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A-37 Dragonfly by Russian-Fox A-37 Dragonfly by Russian-Fox
A-37B Dragonfly
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Cessna
Crew: 1 pilot, or 1 pilot and 1 observer
Length: 28 ft 3.4 in (8.62 m)
Wingspan: 35 ft 10.3 in
Height: 8 ft 10.3 in (2.70 m)
Weight: 6,211 lb (2,817 kg) empty, 14,000 lb (6,350 kg) maximum
Powerplant: 2x General Electric J-85-GE-17A turbojets with 2,850 pounds of thrust each
Maximum Speed: 507 mph (816 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 41,765 ft (12,730 m)
Range: 920 mi (1,480 km)
Armament: 1x 7.62mm M-134 Minigun, 2x 20mm GPU-2/A gun pods, 2x 70mm LAU-51/A rocket launchers, 4x 500 lb Mk 82 bombs


The Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, a small, light, yet brutally lethal counter insurgency (COIN) and close air support (CAS) aircraft.

As the Vietnam War dragged on, the Air Force wanted to test a jet powered attack aircraft as a possible replacement for their fleet of A-1 Skyraiders. Wanting something small and light so as to be able to operate from the forward air bases in South Vietnam and Thailand and therefore requiring fewer ammenities that their bigger and more advanced machines required, they gave a contract to Cessna to modify their T-37 training aircraft to see how well it might perform in an attack role.

Cessna modified 39 of their T-37 aircraft and sent them to the Air Force as the YAT-37, with tests and evaluations to be carried out directly on the battlefield.

Combat tests were quite successful, and the YAT-37s, with a small number of upgrades became the A-37A. Over time, as the A-37s were put through ever more demanding missions and roles, a number of modifications became necessary, one of the biggest being the ability to refuel in mid-air.

Cessna's next batch of A-37s included an inflight refuelling probe, more powerful jet engines, a modest increase in load carrying capability, and a number of small changes to the cockpit layout. These aircraft became the A-37B, which is what my model represents.

Though the Dragonfly never replaced the Skyraider in the ground attack role (due to several reasons, the Skyraider's heavier payload capacity being one of them), it never the less proved itself a capable and lethal ground attack machine, carrying heavy ordinance straight to the front lines, while its small size and agility made it a difficult target to shoot down.

Primary armament was usually a mix of rockets and bombs carried on 8 underwing hardpoints, while an M-134 Minigun in the nose provided additional firepower and a ground strafing capability. Though the M-134 was only a 7.62mm weapon, versus the cannon shells fired by other aircraft, its high rate of fire helped its effectiveness against enemy infantry. In order to boost its effectiveness against "hard" targets, gun pods with 20mm and 30mm cannons were fitted to the underwing hardpoints and while considered successful in tests and a small number of combat operations, they were oddly never adopted on a large scale.

Following Vietnam, the Dragonfly continued its military career until the early 1990's. Though it remained in Air Force service in small numbers, most of them wound up in the hands of the Air National Guard as AF units traded the Dragonflies in for the devastating A-10 Thunderbolt II.



The A-37 I've built here is in the markings of an Air National Guard Squadron, making it a post Vietnam colour scheme. Unfortunately, because my kit is at least 20 years old, the decals had yellowed and deteriorated beyond use, and no replacements or substitutes were availible to me.

More pics:

Higher up:
[link]

Planform:
[link]

Head on:
[link]

Ordinance: From left to right: 20mm cannon pod, 1,000 pound bomb, 70mm rocket launcher, 1,000 pound bomb:
[link]

7 o'clock:
[link]

6 o'clock:
[link]

A-37s were really small. Here it is next to an F-80 Shooting Star. Note that the Shooting Star is actually taller:
[link]
[link]
Add a Comment:
 
:iconder4:
der4 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010   Writer
do you made it? awesome
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
I did, and thanks. =3
Reply
:iconbluefox284:
BlueFox284 Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
She looks great man- just need some markings is all.

Its like its asking for a new employer 'cause its out of a job. . .lol
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Much thanks. =3
And she does, but alas, mine were too old.

