The UC-78 is a military version of the commercial Cessna T-50 light transport. Cessna first produced the wood and tubular steel, fabric covered T-50 in 1939 for the civilian market. In 1940, the Air Corps ordered them under the designation AT-8 as multi-engine advanced trainers.
Thirty-three AT-8s were built for the Air Corps, and production continued under the designation AT-17 reflecting a change in equipment and engine types. In 1942, the AAF adopted the Bobcat as a light personnal transport and those delivered after January 1, 1943 were designated UC-78s. By the end of WW II, Cessna had produced more than 4,600 Bobcats for the AAF, 67 of which were transferred to the U.S. Navy as JRC-1s. In addition, 822 Bobcats had been produced for the Royal Canadian Air Force as Crane 1s.
Dubbed the "Bamboo Bomber" by the pilots who flew them, it was one of the aircraft featured in the popular television series "Sky King" of the 1940s and '50s.
The UC-78 above is on display (S/N 42-71626) at the USAF Museum and is one of the 1,806 -Bs built for the AAF. It was acquired by the Museum in 1982.
Span: 41 ft. 11 in.
Length: 32 ft. 9 in.
Height: 9 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 5,700 lbs. max.
Engines: Two Jacobs R-755-9s of 245 hp. each
Serial Number: 42-71626 (for one at museum)
Other Registrations: N43BB, N4403N
Maximum speed: 175 mph.
Cruising speed: 150 mph.
Range: 750 miles
Service Ceiling: 15,000 ft.