CAC Winjeel A85-413 at RAAF Wagga, NSW. Photo by D.
History: By 1948, the Australian aircraft
manufacturer Commonwealth Aircraft Company (CAC), had already had its share of successes.
It had built the Wirraway fighter/trainer, the Boomerang fighter, and several other
designs, each of which had contributed immensely to the development of Australian
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) issued a design
requirement for a three-seat trainer which was to be a replacement for both the Wirraway and the deHavilland Tiger Moth.
It needed to be very safe to fly, easy to service, sturdy and tough, and economical to
CAC answered the challenge, and the first Winjeel (the
Aboriginal word for "young eagle") CA-22 prototype
flew on 3 February 1951. During initial flight trails it was discovered that the aircraft
was reluctant to spin -- an undesirable trait for a trainer -- and after several
appropriate airframe modifications, the first production CA-25
Winjeel flew on 23 February 1955. Deliveries to the RAAF continued through 1958, and the
aircraft served on active duty until well into the 1990s. Though its main role as a basic
trainer was eventually taken over by the Macchi MB-326 jet, the Winjeel found new uses,
including as a Forward Air Control (FAC) trainer and as a communications aircraft.
A large number of Winjeels found their way into the hands of
private collectors after they were decommissioned, and the type continues to delight
owners and enthusiasts alike with its masculine good looks and delightful handling
Engines: One 450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-985-AN-2 Wasp Junior radial piston engine.
Weight: Empty 3,289 lbs., Max
Takeoff 4,265 lbs.
Wing Span: 38ft. 9in.
Length: 29ft. 4.5in.
Height: 8ft. 3in.
Number Built: 64, including two
Number Still Airworthy: ~30.
CNAPG Winjeel Individual Aircraft Data
Royal Australian Air
Force Museum -- Winjeel Page
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