Every month, the Lone Star Flight Museum will welcome new, visiting aircraft giving visitors a chance to see a different plane at the museum every month, all year long. We are kicking off the program with the Cessna O-2 Skymaster.
JULY 2021 VISITING AIRCRAFT – O-2A “Skymaster”
The O-2 was a military version of the Cessna Model 337 Super Skymaster. Distinguished by twin tail booms and tandem-mounted engines, it featured a tractor-pusher propeller arrangement. The Model 337 went into production for the civilian market in 1965. In late 1966, the USAF selected a military variant, designated the O-2, to replace the O-1 Bird Dog in the forward air control aircraft and served in that role with the 20th Tactical Air Support Squadron, then operating in Southeast Asia.
Having twin engines enabled the O-2 to absorb more ground fire and still return safely, endearing it to its crews. The O-2 first flew in January 1967 and production deliveries began in March. Production ended in June 1970 after 532 O-2s had been built for the USAF.
Two series were produced: the O-2A and the O-2B. The O-2A was equipped with wing pylons to carry rockets, flares, and other light ordnance. In the FAC role the O-2A was used for identifying and marking enemy targets with smoke rockets, coordinating air strikes and reporting target damage. The O-2B was equipped with loudspeakers and a leaflet dispenser for use in the psychological operations (PSYOPS) role. Out of a total of 532 O-2s built, 178 USAF O-2s were lost in the Vietnam War.
The aircraft is now on display in the Waltrip Hangar on loan from Mr. George “Buddy” Roberts.