CESSNA UC-78B "BOBCAT"("Bamboo Bomber")


The aircraft above is on display at the Air Force Museum

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.Only about 42 Bamboo Bombers are left.


This picture was taken at Oshkosh. This Cessna T-50 is painted like Sky Kings. It say's"Song Bird on the nose.

Span: 41 ft. 11 in.
Length: 32 ft. 9 in.
Height: 9 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 5,700 lbs. max.
Armament: None
Engines: Two Jacobs R-755-9s of 245 hp. each
Cost: $31,000

Maximum speed: 175 mph.
Cruising speed: 150 mph.
Range: 750 miles
Service Ceiling: 15,000 ft.

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1997 dgraves549@aol.com