Author Topic: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5  (Read 4255 times)

Offline KiwiZac

  • Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« on: December 24, 2014, 06:57:22 AM »
Inspired by someone else mentioning it on this or another forum, here's a bit of history to tide me over before I get a kit (or two) to build the RAAF F-5! Simple concept: the RAAF chose the F-5 over the Mirage, didn't lose as many to crashes, and actually bought more cos they liked it so much.

Any suggestions welcome :-)

***

The search for a Sabre replacement began in the late 1950s. In 1960, following an evaluation team visit to Europe and North America, the Northrop F-5A Freedom Fighter was selected over more expensive types such as the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter and Dassault Mirage III.

The first two aircraft were built as kits in the USA but shipped to Australia for completion, with the first flight at RAAF Point Cook taking place on 14 March 1963. The remaining aircraft were built under license in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation as the CA-29 “Badina”, a Wagiman Aboriginal word meaning “to bite”.

No 2OCU at Williamtown began receiving deliveries in 1964 and CAC went on to complete all 100 single seat Badinas by 1967. These were followed by 24 two-seat trainers, designated CA-29C and serialled  A3-101 to A3-124, by 1974.

No 75 Sqn became the first operational unit in 1965 followed by No 76 Sqn in 1966. In 1967 No 75 Sqn deployed to Malaysia and replaced No 3 Sqn who returned to Australia to re-equip with the new fighter. 3 Sqn returned to Butterworth in 1969. No 77 Sqn became the fourth RAAF Badina squadron.

Following pressure on aircraft numbers, a further 25 CA-29Bs (A3-125 to A3-150) were ordered and delivered during 1973 and 1974 fully equipping No 76 Sqn and dispersing the higher-houred machines among the remaining three squadrons, now operating at RAAF Williamtown and RMAF Butterworth.

In 1983 No 75 Sqn relocated from Butterworth to Darwin as part of plan bolster the defence of northern Australia and in March 1986 No 79 Sqn reformed at Butterworth when No 3 Sqn was returned once again to Australia to re-equip with the F/A-18 Hornet. No 79 Sqn operated the Badina until 1988 when the aircraft was finally withdrawn from Australian service. The 70 surviving aircraft were eventually sold to Pakistan in 1990.

The Badina was in service longer than any other RAAF fighter and those who flew the aircraft held it in high regard and still speak fondly of their experiences.
(from the Fighterworld website http://www.fighterworld.com.au/az-of-fighter-aircraft/series-3)

***

Two distinct versions of the Badina were produced, the original CA-29A (a pure fighter version serialled A3-1 to A3-50 inclusive and originally left in the bare metal finish but later painted silver due to corrosion problems) and the CA-29B (a ground attack variant, serials A3-50 to A3-100).
Also delivered were 24 CA-29C two-seat trainers, based on the F-5B but with wingtip fuel tanks permanently affixed.

With two exceptions all surviving A models were upgraded to B from June 1969 - the exceptions being A3-2 (which remained with ARDU for the duration and had many trials modifications not fitted to the rest of the fleet) and A3-26 (which remained at Fisherman’s Bend for the first three years of its life as a test bed for the update).

The introduction of a ground attack capability in the B model saw the aircraft fleet painted in a camouflage scheme of dark green / grey overall, this was later followed by a lighter shade of green / grey with a light grey underside.

Due to high airframe hours on some aircraft 25 additional CA-29Bs (serialled A3-125 to A3-150 inclusive) were ordered in 1973, these being delivered with the CA-29C trainers before the end of 1974.

The last camouflage variant saw them painted a light blue grey overall. To distinguish friend or foe during air to air combat training some aircraft also had a wide band of yellow or orange paint applied on the upper wing surfaces.

