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Cessna T-41A Mescalero
Single-engine four-seat pilot primary trainer cabin monoplane, U.S.A.


Archive Photos 1


[Cessna T-41A "Mescalero" c.2001 at the National Museum of the United States Air Forced, WPAFB, Dayton, OH (Photo by John Shupek)]

Overview 2, 4


  • Cessna T-41 Mescalero
  • Role: Primary pilot trainer
  • National origin: United States
  • Manufacturer: Cessna
  • Introduction: 1964
  • Status: In limited service
  • Primary users: United States Air Force, United States Army, Royal Thai Air Force, Royal Thai Army
  • Produced: 1964-1996
  • Developed from: Cessna 172

The Cessna T-41 Mescalero is a military version of the popular Cessna 172, operated by the United States Air Force and Army as well as the armed forces of various other countries as a pilot training aircraft.

Design and Development 2, 4


In 1964, the U.S. Air Force decided to use the off-the-shelf Cessna 172F as a lead-in aircraft for student pilots rather than starting them out in the Cessna T-37 jet aircraft. The USAF ordered 237 Cessna T-41As from Cessna. The first USAF class (67-A) of students began training on the Cessna T-41 from the civilian airport in Big Springs, TX in August 1965.

The Cessna T-41B was the U.S. Army version, with a 210 hp (160 kW) Continental IO-360 engine and constant speed propeller in place of the 145 hp (108 kW) Continental O-300 and 7654 fixed-pitch propeller used in the Cessna 172 and the Cessna T-41A.

In 1968, the U.S. Air Force acquired 52 more powerful Cessna T-41Cs, which used 210 hp (160 kW) Continental IO-360 and a fixed-pitch climb propeller, for use at the Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs.

In 1996, the aircraft were further upgraded to the Cessna T-41D, which included an upgrade in avionics and to a constant speed propeller.

Beginning in 1993, the United States Air Force replaced much of the Cessna T-41 fleet with the Slingsby T-3A Firefly for the flight screening role, and for aerobatic training, which was outside the design capabilities of the Cessna T-41. The Slingsby T-3A fleet was indefinitely grounded in 1997 and scrapped in 2006 following a series of fatal accidents at the United States Air Force Academy.

The Air Force now trains all prospective USAF pilots and navigators-nee-combat systems officers through a civilian contract with DOSS Aviation known as Initial Military Flight Screening which makes use of the Diamond DA20. This program is conducted for USAF line officer accession programs (e.g., USAFA, AFROTC, OTS), with said training taking place after these officers have been commissioned as second lieutenants. It is also conducted for USAF officers at the first lieutenant and captain level selected for flight training after an assignment as a non-aeronautically rated officer.

Four Cessna T-41s remain at the Air Force Academy in order to support certain academic classes as well as the USAFA Flying Team.

A number of air forces, including Saudi Arabia and Singapore, purchased various civilian models of the Cessna 172 for use in military training, transport and liaison roles. While similar to the Cessna T-41, these aircraft were not Cessna T-41s and were powered by the standard Cessna 172 powerplants available in the model year purchased. These included the 145 hp (108 kW) Continental O-300 in pre-1968 aircraft and the 150 hp and 160 hp (120 kW) Lycoming O-320 in later Cessna 172s.

Variants 2, 4


  • Cessna T-41A: United States Air Force version of the Cessna 172F for undergraduate pilot training, powered by 145 hp Continental O-300,211 built.
  • Cessna T-41B: United States Army version of the Cessna R172E for training and liaison duties, powered by 210 hp Continental IO-360, 255 built.
  • Cessna T-41C: A version of the Cessna T-41B for use by the USAF Academy, powered by 210 hp Continental IO-360, 52 built.
  • Cessna T-41D: A version of the Cessna T-41B for export under the Military Aid Program with 28V electrical system and simplified equipment, powered by 210 hp Continental IO-360, 238 built. The first Cessna T-41D was delivered to the Philippine Air Force in 1968.

