1942 CESSNA T-50 “Bamboo Bomber”



The Cessna AT-17 Bobcat is a twin-engine advanced trainer aircraft designed and made in the United States, and used during World War II to bridge the gap between single-engine trainers and twin-engine combat aircraft. The AT-17 was powered by two Jacobs R-755-9 radial piston engines. The commercial version was the Model T-50, from which the AT-17 was developed.

The AT-17 was a military version of the commercial Cessna T-50 light transport. The Cessna Airplane Company first produced the wood and tubular steel, fabric-covered T-50 in 1939 for the civilian market, as a lightweight and low cost twin for personal use where larger aircraft such as the Beech 18 would be too expensive. A low-wing cantilever monoplane, it featured retractable main landing gear and wing trailing-edge flaps, both electrically actuated. The wing structure was built up of laminated spruce spar beams with spruce and plywood ribs. The fixed tail wheel is non-steerable and full-swiveling. The prototype T-50 made its maiden flight on 26 March 1939

This wonderful example is owned and flown by EDGAR  T. NEWBERG and is currently based at the Arizona  Wing of the CAF  Falcon Field Mesa ,AZ .

Variants include:

T-50 Company design number. Five-seat twin-engined commercial transport aircraft, fitted with Jacobs

L-4 MB radial piston engines


Military trainer version of the T-50 with two 295 hp (220-kW) Lycoming R-680-9 radial piston engines, 33 built.


As the AT-8 but powered by 245 hp (183 kW) Jacobs R-775-9 engines, 450 built some later converted to AT-17E.


As the AT-17 but with metal propellers and reduced weight, 223 built. 182 to Canada as Crane IAs and later conversion to AT-17Fs.


As the AT-17A but with equipment changes, 466 built. Subsequent aircraft were built as UC-78Bs.


As the AT-17A but different radio equipment, 60 built.


As the AT-C with equipment changes, 131 built.


AT-17 with gross weight limited to 5,300 lb (2,400 kg).


AT-17A with gross weight limited to 5,300 lb (2,400 kg).


AT-17B with gross weight limited to 5,300 lb (2,400 kg).


Military transport version for the United States Army Air Forces, redesignated UC-78 in 1943, 1354 built.


C-78 redesignated  in 1943; variable-pitch propellers.


17 impressed civilian T-50s


Originally the AT-17B, wooden propellers and reduced weight, 1806 built.


Originally the AT-17D, same as UC-78B with equipment changes, 196 built and 131 AT-17Ds redesignated.


Navy light transport version of the UC-78 with two Jacobs R-775-9 engines, 67 delivered.

Crane I

Royal Canadian Air Force designation for T-50s with minor equipment changes, 640 delivered as light transports.

Crane 1A

182 AT-17As delivered to Canada under lend-lease.

T-50 info provided by Wikipedia®  available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.