GAF Pika

Discussion in 'Post-War' started by Graeme, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    Australia’s only indigenous jet aircraft, The GAF (Government Aircraft Factory) Pika, Aboriginal for ‘flier’.

    It was a piloted version, a proof of concept, of the remote controlled pilotless Jindivik (‘hunted one’) target drone then under development. The Pika holds a significant place in Australian aviation history as it was and possibly will be the only jet aircraft designed and built in Australia. At the time (1950) it was the smallest jet aircraft in the world. It embodied all the design features of the Jindivik, but with differences that included lateral air intakes, a cockpit and a wheeled retractable undercarriage (instead of a retractable skid).

    A single Armstrong Siddeley Adder AS.A1 turbojet of 1,050 lb thrust provided the propulsion. This engine was a pure jet development of the Mamba propeller turbine that powered the Gannet. Maximum speed was a respectable 408kts. Initial climb of 4,170 ft/min. Span 19ft and length 24ft 7in. Loaded weight of 2,900lb.

    The Pika could be controlled manually by the pilot or by the same remote control system as the Jindivik. In an emergency, the pilot could switch to manual control.

    Two Pikas were built, the first (A93-1) taking to the air on 4 November 1950 in the hands of test pilot John Mills at Woomera in South Australia. This plane was destroyed in an accident in April 1951.
    [​IMG]

    The second (A93-2) taking over test duties in the same month, differed in having an elongated nose and lengthened jet pipe.
    [​IMG]

    After a successful test programme which contributed greatly to the Jindivik’s success (both in terms of aerodynamics and systems), the Pikas flying career ended in June 1954 with the completion of the types 214th flight. I believe it now resides in the RAAF Point Cook Museum in Melbourne, Victoria.

    The Jindivik on its launching trolley.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Aggie08

    Aggie08 Active Member

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    Pretty cool stuff. What was the piloted version used for?
     
  3. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    A means to confirm UAV flight control logic. That was really supposed to be a manned aircraft? Interesting.
     
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