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When USAF went searching for a new jet trainer in the early 1950's to replace the Lockheed T-33, it came as a great surprise to all when Cessna, best known for producing light aircraft, actually won the competition. Little did anyone realise that the T-37, the new training aircraft's designation, would stay in service for fifty years. Along the way the fleet had many rebuilds and is reckoned to have conservatively trained over 500,000 pilots to wings standard. Along the way it garnered many nicknames including 'Tweet, Tweety Bird' and the 'Screaming Dog Whistle'. Had the conflict in Vietnam been avoided this might of been the end of the line for the multi coloured trainer. As America became more involved with the conflict in South East Asia USAF was on a buying spree for all of the latest all singing, all dancing fighter attack aircraft. However, despite their supersonic capability and state of the art avionics these mighty behemoths were not suited to the close air support role.

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