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Post WW2: Cessna L-19 (O-1) Bird Dog

With an obvious civilian heritage, the Cessna L-19 Bird dog is a purpose built observation aircraft that played a significant role for the US Army during the 1950s and '60s. Designed as a liaison aircraft to replace the L-4 Cubs and L-5 Stinsons of WW-II, the L-19 played a significant role in both the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.


A two-seater powered by a 190 hp Continental engine, the Bird Dog became a popular and affordable warbird following retirement from military service. in later years, a number of these machines were recovered from former areas of conflict in South east Asia to be brought to Australia and New Zealand for restoration.

At OmakaThe Bird-Dog was structurally quite different from its earlier civilian predecessor (the Cessna 170). The passenger capacity was reduced to only two, the aft fuselage was modified to allow for a clear rearward view, and a transparent panel was added into the wing above the seats. In addition a wider door and brackets were fitted to the aircraft to allow for the carrying of a standard military stretcher.

Manufactured between 1950 and 1962, a total of 3,431 Bird Dogs were built.

There are presently four beautifully restored Bird Dogs flying in New Zealand, with other examples being restored.




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