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The T-41 Mescalero, a short-range, high-wing trainer aircraft, is the military version of the Cessna 172. It is used primarily for pilot candidate screening. The T-41 trainer is equipped with avionics and other equipment consistent with military missions.

The T-41A model is used by Air Training Command for preliminary flight screening of Air Force pilot candidates before their entry into undergraduate pilot training. A more powerful version, designated T-41C, is used for cadet flight training at the United States Air Force Academy. The screening is conducted at Hondo, Texas. Pilot candidates train for approximately 14 hours in the T-41A before passing on to T-37 primary jet training at one of the six Air Force pilot training schools. Between September 1964 and July 1965, The Air Force began receiving the T- 41A in September 1964. The Air Force Academy acquired the T-41C in 1968 for use in its pilot indoctrination program, which allows cadets to experience in an aerial environment principles learned in other academic courses. Cadets in the program fly approximately 21.2 hours dual and solo, and receive their first U.S. Air Force flight check.

The first 170 T-41As were ordered in 1964, and an additional 34 were ordered in 1967. Beginning in August 1965 the propeller-driven Cessna T-41 Mescalero provided 30 hours of what was, for many pilots, their first flights. Most went into service at various civilian contract flight schools, each located near one of Air Training Command's Undergradute Pilot Training (UPT) bases. In 1968 and 1969 the USAF Academy acquired 52 T-41Cs, with more powerful engines, for cadet flight training. The T-41 program was consolidated Air Force-wide at Hondo, Texas, in 1973. The Air Force began replacing the T-41 with a more advanced aircraft capable of aerobatics beginning in 1993.


Span 35 ft. 10 in.
Length 26 ft. 11 in.
Height 8 ft. 10 in.
Weight 2,300 lbs. loaded
Armament None
Engine One Continental O-300-C six-cylinder piston engine of 145 hp.
Maximum speed 139 mph.
Cruising speed 117 mph.
Range 720 miles
Service Ceiling 13,100 ft.
Cost $13,465
INVENTORY 50 at Hondo, Texas, 50 at the U.S. Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs, Colo.

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Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Thursday, January 07, 1999 7:02:44 PM