Wirraway (Great Britain)
- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The ▄Wirraway is a premium rank I British strike aircraft with a battle rating of 1.3 (AB/RB/SB). It has been in the game since the start of the Open Beta Test prior to Update 1.27. This Wirraway represents a version serving in the Australian Air Force.
The Wirraway is characterised by its heavy payload, high manoeuvrability, and very low speed. It is an easy handling aircraft, effective for its rank and is affordable with Golden Eagles , which makes it a good starting plane for beginners.
The two machine guns are very accurate and have very fast rates of fire. This, combined with the plane's low speed and good stability, makes the Wirraway ideal for strafe attacks on lightly armoured ground targets, while the plane's heavy bomb load can destroy more heavily defended ground targets. The lack of a bombing reticle, in realistic battles, makes level bombing very inaccurate and impractical.
It has an impressive payload of 2 x 500 lb bombs and 2 x 250 lb bombs, making it devastating to ground units. In realistic, use it as a dive bomber as it has no aiming reticle. However, long fast dives in the Wirraway are not recommended, as the plane will quickly exceed the never exceed speed (VNE) for the airframe, which is between 380-420 km/h. If a Wirraway is going faster than 400 km/h, it has likely already lost one or both of its wings, or is about to.
Additionally, the Wirraway's cockpit offers great visibility, but little pilot protection. Wirraway pilots must be wary against pilot sniping.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 4,200 m)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|Combat flaps||Take-off flaps||Landing flaps||Air brakes||Arrestor gear|
|Wings (km/h)||Gear (km/h)||Flaps (km/h)||Max Static G|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 320||< 320||< 320||> 341|
Survivability and armour
The Wirraway has no armour at all with the rear gunner in an open position, so getting strafed can be very deadly. It does have self-sealing fuel tanks but will burn up quick in an engine fire. Head-ons will more than likely result in the pilot being knocked out.
Modifications and economy
The Wirraway (Great Britain) is armed with:
- 2 x 7.7 mm Vickers E machine guns, nose-mounted (600 rpg = 1,200 total)
2 x G.P. 500 lb Mk.IV bomb
The Wirraway (Great Britain) can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 4 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,000 lb total)
- 2 x 500 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs + 2 x 250 lb G.P. Mk.IV bombs (1,500 lb total)
The Wirraway (Great Britain) is defended by:
- 1 x 7.7 mm Vickers K machine gun, dorsal turret (480 rpg)
Usage in battles
In Arcade, the Wirraway makes a great fighter-bomber, good for attacking ground units but also to rack up some aerial victories. In Realistic, the Wirraway becomes even better. While sluggish when fully laden, once it releases it bombs it is very manoeuvrable and will out turn almost everything it comes across. Use its manoeuvrability to your advantage as your weak armament will do some, but not a lot of, damage. The rear machine gun can be useful of scaring off enemies commonly faced by the Wirraway such as the He 51 and the Ki-27. The highest ranked plane it will see is the Bf 109 E-1 which are devastating to the little Wirraway. This little plane may be nimble but it is not fast. It is one of the slowest climbers in the game and with a max speed of 356 km/h even the slowest of planes can catch up to it. Try to avoid dive battles or diving in general as the airframe is not strong and will break under high speeds.
Manual Engine Control
|Not controllable|| Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
|Separate|| Not controllable
Pros and cons
- Large bomb load
- Good manoeuvrability
- Good survivability (especially against enemy 7.7 mm MGs)
- Rear gunner with a good firing arc
- High visibility cockpit
- Low stall speed
- Decent frontal armament for its rank
- Is sometimes underestimated; use this to your advantage
- Is a premium aircraft = more XP and lions gained per battle
- Very slow
- No bombing reticule (Realistic/Simulator battles)
- Very low rip speed (416 km/h / 258.5 mph)
- Lower damage output from the two 7.7 mm MGs compared to 12.7 mm MGs, although the rate of fire somewhat makes up for it.
- Bomb load can impede its manoeuvrability
- Recent updates have resulted in the plane having a lower max speed resulting in dives being very dangerous to the inexperienced pilot
In 1936, the Royal Australian Air Force began evaluating foreign-designed aircraft for local production and established the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation to oversee production. In 1937, the North American NA-16 "Basic Combat" aircraft was selected as the first "home-built" Australian military aircraft. The NA-16, with some modifications, would go on to see service in the US Army Air Corps as the BC-1 before being re-designated the T-6 Texan (later AT-6 Texan), in the US Navy as the SNJ-1, in the Royal Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force and South African Air Force as the Havard. The NA-16 was used as a Trainer and as a "Hack", a second-line plane used for courier and transport duties, by air forces around the world.
