The O-1G was a two-place observation and liaison aircraft developed from the commercial Cessna Model 170 in 1949. Originally designated L-19s, Bird Dogs were used by the U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine Corps for such tasks as artillery spotting, front-line communications, medical evacuation and pilot training.
In Southeast Asia, the O-1s became a USAF forward air control aircraft. A forward air controller (FAC), often an experienced fighter pilot, flew in a specific geographical area so that he could readily identify enemy activity. If a controller observed enemy ground targets, he marked them with smoke rockets so for attack by fighter-bombers. The FAC remained on the scene to report bombing results.
The single-engine O-1 was slow and vulnerable to enemy fire. This, along with its limited range and small payload, led to its eventual replacement by the twin-engine O-2 Skymaster and OV-10 Bronco.
The USAF ordered more than 3,200 Bird Dogs, most of which were built as L-19As between 1950 and 1959. The O-1G on display was transferred to the museum in 1971.
Armament: Generally none except smoke rockets
Engine: 213-hp Continental O-470
Maximum speed: 150 mph
Cruising speed: 115 mph
Range: 530 miles
Service ceiling: 20,300 ft.
Span: 36 ft.
Length: 25 ft. 10 in.
Height: 9 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 2,400 lbs. loaded
Serial number: 51-11917
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