turbojet, 2,850 lbf (12.7 kN) each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 507 mph (440 knots, 816 km/h) at 16.000 ft
  • Cruise speed: 489 mph (425 knots, 787 km/h) at 25.000 ft
  • Fuel Capacity with 4 external tanks 846 gallons
  • Range: 800 nm (920 mi, 1,480 km)
  • Combat radius: 400 nm (460 mi, 740 km) with 4.100 lb warload
  • Service ceiling: 41,765 ft (12,730 m)
  • Rate of climb: 6,990 ft/min (35.5 m/s)

Armament

  • Guns: 1 .308 in (7.62 mm) GAU-2B/A minigun (mounted in nose)
  • Hardpoints: 8 under-wing with a capacity of 1,230 kg
  • Gun pods: SUU-11/A (1 7.62 mm M134 minigun), GPU-2/A (1 20 mm M197 cannon), 30 mm DEFA-553 cannon, Rockets: 70 mm Mk 4/Mk 40 FFAR (LAU-32/A rocket pod, 7 rounds each (14 total) or 19 rounds each (38 total))
  • Missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder
  • Bombs: 750 lb, 500 lb, 250 lb,Mk.82 (4 on multiple ejector racks), SUU-14 bomblet dispenser
  • Other: Napalm tanks