Cessna’s ‘Push-Me Pull-You’ Skymasters

The Cessna 336 and 337 combined twin-engine performance with the company’s traditional light single high-wing layout. The result was a success on the civilian market and the military O-2 Skymaster saw extensive combat use in Vietnam. Rod Simpson describes Cessna’s innovative design.

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Cessna 337B, N3401F, in the 1967 factory colour scheme. Cessna

By Aircraft the end was of the the largest 1950s, Cessna producer of light aircraft in the world and in 1959 the US company delivered 3,564 new aircraft, 40% more than Piper, its nearest competitor. There were five single-engined models and they were also building the very successful Cessna 310 light twin, which offered a step up for owners of the company’s 182 Skylane who wanted more performance. However, the move to twin engines could be very challenging since failure of one engine on any light twin requires skilful piloting. With this in mind, Cessna’s design team was tasked with producing a completely new twin that would be easier to handle and could also operate from unprepared strips.

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