In 1936, the newly formed Commonwealth Aircraft
Corporation (CAC) led a mission abroad to select a general purpose aircraft
for Australian manufacture and established thier headquarters and factory at the Port of Melbourne. The mission unanimously recommended the North
American NA-33, and plans were made to produce a modified version to be known
as the Wirraway is an aboriginal word for challenge. On March 27, 1939 the first Wirraway took off.
Variety of Roles
A license built North
American AT-6, the Wirraway was used as a Front Line Fighter,
Reconnaissance, Artillery Spotting, Dive Bomber, Ground Attack,
for supply drops and Training. In 1959, the last Wirraway was decomissioned from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Postwar, some Wirraways were converted into Ceres agricultural aircraft for crop spraying.
A total of 755 Wirraways were built.
Crew Two (pilot and gunner)
Engine 1 x 600 hp Pratt and Whitney license built Wasp nine cylinder
air-cooled radial engine driving a three bladed propeller
Height 12' 3"
Maximum Speed 220 mph
Range 510 miles
Armament (nose) 2 x .303 machine guns (rear) 1 x .303 machine gun
Bombload 2 x 250 pound bombs