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L-19/O-1 Bird Dog

L-19/O-1 Bird Dog

The creation of the Cessna L-19/O-1 “Bird Dog” was spurred by the ocial
separation of the Army Air Forces from the U.S. Army and the creation of a
separate branch of the armed forces as the U.S. Air Force. With the Air Force
now a separate branch of the military armed forces, the Army saw a need for
their own aircraft that would carry out some of the missions previously
performed by the Army Air Forces. Cessna’s answer to this need was the L-19.
The name Bird Dog was introduced by Cessna after a contest where
employees of the company participated in submitting names. The name itself
has a reference to hunting dogs that would aid their master in finding game

The Bird Dog saw its first missions carrying deliveries in 1950. Once a
sucient number of aircraft had been produced, they were introduced to their
first combat role during the Korean War. Thanks to the short take off and
landing performance, it was first used as a general liaison and observation
aircraft. The duties evolved to include medivac, artillery spotting, and
airborne communications relay. A later variant of the L-19 would be used by
the Army as a flight training aircraft.

Seeing later service in the Vietnam War, the Bird Dog continued its
previously used roles, and assumed another role as a “FAC” (Forward Air
Controller). Several allied militaries also used the Bird Dog including
Cambodia, France, Italy, Norway, Spain, Japan, and others. Towards the later
1970’s, the model would be phased out by newer aircraft entering service.


L-19/O-1 Bird Dog

Manufacturer: Cessna Aircraft Company


Power Plant: 1 × Continental O-470-11 air-cooled flat-six, 213 hp

Empty Weight: 1,614 lb (732 kg) (159 kW)

Max Takeoff Weight:
2,430 lb (1,102 kg)

25 ft 10 in (7.87 m) Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)

Height: 7 ft 4 in (2.24 m) Wing area: 174 sq ft (16.2 m2

Maximum Speed: 115 mph (185 km/h, 100 kn)

Cruise Speed: 104 mph (167 km/h, 90 kn) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m)

Range: 530 mi (850 km, 460 nmi)

Service Ceiling: 18,500 ft (5,600 m)


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