RAAF Basic Flight Trainer 1955 – 1994
In 1948 the RAAF issued a specification for a new training aircraft to replace both the Tiger Moth and Wirraway. The trainer was to seat three, have safe handling characteristics, be of simple but robust construction, economic to operate and easy to maintain. The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) CA-22 Winjeel, Aboriginal word for "young eagle", was selected.
Initial tests showed that the Winjeel had a reluctance to spin - an excellent feature for most aircraft, but not for a trainer. Production Winjeels had a taller fin without the dorsal fairing, the rudder moved forward and a revised engine cowling.
In 1971 RAAF, Army and Navy students were flying 60 hours in Winjeels at Point Cook to earn their “wings”, followed by the Macchi course at Pearce of 150 hours.
A85-406 was delivered in November 1955 serving with 1BFTS until February 1986, when it then became an Army training aid. Transferred from the Museum of Army Aviation Oakey to Amberley in 2011 for restoration.
The Winjeel was eventually replaced at No 1 Flying Training School in 1975 by the CT-4 Airtrainer. The aircraft also served in the forward air control training role with No 4 Flight, Williamtown later as part of No 76 Squadron, until these aircraft were replaced by the PC-9/A in 1994. In the FAC role, the aircraft could drop smoke bombs and fire marker rockets.
Engine: One 450hp Pratt and Whitney Wasp Junior
Airframe: Length 8.56 m (28 ft 1 in); Height 2.77 m (9 ft 1 in
Wingspan: Span 11.78 m (38 ft 8 in);
Weight: Empty 1542 kg (3400lb); loaded 1968 kg (4340 lb)
Range: 885 km (477 nm)
Speed: Max 301 km/h (162 kt); Cruise 254 km/h (137 kt);
Ceiling: 15,800 ft (4816 m)
First Flight: 3 February 1951
Production: 2 x CA-22 prototypes, 62 x CA-25, all for RAAF