Way back in the middle of June, fellow blogger GP Cox of Pacific Paratrooper posted the story of Pilot Officer John Archer, 4 Squadron RAAF, who managed to shoot down a Japanese fighter – believed at the time to be a Mitsubishi ‘Zero’ – from a Wirraway, an Australian built military trainer come general purpose aircraft. Read the full story here: https://pacificparatrooper.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/december-1942-3/comment-page-1/#comment-28344
Immediately, my mind flew to HARS (Historical Aircraft Restoration Society). I was convinced I had seen a similar aircraft on a recent visit, and sure enough, my good buddy Jim Thurstan confirmed this, and days later followed up with these wonderful photos. I just know that some of GP Cox’s followers will be very interested to see them.
There is a website, DB Design Bureau, which is dedicated to providing scale drawings of Australian designed aircraft, and if you are super-keen, you will find heaps of information on the 755 Wirraways built at Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fisherman’s Bend in Melbourne, Victoria, here:
As explained on that site, the Wirraway is an Australian-built version of the North American Aviation NA-16-2K advanced trainer, and is a “cousin” to the T-6 Texan trainer and the Harvard trainer. All three aircraft were developed from the NA-16 basic trainer which first flew in 1935.
HARS boasts the trifecta, a Wirraway, Texan and Harvard – so, without further ado, here are the pictures:
The TEXAN is flyable (although it has not for a while):
The HARVARD is nearing the end of a complete re-build:
This WIRRAWAY is under restoration as time and money permits. Probably around three years away from flying.
HARS also have several Wirraway “clones”. This modified* Wirraway is known as a CERES.
* Modified to make it a “crop duster” by adding super phosphate hopper or spray tank and some high lift anti stall wing leading edge devices. It is not flyable at the moment but heading towards being so.
Hope you enjoyed these! Garrulous Gwendoline, September 2015