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Cessna OA-37B

Forward Air Controller Aircraft

19th TASS
U.S.A.F. 19th TASS,
51st TFW
Osan Air Base, South Korea

Hasegawa Hobby Kits

This model added to on January 26, 1998
Photos and information updated on March 10,2010
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa 1:72 scale
In late 1962 the U.S. Air Force began evaluation of the Cessna T-37C "Tweety Bird" trainer to meet the need for an efficient low cost attack aircraft to counter communist-sponsored insurgency in Southeast Asia. Development led to the A-37A "Dragonfly" (aka "The Super Tweet") with stronger wings, larger wingtip fuel pods, better avionics, 6 weapons pylons, and an internal gun.
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa
In 1967 the USAF flew "air commando" missions with the A-37A in Vietnam under the "Combat Dragon" evaluation program. Results of the evaluation led to a much improved A-37B delivered in 1968 with a stronger airframe, more thrust, better handling, better endurance, better crew survivability, and aerial refueling capability.
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa 1:72 scale
As the Vietnam conflict came to an end the A-37 had flown over 160,000 combat sorties (including close air support, helicopter escort, FAC, and night interdiction missions) with only 22 USAF losses. It was found to excel at close air support. Its straight wings allowed it to engage targets 100 miles per hour slower than swept-wing fighters which improved bombing accuracy to within 45 feet.
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa
Dragonfly combat loads included high-explosive bombs, cluster munitions dispensers, unguided rocket packs, napalm tanks, and the SUU-11/A Minigun pod. For most missions, the aircraft carried two additional external tanks on the inner stores pylons. Mounted in the right side of the aircraft's nose is the General Electric GAU-2B/A 7.62 mm "Minigun" Gatling-style machine gun. The gun has a rate of fire of 3,000 rounds/minute and 1,500 rounds of ammunition.
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa
This is a very nice kit with the exception of the simplified cockpit. It's cleanly molded with relatively no flash, fine raised panel detail, and fit is generally good. Size and shape compare well to the real aircraft.
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa
I started with a base coat of Testors Enamel "Gunship Gray" and then lighted up with white for my weathering. An oil wash was applied to the panel lines and then finished off with a light coat of Testors Dullcoat Lacquer.
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa
The canopy was molded in one piece (closed position) which obscured the scratch building I did on my seats, so I carefully cut it open. I used masking tape to make seat harnesses and the nylon flak curtains around the cockpit. Infamous substandard pilots are included but no flight controls so I borrowed from my spares box.
Cessna OA-37B Dragonfly by Hasegawa
Overall this was a very good kit. There is room for improvement in the cockpit and wheel bays but the rest is pretty nice.

Hasegawa A-37A/B Dragonfly 5138
Kit: Hasegawa #5138
1/72 scale
Scale: 1/72

2 sprue trees contain 77 parts molded in gray, 1 tree with 3 transparent parts molded crystal clear and reasonably thin. All parts are free of flash and well formed.

Assembly starts with the cockpit which is highly simplified down to only 6 parts including the lackluster pilots. A decal is provided for the main instrument panel. Nose weight is required to keep it from tail sitting.

The canopy is molded in the closed position (one piece) but it can be cut apart with a small amount of effort.

Drop tanks and napalm canisters are provided for all 8 hardpoints.

I was not pleased with the provided gun muzzle (part 34) so I made my own gun muzzle from scratch styrene.

Markings and painting instructions are provided for an OA-37B of the 19th TASS, 51st TFW, USAF, and for an A-37A of the 604th SOS, 3rd TFW, USAF.
After Market Parts Used: None.
Customizing: Canopy opened. Scratch-built details include: flak curtains, canopy hinges, canopy strut and rear bulkhead. Ejection seats are modified by adding styrene and masking tape seat harnesses. Control sticks are from the spare parts box. Antennae and aerials created from styrene and stretched sprue. Styrene minigun muzzle added.
Cost: Purchased for $8.50 (US) at MJDesigns in 1996. It can still be found for around $10 (US) today.
Recommendation: Recommended for all Close Air Support aircraft enthusiasts, beginners to experts.

This kit placed third at Squadron Scalefest 1998
Dual-crew Jet Aircraft category.

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