Definition/Scope: The A-37 Dragonfly was developed in 1963 by modifying the Cessna-built T-37 trainer. Although the A-37 resembled the T-37, in fact there were few interchangeable parts with that trainer. Prefix letters may also be added to the designation, as with the OA-37 Dragonfly, where the letter O prefix means that this attack aircraft has an additional role of observation. The aircraft was perfect for FAC (Forward Air Control) and a number of examples were modified into OA-37Bs, which consisted mostly in the addition of radios. Hardpoints were added to the wings, as were wing tip fuel tanks. The cockpit got upgraded avionics as well as ejection seats. In flight refueling capabilities were also added to the aircraft. In addition there were retractable FOD screens to prevent debris from entering the engines and a 20mm gatling cannon was added. The modifications increased the weight of the aircraft so larger engines and stronger landing gear were required. It sported two General Electric J85-GE-17A turbojet engines, which developed 2,850 pounds of thrust. The wingspan of this plane was 35 feet, 10 inches. Its length was 29 feet, 3 inches and the plane’s height was 8 feet, 10 inches. The aircraft weight 14,000 pounds fully loaded. Its maximum speed was 507 mph at 16,000 feet with a range of 460 miles. The ceiling for the Dragonfly was 41,765 feet. The armament of the A-37 consisted of a 7.62mm minigun mounted in the nose capable of firing 6,000 rounds per minute. The aircraft had also been modified by mounting eight hardpoints on the wing, which could carry up to 4,800 pounds of ordnance. Different configuration consisted of two machine gun pods, two 2.75-inch rockets and four bombs; or in place of the gun pods, two 250-pound bombs or four Sidewinder missiles. The aircraft had a crew of two.
Broader Terms:attack aircraft
Related Terms:A-4 Skyhawk