Operators 2, 4


  • Angola: Angolan Air Force (5 × Cessna 172 in service)
  • Argentina: Argentine Army Aviation (10 × Cessna T-41D in service)
  • Bolivia: Bolivian Air Force
  • Chile: Chilean Air Force (10 × Cessna T-41D, already retired)
  • Colombia: Colombian Air Force (30 × Cessna T-41D) - retired
  • Dominican Republic: Dominican Air Force (10 × Cessna T-41D/Cessna R172)
  • Ecuador: Ecuadorian Air Force (8 × Cessna T-41A, 12 × Cessna T-41D)
  • El Salvador: Salvadoran Air Force
  • Greece: Hellenic Air Force (Cessna T-41A, 21 × Cessna T-41D)
  • Honduras: Honduran Air Force (3 × Cessna T-41B and 6 × Cessna T-41D, retired)
  • Indonesia: Indonesian Air Force (55 × Cessna T-41D)
  • Iran: Imperial Iranian Air Force (Cessna T-41D)
  • Khmer Republic: Khmer Air Force (22 × Cessna T-41).
  • Laos: Royal Laotian Air Force (Cessna T-41B, Cessna T-41D).
  • Liberia: Armed Forces of Liberia (Cessna T-41D).
  • Pakistan: Pakistani Air Force (Cessna T-41D).
  • Paraguay: Paraguayan Air Force (5 × Cessna T-41B).
  • Peru: Peruvian Air Force (25 × Cessna T-41A.
  • Philippines: Philippine Air Force (20 × Cessna T-41D).
  • Republic of Korea: Republic of Korea Air Force (15 × Cessna T-41D).
  • South Vietnam: Vietnam Air Force (22 × Cessna T-41D, no longer in service).
  • Thailand: Royal Thai Air Force (6 × Cessna T-41D), Royal Thai Army (6 × Cessna T-41B).
  • Turkey: Turkish Air Force (30 × Cessna T-41D), Turkish Land Forces (25 × Cessna T-41D).
  • United States: United States Army (255 × Cessna T-41B), United States Air Force (211 × Cessna T-41A and 52 × Cessna T-41C), Fort Meade Flying Activity/Fort Meade, Maryland - 3 × Cessna T-41C (all 3 currently airworthy), Jacksonville Navy Flying Club/NAS Jacksonville, Florida - 2 × Cessna T-41A, 1 × Cessna T-41B (two currently airworthy), Kirtland AFB Aeroclub/Kirtland AFB, New Mexico - 5 × Cessna T-41C, Patuxent River Navy Flying Club/NAS Patuxent River, Maryland - 3 × Cessna T-41C (1 currently airworthy), Eglin AFB Aeroclub/Eglin AFB, FL - 2 × Cessna T-41A, 1 × Cessna T-41B (1 Cessna T-41A and 1 Cessna T-41B currently airworthy), Travis AFB Aero Club/Travis AFB, CA - 1 × Cessna T-41C (currently airworthy).
  • Uruguay: Uruguayan Air Force (7 × Cessna T-41D)

1971 Cessna T-41A Mescalero Specifications and Performance Data 2


Type

  • Four-seat cabin monoplane.

Wings

  • Braced high-wing monoplane.
  • NACA 2412 wing section.
  • Dihedral: 1° 44'.
  • Incidence: 1° 30' — 1° 30' at tip.
  • All-metal structure, except for conical-camber glass-fiber wingtips.
  • Single bracing strut on each side.
  • Modified Frise all-metal ailerons.
  • Electrically-controlled NACA all-metal single-slotted flaps inboard of ailerons.

Fuselage

  • All-metal semi-monocoque structure.

Tail Unit

  • Cantilever all-metal structure.
  • Sweepback on fin 35° at quarter-chord.
  • Trim tab in starboard elevator.
  • Ground-adjustable trim tab in rudder.

