UC-78 Jayhawk Wing
This Cessna UC-78 was used by the United States Army Air Corps as an advanced multi-engine trainer during World War II. The Air Corps pilots were trained in three stages Primary, Basic and Advanced before they were sent to operational units to fly the combat aircraft. The pilots trained to fly multi-engine airplanes in aircraft such as this UC-78. The UC-78 could hold one instructor and up to four students during a flight.
The Air Corps began purchasing UC-78 aircraft from the Cessna Company of Wichita, KS. in 1939. The UC-78 was the military version of the commercial Cessna T-50 light transport. The UC-78 aircraft is powered by two Jacobs R-755-9 245 horsepower radial engines. The UC-78 airframe is fabric covered and consists of a fuselage made of steel tubing and wings and tail made from spruce wood, hence the nickname “Bamboo Bomber”. The Bobcat was used by not only the Army Air Force, but also by the Navy as a JRC-1 and the Royal Canadian Air Force as the Crane I. In addition to pilot training, the UC-78 was equipped with various types of equipment and used as a navigator trainer and light transport aircraft.
The UC-78 on display was delivered to the Army Air Force on December 31, 1943. It is painted in the paint scheme used by the Army Air Corps at the time of its manufacture. The red outline of the national insignia was only used for a short period of time because it was learned that U.S. troops would shoot at any aircraft with red in the national insignia. The number on the side of the aircraft is the field number of the aircraft used by the training field. This aircraft was used to train Air Corps pilots at the flight school at Douglas Army Air Field, Douglas, AZ. The aircraft on display belongs to the Commemorative Air Force, Air Heritage Museum. The aircraft was restored and is operated by Jayhawk Wing of the Commemorative Air Force in Wichita, KS.