The Wirraway was Australia’s first mass produced aircraft and was used to establish a local aircraft manufacturing industry. They saw front line service at the beginning of the Pacific War because Australia lacked better aircraft at first.

The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Wirraway was based on the North American NA-16.

It was selected because it was relatively simple and a good first aircraft for the new aviation in industry. Production began in 1939.

They were not intended for front line service but they were pushed into it at the beginning of the Pacific War because Australia had nothing better.

They were soon replaced by better aircraft and removed from combat roles in 1943, although they remained useful and the RAAF flew its last one in April 1959.

This model represents A20-103 flown by Flt Lt Jack Archer of 4 Squadron, RAAF who shot down a Ki-43 in this aircraft on Boxing Day 1942.

MPM 1/72 kit with Aussie Decals decals completed by Leigh Edmonds in March 2023.

Work Bench Notes


MODEL: CAC CA-5 Wirraway

ROLE: training and general purpose aircraft

TIME PERIOD: 1939-1959

ENGINES: one Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radial engine of 450kW

WING SPAN: 13.11m

LENGTH: 8.48m



RANGE: 1,160km


ARMAMENT: three 7.7mm (303 in) machine guns and up to 227 kg of underwing weapons

SCALE: 1/72


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