Landing Gear

  • Non-retractable tricycle type.
  • Cessna “Land-o-Matic” cantilever main legs, each comprising a one-piece machined conically-tapered spring steel tube.
  • Nosewheel is carried on an oleo-pneumatic shock-struck and is steerable with rudder up to 10° and controllable up to 30° on either side.
  • Cessna main wheels size 6.00-6 and nosewheel size 5.00- (optionally 6.00-6), with nylon cord tube-type tires.
  • Tire pressure: main wheels 23 psi (1.62 kg/cm2), nosewheel 26 psi (1.83 62 kg/cm2).
  • Hydraulic disc brakes.
  • Optional wheel fairings.
  • Alternative float and ski gear.

Power Plant

  • One 150 hp (112 kW) Lycoming O-320-E2D flat-four engine, driving a two-blade fixed-pitch metal propeller.
  • One fuel tank each wing, with a total capacity of 42 U.S. gallons (159 L).
  • Usable fuel 38 U.S. gallons (143.8 L:).
  • Provision for long-range tanks, giving total capacity of 52 U.S gallons (197 L), of which 48 U.S. gallons (182 L) are usable.
  • Oil capacity 2 U.S. gallons (7.5 L).

Accommodation

  • Cabin seats four in two pairs, with optional fully-articulated front seats.
  • Baggage space aft of rear seats, capacity 120 lbs (54 kg).
  • An optional fold-away seat can be fitted in baggage space, for one or two children not exceeding 120 lbs (54 kg) total weight.
  • Door on each side of cabin giving access to all seats and to simplify loading if rear seats are removed and cabin used for freight.
  • Pilot's window opens.
  • Co-pilot's side opening side window and dual controls optional on Skyhawk.
  • Dual controls standard on Skyhawk II.
  • Baggage door on port side.
  • Combined heating and ventilating system.
  • Glass-fiber soundproofing.
  • Optional overhead skylights.

System

  • Electrical system includes a 60A 12V alternator.
  • Automatic alternator cut-out.
  • Electric engine starter.
  • 12V battery.

Electronics and Equipment

  • True Airspeed Indicator.
  • Courtesy lights.
  • Emergency locator transmitter.
  • Alternate static source.
  • Navigation light detectors.
  • Heated pitot and omni-flash beacon standard on Skyhawk II, optional on Skyhawk.
  • Optional extras for both models include Cessna Series 300 700-channel transceiver.
  • 720-channel nav/com with remote VOR indicator.
  • 720-channel nav/com with remote VOR/LOC indicator or VOR/ILS indicator.
  • ADF.
  • Marker beacon with three lights and aural signal.
  • Transponder with 4096 code capability.
  • DME.
  • 10-channel HF transceiver.
  • Nav-o-Matic autopilot with heading control plus VOR.
  • Series 400 glidescope receiver.
  • Boom microphone with control-wheel switch.
  • Control-wheel map light.
  • Sensitive altimeter.
  • Directional gyro was movable heading index.
  • Electric clock.
  • Outside air temperature gauge.
  • Landing light.
  • Rate of climb indicator.
  • Map and instrument panel light.
  • Carburetor air temperature gauge.
  • Turn and bank indicator.
  • Map and light.
  • Read of climb indicator.
  • Turn co-ordinator.
  • Map and instrument panel light.
  • Carburetor air temperature gauge.
  • Horizon and directional gyros with vacuum system.
  • Sun visors.
  • Towbar.
  • Flight hour recorder.
  • Cabin fire extinguisher.
  • Headrests.
  • Rear-view mirror.
  • Child's foldaway seat.
  • Rear seats with individual reclining backs.
  • Front seats with articulating reclining and vertical adjustments.
  • Utility shelf.
  • Safety belts for third and fourth seats.
  • Inertia reel shoulder harnesses.
  • Anti-precipitation static kit.
  • Overhead skylights.
  • Portable stretcher.
  • Rear-seat ventilation system.
  • Hinged window on starboard side.
  • Full-flow oil filter.
  • Engine primer system.
  • Wing-strut and fuselage steps and handles for easy refueling.
  • Quick-drain oil wealth.
  • Internal corrosion proofing.
  • Floatplane kit.
  • External power socket.
  • Glider tow hook.
  • Beacon.
  • Dual cowl-mounted landing lights.
  • Wing tip strobe lights.
  • Tailplane abrasion boots.
  • Tinted windows.
  • Winterization kit.

