CAC CA-22 Winjeel

CAC CA-22 Winjeel
Basic Trainer
Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation, Melbourne, Victoria
Number Ordered
First Delivered
February 1951
Last Delivered
January 1958
29 feet 4 inches
8 feet 3 inches
Weights 3400
Dimensions Wing span: 39 feet 9 inches
Speed 181 mph
550 miles
Engines One 450 bhp Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior, 9 cylinder radial
  • Initial rate of climb: 1500 ft/min
  • Ceiling: 15,800 feet
Operated by
RAAF Basic Flight Training Schools for RAAF, Navy and Army pilots

The CA-25 Winjeel was an Australian-designed and manufactured three-seat training aircraft developed by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) at Fishermans Bend in Victoria to RAAF technical requirements. The name Winjeel is from the Victorian Indigenous word Bunjil meaning ‘young eagle’.

Designed to replace both the Tiger Moth and the CAC Wirraway, as the Australian basic training aircraft, the first two prototype CA-22 aircraft were flown in February 1951. It proved a very stable aircraft making it almost impossible to spin, and with this being a required part of pilot training, the tail had to be redesigned as a result.

Entering Australian service in September 1955 as a basic trainer, it served in this role until 1975. Later, it was used in the Forward Air Control role for target marking until 1994, after which it was retired from RAAF service.

The Winjeel was operated initially at No. 1 Basic Flying Training School (1 BFTS) at Uranquinty, near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. In 1958 1 BFTS was transferred to RAAF Base Point Cook in Victoria. Many RAN pilots conducted their initial flying training in a Winjeel.

The Winjeel remained in service as a basic trainer until 1968, when the Macchi MB-326 replaced it in this role as part of the RAAF's adoption of an ‘all through’ jet training concept. The failure of this concept ultimately ensured that the Winjeel was retained in the training role until 1975 when it was replaced by the New Zealand-built PAC CT/4A Airtrainer.

An ex-RAAF Winjeel in flight over south eastern Australia.
An ex-RAAF Winjeel in flight over south eastern Australia.