The CAC CA-25 Winjeel is an Australian-designed and manufactured three-seat training aircraft. Entering service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1955 as a basic to advanced trainer, it served in this role until 1975. Later, it was used in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role for target marking until 1994, after which it was retired from RAAF service.
|CA25-39 Winjeel A85-439 at the RAAF Museum|
|Manufacturer||Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation|
|First flight||23 February 1955|
|Status||One retained by the Royal Australian Air Force as a heritage display aircraft.|
Some examples now privately owned or in museums.
|Primary user||Royal Australian Air Force|
|Number built||2 (CA-22)|
The Winjeel (from a Victorian indigenous word for "young eagle", an alternate spelling of Bunjil) was developed by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend in Victoria to satisfy RAAF technical requirement No.AC.77 issued in 1948. Designed to replace both the Tiger Moth and the CAC Wirraway, the first two prototype CA-22 aircraft were flown in February 1951. However, it proved a very stable aircraft making it almost impossible to spin, and with this being a required part of pilot training the tail had to be redesigned as a result. Sixty-two production CA-25 aircraft were subsequently built and given the fleet serials A85-401 to A85-462.
The first aircraft flew in February 1955, and deliveries began that September. The first Winjeel entered service with No. 1 Basic Flying Training School (1 BFTS) at Uranquinty, near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. The last aircraft was delivered in August 1957. For most of its service life, the Winjeel was used as a basic trainer at RAAF Base Point Cook in Victoria, after 1 BFTS was transferred there in 1958. The Winjeel remained in service with the RAAF as a basic trainer until 1968, when the Macchi MB-326 replaced it in this role as part of the RAAF's adoption of an "all through" jet training concept. The failure of this concept ultimately ensured that the Winjeel was retained in the training role until 1975, when it was replaced by the New Zealand-built PAC CT/4A Airtrainer.
After this, a few Winjeels were used in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role. Initially operated by No. 4 Flight, they were equipped with smoke bombs for target marking. By 1994 there were 4 in service with No. 76 Squadron based at RAAF Base Williamtown, but later that year they were replaced by the Pilatus PC-9 and subsequently retired.
Static (on display unless otherwise noted)
Data from Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1955–56
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
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