[A-37 Dragonfly] DRAGONS over the CARIBBEAN

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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huggy

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Unread post29 Jan 2021, 05:44

Gums,
I sent you a private message about the A-37.
Let me know if you don't see it.

Spazsinbad, good post... I hadn't seen that brochure before. Excellent find.

Huggy
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spazsinbad

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Unread post30 Jan 2021, 16:15

Latin Dragons [6 page PDF of article attached]
Aug 2007 Iñigo Guevara

"Iñigo Guevara gives an overview of the A-37B Dragonfly, a key aircraft for many Latin American Air Forces when they switch from counter-insurgency to anti-narcotic operations....

...By the late 1960s, the large Latin American COIN fleet comprised a spectacular mix of aircraft such as armed A-26 Invaders, B-25 Mitchells, F,86 Sabres, P-47D Thunderbolts, T-6 Texans, T-28 Trojans, Gloster Meteors and de Havilland Vampires [hubba hubba]. There was a clear need for a modern light attack jet, which needed to be easy to maintain, economic to operate, and rough enough for counter-insurgency operations....

Photo: "A Peruvian A-37 shows off its impressive array of close air support weapons. KEY-ALAN WARNES"


Source: AirForces Monthly August 2007 #233
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LATIN DRAGONS AirForces Monthly Aug 2007 OCR pp6.pdf
(4.68 MiB) Downloaded 81 times
A-37BperuWeaponsDisplayFORUM.jpg
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Unread post01 Feb 2021, 04:08

Highwaymen [4 page PDF of article attached]
Jan 2018 Air International

"As a geographically compact nation with small armed forces, Uruguayan military doctrine emphasises having a well-trained, volunteer professional workforce (no military service is available) to maximise utilisation of its limited equipment and material resources. Therefore, if attacked by a more powerful foe, the country’s services defensive plan is to strike back in small packs, attempting to cause maximum attrition to the enemy, while awaiting assistance from a friendly nation. Therefore, as part of the Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (FAU or Uruguayan Air Force) Annual Activity Plan, deployments to operate its Cessna A-37B Dragonfly attack jets from remote, small countryside aerodromes and highways – far from their main base – are of paramount importance....

...Pilots new to the Dragonfly flew initial missions with instructors to familiarise themselves with the highway, narrower than a standard runway, and local conditions like strong turbulence generated by the prevailing Atlantic sea breeze striking a forest south of the road. On later missions, the new pilots operated as aircraft commander with minimum supervision.

Escuadrón 2 maintenance engineers (Aerotécnicos) perform wonders to keep the Dragonfly fleet flying 41 years after the arrival of the first batch of eight aircraft in 1976. Of great concern is the soon to be depleted stock of Weber ejection seat cartridges. There is no supply chain; seat production has long stopped, and the current stock of cartridges is estimated to run out in 2018.

What’s next?
The political establishment in Uruguay has shown no indication or interest in procuring replacement aircraft to modernise the FAU fleet. In view of this attitude, recent meetings have taken place between FAU personnel and Martin-Baker Argentina to assess the possibility of retrofitting the fleet with a new ejection seat. The British firm is offering a replacement seat based on the one utilised on the Embraer Tucano fleet. The company claims considerable weight savings and conversion costs, easier maintenance and improved performance when compared to the old seat. Of note is the possibility of through-the-canopy ejection at zero altitude, within a speed range of 70 to 430kts, a far safer ejection envelope than the Dragonfly possesses now, requiring speed and height before bailing out...."

Photo: "A-37B FAU 279 ready to go with green air inlet screens for the GE J-85-17A turbojet engines fitted to prevent the possibility of debris ingestion on the unprepared runway"


Source: AIR International January 2018 Vol.94 No.1
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A-37B Highwaymen A_I_Jan 2018 pp4.pdf
(748.96 KiB) Downloaded 73 times
A-37BgreenEngineInletScreen.jpg
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Unread post03 Feb 2021, 21:22

'Tango' Tweets [3 page PDF of article attached]
Jun 2018 Cristobal Soto Pino & Cees-Jan van der Ende

"Colombia, together with Pakistan, is one of the final military operators of the classic T-37. Cristobal Soto Pino and Cees-Jan van der Ende report exclusively from Palanquero, the last bastion of the Tweet in the Americas....

