The T-37 is a twin-engine primary trainer used for teaching the fundamentals of jet aircraft operation and instrument, formation and night flying. Affectionately known as the "Tweety Bird" or "Tweet," it was the first USAF jet aircraft designed from conception as a trainer (as opposed to a modification such as the T-33). Its flying characteristics helped student pilots prepare to transition to the larger, faster T-38 "Talon" later in the pilot training program. Side-by-side seating in the T-37 makes it easier for the instructor to observe and communicate with the student.
The XT-37 prototype made its initial flight on October 12, 1954, and the preproduction T-37A first flew on September 27, 1955. Following modifications, the T-37A entered operational USAF service in 1957. In 1959, the T-37B joined the USAF. Similar to the -A, it had more powerful engines, a redesigned instrument panel and improved radio communications and navigational equipment. In time, all -As were modified to -B standards.
The T-37C, with provisions for armament and extra fuel, was built for export. Both T-37Bs and -Cs serve the air forces of several Allied nations. In all, nearly 1,300 T-37As, -Bs and -Cs were built before production ended in the late 1970s. In addition, nearly 600 A-37s--attack modifications of the T-37--were built. The T-37B on display was flown to the Museum on October 8, 1991.
The Museum's T-37B is displayed in the Modern Flight Hangar.
Span: 33 ft. 10 in.
Length: 29 ft. 4 in.
Height: 9 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 6,580 lbs. max.
Engines: Two Continental J69-T-25s of 1,025 lbs. thrust ea.
Maximum speed: 410 mph
Cruising speed: 350 mph.
Range: 650 miles
Service Ceiling: 35,000 ft.
The New and Old Gallery