In the 1950s most crop-dusting aircraft in Australia were conversions of military types that met with varying success. Two CAC types so converted were the Wackett and the Wirraway. Neither type was successful in this role, the Wackett because it was underpowered and the Wirraway because it was not designed for low-level slow-speed flight. CAC saw the need for a purpose-built aircraft optimized for agricultural work. The company had a substantial number of Wirraway airframes (and large amounts of components) in stock and decided to use as much of this as possible in producing the new type.
The design that emerged, while superficially similar to the Wirraway, was really a new type that used some Wirraway components rather than a conversion. The only major components used in both types without alteration were the tail group and the landing gear. The fuselage was completely new, with a hopper installed between the engine and the high-mounted single-seat cockpit. The Wirraway wing was substantially altered for use in the Ceres. The outer wing panels had slotted trailing-edge flaps and fixed leading edge...... Read More