...A milestone in recent FAC history was marked in March 2005, when Lieutenant Joana Ximena Herrera Cortes became the first woman in the service’s history to graduate as a combat pilot after flying the T-37.

Change of course
On July 20, 2006, T-37C FAC 2104 crashed on its return to base after a military parade, killing two pilots, instructor Lt Herman Ramirez and Lt Herrera Cortes. Post-accident studies revealed severe structural issues in the Tweet and the FAC’s investigative team concluded these problems caused one of the wings to become detached. The FAC General Command was forced to ground its entire fleet of T-37C and T-37B aircraft. However, the need to continue transitioning fighter pilots led the FAC to return four T-37Bs (FAC 2116 to FAC 2120) to service and it was later decided to purchase another 16 surplus trainers from USAF stocks. These jets arrived in Colombia in four separate batches between 2008 and 2010.

Photo: "Tweets FAC 2127 and FAC 2132 over the village of La Dorada, located on Colombia’s main river, the Río Magdalena...."


Source: AirForces Monthly Magazine June 2018 #363
Attachments
T-37 Colombia Jun 2018 AirForces Monthly pp3.pdf
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FormFoto T-37 Colombia Jun 2018 AirForces Monthly TIF.jpg
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outlaw162

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Unread post03 Feb 2021, 22:26

However, the need to continue transitioning fighter pilots led the FAC to return four T-37Bs (FAC 2116 to FAC 2120) to service and it was later decided to purchase another 16 surplus trainers from USAF stocks.


When you're out of T-37s....you're out of inverted spins. :mrgreen:
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spazsinbad

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Unread post04 Feb 2021, 04:03

Yeah 'inverted spins in a jet are awesome' (depending upon whether recovery is possible). IIRC I carried out inverted spins in the Winjeel (radial prop basic dual seat trainer wheels down & welded) then any spin was FORBIDDEN in the single engine dual seat Vampire/Sea Venom (likely unrecoverable) to be THRUST into the Macchi MB326H (single engine jet tandem seat trainer initially with small wing tip fuel tanks bolted on). As it turned out with empty small tip tanks this version could recover from inverted spins (I learnt to fly them with RAAF instructors at East Sale) but became problematic with the empty larger fuel tip tanks that the RAN FAA bolted on permanently (usually). The RAAF 'forgot' to tell the RAN FAA that this was a problem so we lost a Macchi MB326H to an unrecoverable inverted spin (crew ejected OK). <sigh>
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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 Feb 2021, 02:55

IN outback NSW Australia is the great TAM - they had a dual seat ex-RAAF Vampire flying but I think it is in intensive care.
Changing of the guard [PDF attached]
Aug-Oct 2018 Rob Fox

"Following a twelve-year major restoration, the Temora Aviation Museum’s second Cessna A-37B Dragonfly (VH-XVA) took to the skies once again last May. This A-37B (serial 68-10779) was built in 1968 and flew combat sorties in Vietnam. It was recovered from there in the mid-nineties by the late Dr. Michael Silva. In addition to main wing spar replacements, the A-37 underwent a full restoration, and systems and engines overhaul. It has emerged from the museum’s workshop wearing an authentic representation of the South Vietnamese Air Force's 516th Fighter Squadron’s ‘Flying Tiger’ scheme when the unit operated out of Da Nang. As the museum only ever plans to have one of its A-37Bs airworthy and flying at any one time, its other Dragonfly, the popular VH-DLO (serial 68-10805), will now go into a well-earned retirement."