Dimensions, External

  • Wingspan:
  • Wing chord at root: 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m).
  • Wing chord at tip: 3 ft 8½ in (1.12 m).
  • Wing aspect ratio: 7.52
  • Length overall: 26 ft 11 in (8.20 m).
  • Height overall: 8 ft 9½ in (2.68 m).
  • Tailplane span: 11 ft 4 in (3.45 m).
  • Wheel track: 8 ft 3½ in (2.53 m).
  • Wheel base: 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m).
  • Propeller diameter: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m).
  • Passenger doors height (each): 3 ft 3¾ in (2.53 m).
  • Passenger doors width (each): 2 ft 11 in (0.89 m).

Areas

  • Wings, gross: 174 ft2 (16.16 m2).
  • Ailerons (total): 18.3 ft2 (1.70 m2).
  • Trailing-edge flaps (total): 21.20 ft2 (1.97 m2).
  • Fin: 11.24 ft2 (1.04 m2).
  • Rudder: 7.45 ft2 (0.69 m2).
  • Tailplane: 21.56 ft2 (2.00 m2).
  • Elevators, including tab: 14.53 ft2 (1.35 m2)

Weights and Loadings

  • Weight empty equipped 1,363 lbs (618 kg).
  • Max T-O weight: 2,300 lbs (1,043 kg).
  • Max wing loading: 13.2 lbs/ft2 (64.4 kg/m2).
  • Max power loading: 15.3 lbs/hp (9.31 kg/kW).

Performance at Maximum T-O Weight

  • Never-exceed speed: 151 kn; 280 km/h; 174 mph.
  • Max level speed at S/L: 125 kn; 174 mph; 232 km/h.
  • Max cruising speed at 75% power at 8,000 ft (2,440 m): 120 kn; 138 mph; 222 km/h.
  • Econ cruising speed at 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 101 kn; 116 mph; 187 km/h.
  • Stalling speed with flaps up: 50 kn; 57 mph; 92 km/h.
  • Stalling speed with flaps down: 43 kn; 49 mph; 79 km/h.
  • Rate of climb at S/L: 645 ft/min (196 m/min).
  • Service ceiling: 13,100 ft (3,995 m).
  • T-O run: 865 ft (264 m).
  • T-O run to 50 ft (15 m): 1,525 ft (465 m).
  • Landing from 50 ft (15 m): 1,250 ft (381 m).
  • Landing run: 520 ft (158 m).
  • Range with recommended lean mixture and allowances for engine start, taxi, T-O, climb and 45 min reserves at 45% power:
    • Standard fuel at 8,000 ft (2,440 m): 450 nm, 834 km; 518 miles.
    • Max fuel at 8,000 ft (2.440 m): 595 nm; 1,102 km; 685 miles.
    • Standard fuel at 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 480 nm; 890 km; 553 miles.
    • Max fuel at 10,000 (3,050 m): 640 nm; 1,186 km; 737 miles.
  • Range at max cruising speed with standard tanks and no reserve at 9,000 ft (2,745 m): 534 nautical miles; 615 miles; 990 km.
  • Range at max cruising speed with optional long-range tanks and no reserve at 9,000 ft (2.745 m): 673 nm; 775 miles; 1,245 km.
  • Range and econ cruising speed with standard tanks and no reserve at 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 555 nm; 640 miles; 1,030 km.
  • Range at econ cruising speed with optimal long-range tanks and no reserve at 10,000 ft (3,050 m): 712 nm; 820 miles; 1,320 km.

References


  1. Shupek, John. Photos by John Shupek, Copyright © 2001 Skytamer Images (Skytamer.com). All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cessna 172
  3. Taylor, John W.R.. Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1976-77. Cessna: Cessna Skyhawk/ T-41 Mescalero, New York: Jane's Yearbooks/Franklin Watts Inc., 1976, ISBN 0-531 03260 4, p 255.
  4. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cessna T-41 Mescalero

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