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Cessna O-2A Super Skymaster

History of the Cessna O-2A Super Skymaster

In 1966, the O-2A replaced the O-1 Bird Dog aircraft. Fully equipped with wing pylons to carry flares, rockets and minigun pods, these aircraft were used during the Vietnam War and could withstand an onslaught from small arms fire and return the pilot safely. Super Skymasters would fly from South Vietnam and Thailand into Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam to direct air strikes or gather reconnaissance information.

Cessna O-2A-CE Super Skymaster

Serial Number: 68-10853

Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company

Crew: One to two

Engines: Two Continental IO-360-D; 210 horsepower each

Wingspan: 38 feet

Length: 29 feet 2 inches

Height: 9 feet 5 inches

Weight: 3,226 pounds (empty); 4,850 pounds (loaded)

Speed: 144 mph (cruising) 199 mph (maximum)

Range: 1,060 miles

Service Ceiling: 19,300 feet

Armament: Four pylons for rockets, flares, mini-gun pods or other light ordnance

Cost: $92,000

The O-2A Super Skymaster at Hill Air Force Base

At the end of the Vietnam War, the remaining O-2 aircraft were sent to Air National Guard Units. Three O-2s were stationed at the Utah Test and Training Range, supported by Hill Air Force Base, to assist Air Force Flight Test Center programs.

The O-2A on display was delivered to the United States (US) Air Force in 1969 and was stationed at bases in Vietnam and the US. In 1983, Hill Air Force Base received this aircraft and it was put on display at Hill Aerospace Museum the following year.

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