Joining our static display celebration of the 75th anniversary of the United States Air Force is an O-1 Bird Dog. Developed from the Cessna 170 in 1949 and entering service in 1950, the Bird Dog was initially used by the US Army to spot for artillery batteries and to act as a liaison aircraft seeing considerable service in the Korean war. The Bird Dog found its way into service with the USAF during the Vietnam War where it was used to great effect as a forward air controller and reconnaissance aircraft, it was eventually replaced by the O-2 Skymaster - an example of which will also be on static display at this year's RIAT.
The Bird Dog was retired from US military service in 1974 after a total of 3,431 aircraft had been built with 469 being lost during the Vietnam War, including 178 in USAF service.
Photo Credit: Dave Haines