CAC Wirraway

CAC Wirraway

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CAC Wirraway

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The Wirraway (Woiwurrung language: "challenge") was a training and general purpose military aircraft manufactured in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) between 1939 and 1946. The aircraft was an Australian development of the North American NA-16 training aircraft.

During World War II, the Wirraway saw action, in a makeshift light bomber/ground attack capacity, against Japanese forces. It was also the starting point for the design of an "emergency fighter", the CAC Boomerang.


Three Royal Australian Air Force officers, led by Wing Commander Lawrence Wackett, were sent on an overseas evaluation mission in 1936 to select an aircraft type for local production in Australia. The aircraft selected was the North American NA-16. Production licences were obtained in 1937 and two NA-16s were purchased from North American Aviation to act as prototypes. These were an aircraft with fixed undercarriage, designated NA-16-1A by North American (similar to the BT-9); and an aircraft with retractable undercarriage, designated NA-16-2K by North American and also known as the NA-33 (similar to the BC-1). The NA-16-1A arrived in Australia in August 1937 and following assembly flew for the first time at Laverton on 3 September of that year, exactly two years before war was declared on Nazi Germany by the United......
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