Resources Needed

A request from Michael (Mike) McMurtrey

I'm working on a comprehensive history of the T-50/AT-8/AT-17/UC-78/Crane which I hope to publish in 2014, the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the prototype. As planned it will include details of every one of the 5,400 airframes built, including the military units in which they served as well as civilian owners of those sold surplus, as well as many photographs and artist's color illustrations depicting rarely seen colors and markings.

In the course of my research, I've come across references to many approved modifications to these airplanes. However, most of these were engineered by firms which are no longer in existence, so I'm wondering if you or other owners of these airplanes might have details.

I'm specifically looking for documentation (engineering drawings, manuals, photographs, etc.) of the following, in order to include these details in a series of scale drawings which will appear in the book:

  • Dorsal fin by Western Aero, Torrance, CA (SA4-426), as seen on N78UC.
  • Passenger/cargo conversion by Western Aero, Torrance, CA (SA4-526)
  • Jacobs R-755A2 engine conversion, Jacobs Aircraft Engine Co., Pottstown, PA
  • Lycoming R-680-E3 engine conversion, Serv-Aero Engineering, Dos Palos, CA
  • Federal Model A-5800 skis, Federal Aircraft Works, Minneapolis, MN
  • Large cargo door/interior flooring, Decatur Aviation Co. (location unknown)
  • arge access door/cargo floor, Rapidair, Inc., Springfield, MO
  • Bubble windshield, Stolp-Adams Co., Compton, CA

If you or anyone you know has documentation of any of these items, I would be happy to pay for the cost of copies and postage.

(Of all these firms, only Serv-Aero is still in business, but much of their data was lost in a fire in 1957. However, they still have some parts for the Lycoming conversion as well as a new nose cone, so if anybody is interested, they should contact Serv-Aero directly at 831- 422-7866 and ask for Bob Perry.)

There are probably other approved mods I'm not yet aware of. I know that many Bobcat owners added BT-13 wheels/brakes/strut forks to their airplanes, but I've not yet come across drawings for that mod either.

Many thanks.
Michael (Mike) McMurtrey - Email:

Back to top of page

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this site is ©Copyright by Terry Sullivan    Site design by Mike James -