UC-78B “Bamboo Bomber”
The UC-78B 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 Army Air Corps (AAF) ordered them under the designation AT-8 as multi-engine advanced trainers.
Thirty-three AT-8s were built for the AAF and production continued under the designation AT-17, reflecting a change on equipment and engine types. In 1942, the AAF adopted the Bobcat as a light personnel transport, and those delivered after 1 January 1943 were designated UC-78s. By the end of WWII, 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 the Crane I.
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 1950s.
During WWII, Robins Air Force Base performed depot repairs and logistics support for all the UC-78s located in the southeast. The Museum’s UC-78B was delivered to the AAF in March 1943 and served at various training bases in Arizona and California before being made excess in January 1945. The Museum acquired this aircraft in 1989 in poor condition. It underwent an extensive 10 year restoration.
Span: 41 ft. 11 in.
Length: 32 ft. 9 in.
Height: 9 ft. 11 in.
Weight: 5,700 lbs. lbs. max.
Engine: Two Jacobs R-755-9s of 245 hp. ea.
Serial Number: 42-71714
Maximum speed: 175 mph.
Cruising speed: 150 mph.
Range: 750 miles
Service ceiling: 15,000 ft.