Published May 18, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Cessna O-2A Skymaster at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Cessna O-2A Skymaster in the Southeast Asia War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
In late 1966 the U.S. Air Force selected a military variant of the Cessna Model 337 Super Skymaster, designated the O-2, to supplement the O-1 Bird Dog forward air controller (FAC) aircraft then operating in Southeast Asia. Distinguished by twin tail booms and tandem-mounted engines, it featured a tractor-pusher propeller arrangement. Having twin engines enabled the O-2 to absorb more ground fire and still return safely, endearing it to its crews. The O-2 first flew in January 1967, and production deliveries began in March. Production ended in June 1970 after Cessna had built 532 O-2s for the USAF.
Cessna produced two series -- the O-2A and the O-2B. The O-2A carried wing pylons for rockets, flares and other light ordnance. In the FAC role, the O-2A identified and marked enemy targets with smoke rockets, coordinated air strikes and reported target damage. The O-2B operated as a psychological warfare aircraft equipped with loudspeakers and leaflet dispensers. It carried no ordnance.
The O-2A on display was assigned to the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Da Nang, South Vietnam, in the late 1960s. It was transferred to the museum in December 1982.
Armament: Rockets, flares, 7.62mm mini-gun pods or other light ordnance hung on four wing pylons
Engines: Two 210-hp Continental 10-360s
Maximum speed: 199 mph
Cruising speed: 144 mph
Range: 1,060 miles
Ceiling: 19,300 ft.
Span: 38 ft.
Length: 29 ft. 2 in.
Height: 9 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 4,900 lbs. loaded
Serial number: 67-21331
Click here to return to the Southeast Asia War Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)