CAC CA-4 Woomera

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Apr 11, 2005
South East Queensland

I thought I'd put a picture of a CAC Woomera on the site because I'm guessing most here have never heard of, or seen a picture of this aircraft before. The Woomera was a 3 seat strike-reconnaissance and dive bomber. It was first flown on Sep 19 1941 and was powered by 2 Pratt and Whitney 1200 hp Wasp R1830 radial engines.
The Woomera had a good armament comprising 4x .303 machine guns in the nose plus 2 power operated turrents, each with 2x .303 guns at the rear of both engine nacells. These guns were remotely controlled from the rear cockpit using a sighting periscope.
The engine nacells also housed 2x 250lb bombs, in addition to 2 torpedoes carried under the fuselage center section. 4x 25lb bombs were also carried under each outer wing.
Although the Woomera showed great promise, it never went into production because of the supply of American made bombers which were flooding into the country. Only one other varient was made, the CA-11A which had upgraded engines and 20mm cannons in the nose.
I find this a rather interesting aircraft and can only imagine how it would have coped in combat. I'd be interested to here what others think.[/img]


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Believe it or not, I have actually studied the Commonwealth Aircraft company a little. I was interested in the Wirraway first as I was looking at the North American NA-16/AT-6/SNJ. I think if commonwealth had built the Woomera and the Boomerang, they both would have been capable airplanes. I actually saw a Wirraway fly while I was in England. I might have a picture of it somewhere, I will have a look around and see if I can find it.
The Boomerang was built and saw quite a bit of action. Apparently it was an excellent ground attack aircraft and recieved a lot of praise in this role. Personally, it's one of my favourite planes. Currently there are two airworthy Boomerangs in Australia with a third not to far away!


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Whoops, I was looking at my notes on Comonwealth and had noting on the Boomerang. So I either stopped there or just moved on and assumed that none had been built. That's why I said ai studied CAC a little! Thanks for the correction. 8) That is a great pic!
Here's some additional shots of the Woomera, which was also known as the Wackett Bomber... named so after its designer, Wing Commander L.J. Wackett.

This is the first aircraft, CA-4 A23-1001...


Click for larger image
RAAF Photo

This is the second aircraft, CA-11 A23-1...


Image source/credit: unknown web

Fade to Black...
I have just bought a pic of a Woomera which I am going to send to the RAAF museum. Unfortunately its quite a dark shot so doesnt show the a/c number. Hey ho! :|
Here are some details this interesting plane.8)


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The concept of the Woomera in the early war years was great but concept and reality don't always match, its main role's was to be dive bombing, torpedo attack and ground attack , Vengeances and Dauntless's were soon replaced in the dive bomb role usually by P-40s as they could carry as much and look after themselves and the Beaufort as a torpedo bomber was not that successful, a/c the Woomera was to replace . Skip bombing as used at the Battle of the Bismarck Sea put the end to most torpedo attack and a/c like the A-20 , B-25 straffers and Beaufighters proved to be much better in the Pacific thearter.
Don't forget the japanese navy were the probably the most experianced at dodging torpedos in the world as they had trained against there own a/c and the japanese torpedos were faster and longer ranging than any allied torpedo, which also helped the skip bombers as the japs thought they were doing torpedo attacks and actualy turned there ships into the ideal positions for skip bombing.
I think CAC realised they were wasting there time continuing with the Woomera and started the move toward Mustang production in 1944
Great conceptual a/c with alot of advanced features ahead in some thing and dated in some even before production though a major achievment for the fledgling Australian aircraft industry.
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