winjeel delivery flight 20150525 1744734855

The CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) CA-25 'Winjeel' (an Aboriginal word for 'young eagle'), first flew at Fisherman's Bend, near Melbourne, in 1951.  Australian designed and built, it replaced both the Tiger Moth and the Wirraway training aircraft.  Australia's Army, Navy and Air Force pilots, including those who served in the Viet Nam War, were taught to fly on it during the Cold War years until it was replaced in the mid-seventies by the CT-4A Airtrainer.  Some Winjeels were retained by the RAAF, and they soldiered on as Forward Air Control (FAC) aircraft, whose role was to mark ground targets with smoke bombs and to direct fighter strikes onto them.  The last Winjeel retired from RAAF service in 1994, but the type is still remembered fondly by most ex-military pilots, including those who later served on Winjeels as Qualified Flying Instructors.

Winjeel RAAF serial number A85-443 (presented as A85-404) was a typical Winjeel which served in the training role, mainly at RAAF Point Cook, Victoria.  It was later modified as a FAC aircraft, painted in camouflage and based at RAAF Williamtown, NSW until its retirement.  It was acquired by Mark Carr in 2009, overhauled and restored to training configuration.  It was also repainted in more eye-catching colours to represent a Winjeel which was attached to the RAAF's VIP transport squadron, No. 34, based at RAAF Fairbairn, ACT during the late nineteen fifties.  The distinctive blue 'flash' and 34 Squadron crest on the sides of the fuselage, absence of the large 'buzz number' on the engine cowling, and the different location of the red, white and blue fin 'flash' on the tail were distinguishing features of the 34 Squadron Winjeels.

Now with its civilian registration of VH-CZE, Winjeel - 443 now enjoys a new lease on life with Mark's company, Military Air Training Heritage Pty Ltd, which is dedicated to the display and operation of historic training aircraft.  All money raised from Adventure Flights helps to keep these aircraft in the air, and your support is greatly appreciated.  The Winjeel is unusual among military trainers, as it has a seat for a second passenger in the rear of its large cockpit.  Adventure Flights are available for one or two passengers at once, with a small extra charge for a second passenger.   The aircraft is aerobatic, however aerobatics cannot be flown when carrying a passenger in the rear seat.

Technical Specifications

Structure: aluminium 'stressed skin' joined with lots of rivets! Control surfaces are fabric over metal frames.

Engine: American-made Pratt and Whitney R-985 'Wasp Junior' of 450 horsepower.  The engine is an air-cooled, nine-cylinder radial, supercharged to 36" of boost at maximum power.  It drives a metal constant-speed (variable pitch) propeller.

Wing span: 11.78 m Length: 8.55 m

Empty weight: 1,595 kg

Maximum take-off weight: 2,086 kg

Cruise speed: 120 knots (222 kph)

Maximum speed (diving): 220 knots (407 kph)

Landing speed: 75 knots (138 kph)