The various operational squadrons and their locations were as follows;
75 Sqn Williamtown, NSW 08/65-04/67
75 Sqn Butterworth, Malaysia 05/67-08/83
75 Sqn Darwin, NT 08/83-09/88
76 Sqn Williamtown, NSW 09/66-08/88
3 Sqn Williamtown, NSW 07/67-02/69
3 Sqn Butterworth, Malaysia 02/69-03/86
77 Sqn Williamtown, NSW 02/69-07/87
79 Sqn Butterworth, Malaysia 03/86-04/88
In addition No2 OCU was based at Williamtown, NSW and the ARDU at Laverton, Vic then Edinburgh, SA, both receiving a number of Badinas for training and research respectively.

75 Sqn returned to Darwin in 1983 to provide a fighter defence for the top end whilst the Hornet Sqns became operational, it absorbed some of the 3 Sqn’s Badinas, ending up with 21 CA-29Bs and 4 CA-29Cs . 79 Sqn had been reformed at Butterworth to absorb the remnants of 3 Sqn’s aircraft and to provide a presence in the area when 3 Sqn returned to Australia to re equip with Hornets in 1986, 77 Sqn still at Williamtown eventually got all the rest of the aircraft including 2OCU’s, in fact taking over that unit’s role of pilot conversion whilst 2OCU changed to Hornets. The eventual strength of 77 Sqn on retirement was some 40 Badinas (plus 16 Macchis) and 76 Sqn with 34 of the type.
(Amended from the original history by Rod Farquhar posted at http://www.adf-serials.com.au/3a3.htm)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 07:02:29 AM by KiwiZac »
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2014, 10:44:42 AM »
Not that implausible a scenario since the  F-5A beat out the Mirage IIIW (Boeing-Wichita-built Mirage III) for USAF FMS efforts in 1960's.  I can see some interesting schemes coming out of this, and some interesting one-offs if the short recce nose is ever used.

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2014, 12:19:27 PM »
Greg posted something a while ago with Sir Frederick Scherger discussing his preference for the Northrop N-156 for service with the RAAF, preferably with licence manufacture and export rights for the region.

Offline KiwiZac

  • Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2014, 03:59:05 PM »
Thanks Volkodav, that's exactly what it was.
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2014, 08:47:02 PM »
Been a long term fan of the F-5 and used it in a number of scenarios / discussions including retention of a flying reserve by the RAAF, or an opportunity cost proposition where the RAAF goes for a greater number of more affordable light fighters instead of the Mirage, Phantom, F-111 combo.

Enjoyed reading your piece, can imagine the F-5 slipping into the Mirages place and even it's colour schemes.

Offline upnorth

  • Distorting a reality near you.
  • Reinvented Austria and the Stuka....Now what?
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2014, 04:04:56 PM »
That's a very cool premise with a lot of scope for expansion.

I do wonder, with Australia producing and exporting the F-5, if it would completely negate the A-4 in RNZAF service. 

I don't know the whole scope of how the RNZAF used the A-4, but I can't recall ever seeing a picture of one of theirs that was carrying anything that an F-5 couldn't.
Pickled Wings, A Blog for Preserved Aircraft:
http://pickledwings.wordpress.com/

Beyond Prague, Traveling the Rest of the Czech Republic:
http://beyondprague.wordpress.com/

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2014, 11:45:30 PM »
RNZAF actually wanted Phantoms and I believe they ended up having to stretch their borrowed Venoms out longer instead.  Who knows what would have happened if Australia had a hot F-5 line going at the time, gut feeling though, they didn't bother buying Australian built Mustangs, Vampires, Canberras, Sabres, Mirages, Maachis, or Hornets so they probably wouldn't have bought F-5s either.

Offline KiwiZac

  • Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2014, 03:51:22 PM »
Excactly - we've never bought any Aussie-made aircraft for our Air Force. Besides, in this alternate history we got the Mirage.  ;)

From memory the Phantom was too expensive, but I wouldnt mind doing one anyway...

