The Commonwealth Boomerang 

Australia
Australia

Sorry, No ID pictures yet

When the Japanese started their agressive expanse in the Pacific, The Royal Australian Air Force found themselves to be equiped with the Brewster Buffallo mostly. As a result of wrong estimation on the performances of the japanese aircraft (thought to be inferior) Australia had received inferior aircraft.
The fast expanse of Japan, the inability of the U.S.A. to deliver larger numbers of advanced aircraft, and the long and vulnerable supply lines from Great Britain to Australia forced the Australian government to start the development of their own fighter. This fighter was to be an interim aircraft, to enable Australia to hold off any envisioned Japanese invasion long enough to get substantial help from others.
Based upon the North American NA-33 design, which was built in Australia under the name CA-1 Wirraway, the lead designer of CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd.) was able to create a design that could be rushed into production - fast! In just 14 weeks after the design was approved the aircraft made it's first flight: May 1942.

Versions:

Further pictures:

Commonwealth Boomerang Mk I
Commonwealth Boomerang Mk I

 

Technical data on the Commonwealth Boomerang Mk II
Powerplant 1 × Pratt & Whitney R-1839-S3C4-G Twin Wasp radial, rated at 1200 hp (894.59 kW) Role during war
  • Fighter
  • (Ground) Attack Fighter
  • Fighter-bomber
Length 25 ft 6 inch Height 9 ft 7 inch
Empty weight unknown Operational weight unknown
Wing Span 36 ft 0 inch Wing Aspect ratio 5.76
Wing Area 225 sq ft Service ceiling 34000 ft
Maximum speed 305 mph at 15500 ft Cruising speed 190 mph at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate 2,940 ft per min,
Climb to 20,000 ft in 9 min 12 sec
Range 930 miles typical,
1600 miles max
Fuel capacity internal 160 Imp gal (192 US gal) Fuel capacity external 70 Imp gal (84 US gal) in 1 drop tank
Machine guns 4 × 0.303 inch fixed forward firing in wings, 1000 rounds each Cannons 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II fixed forward-firing (in the upper nose?), 60 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 500 lb on one hardpoint, and generally consisting of 1 × 500 lb bombs Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 1 Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 29 May 1942 Operational Service October 1942 - 1945
Manufacturer Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Pty Ltd. Number produced 249 total, 144 this version
Metric system
Length 7.77 m Height 2.92 m
Empty weight unknown Operational weight unknown
Wing Span 10.97 m Wing Aspect ratio 5.76
Wing Area 20.9 m² Service ceiling 10363 m
Maximum speed 491 km/h at 4724 m Cruising speed 306 km/h at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate 896 m per min,
Climb to 6095 m in 9 min 12 sec
Range 1497 km typical,
2575 km max
Fuel capacity internal 727 liters Fuel capacity external 318 liters in 1 drop tank
Machine guns 4 × 7.7 mm fixed forward firing in wings, 1000 rounds each Cannons 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk II fixed forward-firing (in the upper nose?)), 60 rounds each
Bomb load Up to 227 kg on one hardpoint, and generally consisting of 1 × 227 kg bombs Torpedoes/rockets -

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the Commonwealth Boomerang 
Commonwealth Boomerang Mk I Initial production model. It differed from the Mk II in that it had no flame-dampers on the exhaust, and no turbocharger mounted on the engine.
Number built: 105
Commonwealth Boomerang Mk II Improved verion of the Mk I. A couple of these (around 29) were delivered with a vertical camera fitted in the fuselage for reconnaissance purposes.
Number built: 144

Remarks:

Like said above: this aircraft was meant as an emergency/interim aircraft to fend off any Japanese invasion. The production was stopped as soon as the Spitfire Mk VIII became available

Strengths:

Weaknesses:

 

 

© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 9/20/00