Archive digitization



Aviation and Diplomacy

Frank Piasecki

NATO 1949-2009 Projekt ekspozycji w Muzeum Lotnictwa Polskiego w Krakowie



Polish Aviation Museum

31-864 Kraków,
al. Jana Pawła II 39
phone: (12) 640 99 60,
(12) 642 40 70
e-mail: info@muzeumlotnictwa.pl

a cultural institution of the Malopolska Region

Małopolska – Kraków Region


Patronage

Kraków Airport







Aeroplane: Cessna UC-78A Bobcat

Cessna UC-78A Bobcat
USA
multipurpose aircraft
1941



  • Technical data


Span 12.78 m
Length 10.0 m
Take-off weight 2135 kg
Maximum speed 314 km/h
Ceiling 6000 m
Range 1000 km
Armament no fixed armament
Powerplant :
two 7-cylinder air cooled radials Jacobs R-755-9 rated at 245hp (178kW) each
Virtual tour :

 

An American twin-engined trainer used by Polish research and development center.

Despite the fact that the United States war doctrine in 1920's and 1930's didn't anticipate engaging in major military conflicts, after introducing the 1926 Air Corps Act, some changes in the approach to pilot training were noticed. Gradually, single-engined aircraft were replaced with twin engine machines. Training of the bomber crews required making of multi engine aircraft.

At the beginning of 1939, the Cessna Aircraft Corporation in Wichita works' chief designer Tom Selter drew plans for a twin-engined five-seat aircraft of a mixed construction. First flown in the same year, the T‑50 entered serial production at the Wichita works a year later. The aircraft inspired the interest of military authorities and since 1940, the Cessna works started a mass production of the AT‑8 and the AT‑17 trainers. The machine, being the Cessna's first twin engine construction, was fitted with Jacobs radial engines and named the Bobcat. In total 2042 aircraft in different versions were built.

Built for the USAAF, the UC‑78 derivative served as an executive and training aircraft. After the end of the Second World War, large numbers of these aircraft were sold to many countries as war surplus. Poland bought 21, all of which came from wartime production. Fourteen were brought to operational status, and the reminder served as a reserve of spare parts.

LOT Polish Airlines utilised Cessna Bobcats until 1949. Then, the sole remaining aircraft (registration SP-LEM) was handed over to the Aviation Institute, where it was re-registered as SP-GLC and used until 1962. In June 1953, two record-setting parachute jumps from altitudes of 4600 m and 4800 m were made from this aeroplane.

The SP-GLC owed its long lifespan to the cannibalisation of other aircraft of the type. To immortalise this fact, "shark's jaws" were painted on the nose of the aeroplane. After signing off service in 1967, the SP‑GLC was donated to the Museum. It is displayed in the colour and markings of the Aviation Institute.

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Dofinansowano ze środków Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego
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