The 1939 Cessna T-50 Bobcat for FSX, made by Simon Smeiman of South Africa, comes in 5 versions of the aircraft; wheeled military and civilian, and floats military and civilian, and the legendary ‘Sky King’ version.
The T-50 is a five-seat light transporter manufactured by Cessna Aircraft Company in 1939 for the civilian market. While the wings and tail unit were wood, the fuselage was a welded steel-tube design with fabric over wooden skinning. It featured a unique electrically actuated retractable main landing gear. The main wheels retract half-way into the nacelles. This way the aircraft can do an emergency “belly landing” with minimum damage. The wing trailing-edge flaps are also electrically actuated. The fixed tailwheel is non-steerable and full-swiveling but fitted with a tail wheel lock.
The AT-17 was a military version of the commercial Cessna T-50. The need for a training plane to help pilots convert from single to twin-engine aircraft enabled Cessna to sell 550 aircraft for this purpose to Canada (under the designation Crane), followed by 33 T-50’s to the U.S. Army Air Corps under the designation AT-8.
In 1942, the USAAF felt the T-50s would work well as light personnel transports and for liaison/communication. 1,287 AT-17 Bobcats (later designated as UC-78s) were delivered and served in all theaters of war.
The U.S. Navy purchased 67 planes in 1942-43, which they designated JRC-1s, to ferry pilots between delivery ports and transport navy pilots to new duty stations.
The T-50 served in these various roles for several years after the war. Over two dozen Bobcats still roam the skies of the USA, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand.
Some aircraft were fitted with floats similar to those used by the Piper Cub.
The Cessna T-50 Bobcat also featured as the “Songbird” aircraft in the popular 1950’s television series “Sky King”.
Nicknames: The Bamboo Bomber; Useless-78, The Wichita Wobbler; Brasshat; Double-Breasted Cub; Box kite; Rhapsody in Glue; San Joaquin Beaufighter.
The nickname Bamboo Bomber came from the G.I.’s who preferred the modern all-metal airplanes to the wooden winged T-50, which really wasn’t a bomber and of course and no bamboo in its construction!
This model was developed with FSX compatible tools, tested, and found to be working well with Windows XP and Vista with DX10.
The development of the model was based as far as possible on the data and specifications of the real-world Cessna T-50 Bobcat. However, we do not claim that the flying characteristics of the model resemble that of real-world aircraft.
This package consists of the following aircraft configurations:
- Civilian version
- Military version
- Civilian floats version
- Military floats version
- “Sky King” Version
The main differences between the civilian and military versions are the crew and passengers, the wheel hubs, and aerials.
All models share the same panel and sound. The main panel and sound folders are located in the military version aircraft folder.
Two panel folders are included. The active panel folder does not have the GPS, Map, and Checklist sim-icons. Should you wish to have these icons on the panel just rename the second panel folder to “panel” and rename the active panel folder to something else. Backup the panel folders first before renaming.
Besides the normal basic animations, the following extra animations are included:
- Pilot and passenger animation
- Propeller blades pitch animation
- Cockpit side windows animation
- Landing lights animation
- Doors and cockpit side windows animations
- Elevator/ rudder and trim tabs animation
- Water rudder lever animation (floats version only)
Other features include 3D “glazed” gauges and detailed radial engines and propellers.
This is Simon’s second commercial aircraft and he made great strides in terms of quality since his first (the Piper Super Cub, which he is now upgrading to similar standards as the Bobcat). The Bobcat is a little more expensive, but at less than 17 Dollars still a great bargain for your FSX hangar!