After acquiring production licenses, CAC bought and shipped two production model NA-16s to Australia as prototypes. There the two North American planes were tested and modifications to CAC production aircraft were ordered to improve combat capability: primarily, an additional forward-firing machine gun and strengthened wings to allow dive bombing. This improved NA-16 entered production as the CAC CA-1 Wirraway in March 1939, although actual production proceeded at a leisurely pace. When the war started in September, the RAAF had only six Wirraways.
The RAAF had expressed interest in obtaining an interceptor version of the Wirraway, but it was never designed (instead, the Australian-designed CAC Boomerang Mk.I would be built using the Wirraway as a starting point). The British RAF was also interested in obtaining the Wirraway, but as CAC production could not meet even the RAAF orders, RAF procurement never happened. The Wirraway was constantly modified throughout the war, with CA-3, -5, -7, -8, -9, -10A (not a production model, but a standard that previous Wirraways were upgraded to), and -16 models.
When the Pacific War broke out, seven RAAF squadrons were equipped with Wirraways. Throughout the first months of the war, the Wirraway was pressed into service as a light bomber and as an "emergency fighter". It performed well enough in the ground attack role (which it was designed for), but suffered badly in air-to-air combat, scoring only a single air-to-air kill against a lone what was believed to be a Zero (it has now been confirmed that it was a Ki-43 not a Zero that was shot down) while on a scouting mission. The Wirraway saw most of its combat action on New Guinea, before being withdrawn as more powerful American-built planes became available.
As a trainer, the Wirraway would serve in the RAAF and Royal Australian Navy (as the CA-20 Wirraway) until 1959. Over 750 Wirraways were built for the Australian military, and more than fifteen still exist, with at least ten in flying condition.
In April 1938, the Australian Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) obtained a license from the US company North American to produce the two-seater NA-16 trainer. On March 27th 1939, the first production model of the CA-1 was completed at CAC; the aircraft was named the Wirraway, 'Challenge' in the language of the Australian Aborigines, and was designated Mk 1. The Wirraway NA-16 differed from the prototype in its D-shaped elevators, a fuselage battery of two synchronized Vickers .303 inch machine guns and another pintle-mounted Vickers Class K gun of the same calibre in the observer's cockpit. In field conditions, a unit consisting of two paired Vickers Class K machine guns was sometimes mounted at this position. To enable the Wirraway to be used as a bomber, the structure of the wings and fin was reinforced. The reinforcement of the wing structure enabled a bomb load of two 250 lb and two 500 lb bombs to be fitted. The Wirraway was fitted with a nine-cylinder radial air-cooled Pratt & Whitney R-1340 S1H1-G Wasp engine, rated at 600 HP at an altitude of 7000 feet (2135 m), and a three-bladed propeller.
The Wirraway was manufactured right up to the end of the war in several series. The first series CA-1 (Mk 1) was built from March 1939 to February 1940; a total of 40 aircraft. From February 1940 to June 1942, five more series were built, although in practice, they differed only slightly from each other by way of the shape of the carburettor air intake and were therefore given the combined military designation of Wirraway Mk II. The series were numbered CA-3 (60 aircraft), CA-5 (32 aircraft), CA-7 (100 aircraft), CA-8 (200 aircraft) and CA-9 (188 aircraft). The production peak was in 1942, when 270 aircraft were produced.
From June 1942, the most advanced Wirraway series, the C-16 (Mk III) entered production, continuing until the end of 1946. In total, 135 were produced. Virtually all aircraft of other series were re-equipped and brought up to CA-16 standards.
Throughout 1942, Wirraways were pressed into combat from the New Britain Islands to the Eastern tip of New Guinea, being used as light bombers and, in one case even accounting for the air-to-air kill of a A6M 'Zero' fighter. But once the Allied forces took the offensive in the Pacific theatre, the requirement for Wirraways began to diminish rapidly. The aircraft were transferred back to training units and after the war served as civilian aircraft. The Royal Australian Air Force finally flew its last Wirray flight in 1959.
- Other Australian aircraft
- War Thunder Forums
- Other websites
- [Royal Australian Navy] CAC CA-16 Wirraway (Web Archive)
- [Fighter World]CAC Wirraway (Web Archive)
- [T6 Harvard Aviation] NA-16 Wirraway: From Trainer to Fighter (Web Archive)
|Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC)|
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