XD
Reply
:icontawnya:
Tawnya Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You could also use Testor's Metal Master paints, they buff up to a nice metal sheen.
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
That they do. *nods*
I just didn't have any on hand, and won't for a while yet.
Reply
:icontawnya:
Tawnya Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I look forward to your next piece then regardless. :)
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010
You won't have to wait long. Next will either be an F-89C Scorpion, or an SBD Dauntless.
Reply
:icontawnya:
Tawnya Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:thumbsup:
Reply
:icontawnya:
Tawnya Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heh, it is an ugly little thing!
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
That's likely why they named it Dragonfly. XD
Reply
:icontawnya:
Tawnya Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:rofl:
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010
Indeed. XD
Reply
:iconjimfoxyboy:
JimFoxyBoy Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
I'm trying to fix and clean up a drawing someone was going to do for me of the Tweet version. Proving a little challenging. Still sad to see the trainer version pulled out of service though. On the flip side, it is nice to know that at least one french company has designed a four place plane similar to the Tweet for civilian use.
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Oh yeah?
Yeah...all the classic trainers (T-33, T-6, T-37) are out of service these days. At least there are warbirds still flying. =3
A four seat plane similar to the T-37?
Reply
:iconjimfoxyboy:
JimFoxyBoy Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
I remember seeing quite a few T-33 T-birds back in my day with the air cadets. I think they were just starting to phase them out of service at the time. Some were still being used to help calibrate the guns on naval ships by towing a big orange target behind them on very long cables.

The MS.760 'Paris Jet' is very similar in design to the Tweet. I may have told you about it before. It came out about the same time as the Lear Jet did but couldn't compete very well against it.

It is four seat liaison aircraft and light jet trainer that was put into production back in the 50-60s. A Paris III which seats six was planned but never put into production due to lack of any orders. A number of the version IIs were retired from service and put into private hands and was found to be very comparable to today's business jets.

As recently as last year, a company named JetSet acquired the MS.760 Paris Jet type Certificate in hopes of bringing out a new category, very light jet or VLJ. The artical can be read here:

[link]
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2010
Yeah, the T-33s were phased out a while ago, around the late 80's or so.
And that naval gun calibration target...the T-33s used to do that for fighter jets too, usually interceptors like F-94s and F-89s.

Yeah, I think you did tell me about it, now that I look at that picture of it in the link you gave me. Looks like it could be quite a nice plane. =3
Reply
:iconwe-r-nomad:
we-r-nomad Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
This is really informative. You always hear about the glory jets, but the workhorses always seem to toil in obscurity.
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Indeed.
A lot of my aircraft are those unsung heroes, often forgotten by history. Some of them might have never fired a shot in combat, but without them, the glory jets wouldn't have attained what they did.
Reply
:icondarkproxy:
DarkProxy Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
Cessna builds a war plane if I didn't see them in action several time on TV or see them at Dayton I would never believe it
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
I know what'cha mean. Heck, who knew they made jets, much less combat machines?
The O-2 Skymaster was also a Cessna machine as well. Thing of it is, I don't think the AF actually ordered them the way they normally do things...I think they just bought the civil Skymasters, painted the bar-and-roundel on them and shipped them to SEA.
Reply
:icondarkproxy:
DarkProxy Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
well with such heavy AA in nam I guess going with cheap ass options was probably best
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Indeed.
Plus they needed something small and light for the FAC role, and at the time, big and heavy was all they had. It wasn't until the OV-10 Bronco that the first, purpose-built-for-the-military FAC aircraft was designed and entered service.
Reply
:icondingopatagonico:
DingoPatagonico Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
looks so cool! x3
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Much thanks! ^^
Reply
:iconyuxtapuestoelmono:
Yuxtapuestoelmono Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
VERY well done!, it just needs a little shine and it would be perfect then! :nod:
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Much thanks. =3
And what kind of shine?
Reply
:iconyuxtapuestoelmono:
Yuxtapuestoelmono Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Not really shine, mmmm, i am talking about that "smoothness" that the metal has, but that can be achieved using transparent paint :P
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Oh, you mean an effect to make the metal parts have a "sheen", like they're actually made of metal, rather than just painted plastic.
Reply
:iconyuxtapuestoelmono:
Yuxtapuestoelmono Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Yeah that is the word, sheen :nod:, it only needs a little sheen applied here and there and it would be perfect :nod:
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
I got'cha. *nods*
And yeah, I know what you mean. I might be able to get a sheen with it with a little flat clearcoat. It'll have to wait a while, I don't have any on hand.
Reply
:iconyuxtapuestoelmono:
Yuxtapuestoelmono Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Jajajaja, do not worry pal, your work is always very good! (and i have not finished (or even assembled) a model in years now :XD:).
Reply
:iconrussian-fox:
Russian-Fox Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2010
Ah. Much thanks. =3
Reply
(1 Reply)
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Submitted on
November 22, 2010
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