Cessna U-3A Blue Canoe (bottom)
The U-3A is the military variant of the civilian Cessna Model 310. The 310 proved very successful in the civil market and was chosen by the Air Force in 1957 for use as a light utility transport. Initially called the L-25A approximately 160 were ordered in 1957 and 1958, a further 30 were ordered in 1960 with more powerful engines and called L-27B. The designation of these aircraft was changed in 1962 to U-3A and U-3B. The planes’ distinctive blue and white paint scheme led to the unofficial nickname “Blue Canoe.”
Beechcraft U-8D Seminole (center)
The U-8 is the military version of the Beech Model 50 Twin Bonanza. The military transport is virtually identical with the civil version, differing only in having military radios installed. The U.S. Army used the Seminole as light staff transports. A total of 250 were built for the Army and remained in service from the 1950s until the early 1980s.
Ryan-Temco D-16 Twin Navion (top)
North American Aviation introduced the single-engine Navion to the market in 1946. It was one of the first all-metal monoplane designs introduced after World War II. It was a success, but due to the pressures of military contracts for F-86 fighters North American decided to sell the design to the Ryan Aircraft Company in 1948. Ryan continued production for several more years. In 1952, a program to convert single-engine Navions into twin-engine aircraft was started by Jack Riley of Florida. The conversions consisted of rebuilding the nose of the aircraft into a baggage compartment and placing two Lycoming engines on the wings. This program was eventually sold to the TEMCO Aircraft Corporation in Texas. Later modifications by TEMCO added more powerful engines and wing tip fuel tanks. Just over 100 Navions were converted between 1954 and 1957.
By kjfitz @ 2007-11-17 16:50:50