14:38 PM

Silvered Wings: Cessna O-1/L-19 Bird Dog 'Black Aces' 0-12114

  • Capacity: two
  • Length: 25 feet 10 inches
  • Maximum speed: 150 mph
  • Cruise speed: 115 mph
  • Range: 530 miles
  • Service ceiling: 20,300 feet

The Cessna O-1/L-19 Bird Dog was a two-place observation and liaison aircraft developed from the commercial Cessna Model 170 in 1949. Originally designated L-19s, Bird Dogs were used by the U.S. Air Force, Army and Marine Corps for such tasks as artillery spotting, front-line communications, medical evacuation, and pilot training. In Southeast Asia, O-1s became forward air control aircraft, marking enemy ground targets with smoke rockets for attack by fighter-bombers, remaining on scene to report results.

As one of more than 200 Bird Dogs given to Civil Air Patrol in the early 1970s, Army aircraft 51-12114 was registered as N6258. Its excellent field of view for both pilot and observer made it a perfect platform for search and rescue operations.

Following CAP’s transition to tricycle-gear general aviation aircraft, N6258 remains on permanent display at CAP National Headquarters at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.

Maj. Ron Finger is a freelance illustrator and member of the Minnesota Wing’s Crow Wing Composite Squadron. Recently honored by the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame as Artist of the Year, he is an Air Force Art Program artist, where a select pool of artists are assigned “art missions” to document specific U.S. Air Force operations. 

Among his duties as Civil Air Patrol’s national artist, Finger researches and creates art that portrays our historical emergency service. A personal goal is to complete paintings documenting every aircraft type CAP has flown. 

This is the 12th painting in Finger's second series of depictions of vintage CAP aircraft. More of Finger’s CAP artwork can be seen at redpine.net.

Silvered Wings No. 1  Fleetwings Sea Bird F-401
Silvered Wings No. 2  Curtiss-Wright 15-D Sedan
Silvered Wings No. 3  Rearwin Sportster 7000
Silvered Wings No. 4  Cessna U-3B “Blue Canoe”
Silvered Wings No.  5  Aeronca C-3 (1932)
Silvered Wings No. 6  Rearwin Sportster 900-L
Silvered Wings No. 7 Travel Air C-4000
Silvered Wings No.8  Kinner “Sportster B”
Silvered Wings No.  9 Boeing Model 40-A/B
Silvered Wings No. 10  Brunner-Winkle "Bird," BK (1929)
Silvered Wings No. 11 Silvered Wings — Meyers OTW-125 "Out-To-Win"