National Museum of the USAF   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

Home > Fact Sheets > Cessna A-37 Dragonfly


Posted 3/3/2015 Printable Fact Sheet
Previous ImageNext Image
Cessna YA-37A
DAYTON, Ohio -- Cessna YA-37A Dragonfly at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Download HiRes

From 1964-1966, the U.S. Air Force evaluated two modified T-37 trainers, designated YAT-37Ds, as prototypes for a counter-insurgency (COIN) attack/reconnaissance aircraft to use in Southeast Asia. Following this evaluation, the USAF contracted Cessna to modify 39 T-37Bs into A-37As in 1967. Later that year, the USAF sent 25 A-37As, nicknamed "Super Tweets," to Southeast Asia for combat evaluation under the name Combat Dragon. These aircraft primarily flew close air support, night interdiction and forward air control missions in South Vietnam and southern Laos.

Based on the successful results of Combat Dragon, the USAF order newly built A-37Bs, which had cockpit armor, more powerful engines, redundant flight controls, provision for aerial refueling and a strengthened airframe. Of the 577 A-37Bs built, the USAF provided 254 to the South Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) to replace their aging A-1 Skyraiders. Although the A-37B served with the USAF for only a short period, a number of A-37Bs remained in use with the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as observation/flight attack aircraft until the last one was retired in 1992.

The aircraft on display was one of the two prototype YAT-37Ds evaluated by the USAF. It was retired to the museum in December 1964. However, it was recalled to active service in August 1966 for final design testing of the urgently needed A-37 attack aircraft. This aircraft retired to the museum for a second time in July 1970 as the YA-37A.

Armament: One 7.62mm minigun and 3,000 lbs. maximum of bombs, rockets and/or missiles
Engines: Two 2,400-lb. thrust General Electric J85s
Maximum speed: 485 mph
Cruising speed: 425 mph
Range: 270 miles with 3,000 lb. load
Ceiling: 36,000 ft.
Span: 35 ft. 10 in.
Length: 29 ft. 4 in.
Height: 8 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 11,700 lbs. maximum
Serial number: 62-5951

Click here to return to the Southeast Asia War Gallery.

Find Out More
Blue line
Related Fact Sheets
Douglas A-1E Skyraider
Blue line
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

 Inside the Museum

ima cornerSearch

ima cornerAircraft


tabRelated Links

Museum Virtual TourMuseum Facebook PageMuseum Twitter PageMuseum Instagram
Museum Google Plus PageMuseum Pinterest PageMuseum YouTube ChannelMuseum Flickr Page
Museum PodcastsMuseum E-newsletter Sign-upMuseum RSS Feeds

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act