Source: Flightpath Volume 30 Number 1, August-October 2018
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TAM DragonFly FlightPath Aug-Oct 2018.pdf
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TAM DragonFly FlightPath Aug-Oct 2018.jpg
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huggy

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Unread post11 Feb 2021, 07:09

Great A-37 info! Thanks!
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spazsinbad

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Unread post15 Feb 2021, 16:59

Photo from an old article (not much about tweets AFAIK at moment) in AirForces Monthly magazine February 2020.
"A pair of Peruvian Dragonflies, with serial 127 (c/n 43482, ex 74-1706) nearest the camera. Thirty-six new-build A-37Bs were delivered from 1975, followed by six ex-USAF OA-37Bs in 1992, 11 more ex-USAF OA-37Bs in 1996, two more in 2002 and finally eight South Korean A-37Bs in February 2010. Around 15 survive today."
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A-37B 2 Peruvian DragonFlies.jpg
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Unread post15 Feb 2021, 17:21

'GOLDEN JAGUARS' over Panama A-37s in Operation 'Just Cause' [8 page PDF of article attached]
Feb 2020 Joe Copalman

"Combat Aircraft Journal looks back at the role of the Dragonfly in Operation ‘Just Cause’ in 1989, when a small, specialist squadron was thrust into a major campaign....

...SUPER 'TWEET'
Conceived in the early 1960s as a low-cost counter-insurgency aircraft, the A-37 was derived from Cessna’s successful T-37 ‘Tweet’ trainer. Cessna made several changes to the basic T-37 to meet requirements set by the air force’s Special Air Warfare Center: more powerful engines, stronger wings, a nose-mounted 7.62mm minigun with accompanying gunsight, six (eventually eight) underwing pylons for fuel tanks, free-fall bombs, and forward-firing ordnance, wingtip tanks for extended combat endurance, and improved radios and avionics. The air force purchased the resulting aircraft, the A-37 Dragonfly, which made its combat debut in Vietnam in August 1967. By the end of US involvement in Southeast Asia in early 1973, A-37s had flown more than 160,000 sorties, establishing the Dragonfly as a credible close air support platform. After Vietnam, most remaining air force A-37s were transferred to Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units and converted to OA-37Bs, optimized for the forward air controller — airborne (FAC-A) role....

...'JAGUARS' REBORN
After inactivation, the 24th TASS’ colors remained cased for 27 years. In March 2018, the air force re-activated the ‘Golden Jaguars’ at Nellis AFB in Nevada as the service’s FAC-A schoolhouse for F-16 pilots. Additionally, the revived 24th TASS provides close air support sorties for joint terminal attack controllers (the modern equivalent to the ETACs who served in Panama) at the US Air Force Weapons School’s Joint Terminal Attack Controller Weapons Instructor Course.

PHOTO: "‘Golden Jaguar’ pilots rarely conducted aerial refueling during local operations over Panama, but routinely did so when flying to other countries in Central and South America to work alongside A-37 operators. USAF/CMSgt Don Sutherland"


Source: Combat Aircraft Journal February 2020 Volume 21 Number 2
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A-37 GOLDEN Combat Aircraft Feb 2020 pp8.pdf
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A-37 Golden Dragon ARF + Badge.jpg
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Gums

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Unread post16 Feb 2021, 16:30

Salute!

Thnx for the history, Spaz.

I didn't know the 24th was still in the Zone during the fracas. I knew the commander of the first plane off the ground. He was a student of mine when I was at Air University, and flew Reserve AC-130's right here. Later made it to a two star general!

I was surprised the Slufs didn't use bombs, as they were very accurate. The computed impact mode for strafe was decent, so not a bad choice for really close situations. A POW we tried to extract told me our strafe was awesome and close to him. You can find his story on the 'net: "Kansas 01B" Hector Acosta I tink.

Lastly, Huggy has been here and he has flown the thing. He will tell you that it doesn't "tweet" or scream. The J85 and intake design makes it sound more like a giant vacuum cleaner!

Gums sends...
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spazsinbad

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Unread post12 Mar 2021, 03:16

.MP4 video attached is an A-37B Dragonfly snippet from RAAF Centenary Airshow at Temora Aviation Museum Mar 2021.

'doge' post complete video: viewtopic.php?f=22&t=24622&p=451284&hilit=temora#p451284
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A-37 Dragonfly Temora Aviation Museum RAAF Centenary Showcase.mp4 [ 5.54 MiB | Viewed 1027 times ]

A-37DragonFlyTEMORAaviationMuseumOz.jpg
A-37dragonflyTemoraTAXI.jpg
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spazsinbad

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Unread post28 Mar 2021, 01:24

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CombatDragonCRIDDLEozCivilianA-37B.jpg
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