Back to the CA-29!!!
« Last Edit: December 30, 2014, 03:54:13 PM by KiwiZac »
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2014, 05:48:21 PM »
NZ determined the Starlifter to be the ideal replacement for the Beverly, due to the strategic distances involved in NZ's treaty obligations, and came close to placing an order.  This was put on hold as the acquisition of Phantoms was seen to be a higher priority and there was insufficient cash for both.

It's even more depressing looking at NZs procurements than Australia's as NZ seemed to put a lot more thought into it and weren't afraid to mix high and low end while Australia always seemed to aim at a sort of mid level, being too snobby to go low end, but unwilling to stretch to high end.  I would love to have seen what replaced NZs Dido class cruisers, had a mutiny (due to poor pay and conditions), funding cuts and feed water contamination, I suspect a pair of Counties or perhaps Escort Cruisers would have been most likely.

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2015, 08:50:10 PM »
G'day KiwiZac. I too am a late converter to the true attributes of the little and cost-effective F-5 series over the past ten years. I guess I was fooled by the hype and marketing ploy that cheap, small and simple = ineffective!
In fact I've become a Lightweight Fighter fiend. Especially after I read 'The Pentagon Paradox.'

I like your alternative story! Especially when one understands the 'operational restrictions' that the French Government enforced on Australia using its Mirage III's in the Viet Nam War.

Can I please make a suggestion, if you'd permit me?
You state:
"Following pressure on aircraft numbers, a further 25 CA-29Bs (A3-125 to A3-150) were ordered and delivered during 1973 and 1974 fully equipping No 76 Sqn and dispersing the higher-houred machines among the remaining three squadrons, now operating at RAAF Williamtown and RMAF Butterworth."

Would you consider something along the lines of ....…So impressed was the RAAF with the Freedom Fighter design and concept, that it took advantage of the pressure on aircraft numbers, to order twenty of the new, more powerful and refined F-5E and five F-5F Tiger II's ............were ordered and delivered during 197? and 197? ...........
Just a thought, so as to give the RAAF a capability growth, until the F-18L  ;) could be fielded as the RAAF's next-gen fighter. Who know's, once the F-18L's enter RAAF service, the lower houred F-5E/F's are sold to RNZAF at a bargain price!

M.A.D

Offline elmayerle

  • Its about time there was an Avatar shown here...
  • Über Engineer...at least that is what he tells us.
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2015, 02:18:50 AM »
I could definitely see the F-5E/F following the F-5A/B on the CAC production line.  I could also see strictly trainer versions of the F-5F with permanently-attached wingtip tanks as well as operational ones that could take the Sidewinder racks.  I wonder what the odds are of a few "one-off" combinations of F-5B and F-5F to make three-seat courier aircraft?  I can see it being physically possible given the forward fuselage structure of the F-5B and F-5F (they aren't the same, F-5F retains a fully combat-capable nose, F-5B doesn't).

Offline Volkodav

  • Counts rivits with his abacus...
  • Much older now...but procrastinating about it
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2015, 09:20:51 PM »
Loving these ADF F-5 ideas.  Realistically the F-5 brought as much overall real world capability as many more complex and expensive contemporary platforms so adopting it would not have been detrimental in the slightest.  In fact the money saved could have been spent on greater numbers, a higher capability silver bullet force, or even other desirable but at the time unaffordable capabilities.  RAAF F-5s could have seen RAAF Starlifters.

Offline GTX_Admin

  • Evil Administrator bent on taking over the Universe!
  • Administrator - Yep, I'm the one to blame for this place.
  • Whiffing Demi-God!
    • Beyond the Sprues
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 03:54:45 AM »
Greg posted something a while ago with Sir Frederick Scherger discussing his preference for the Northrop N-156 for service with the RAAF, preferably with licence manufacture and export rights for the region.


That was this:  statements by Air Marshal Sir Frederick Scherger, RAAF chief in 1957-1961, (from an ANZUS meeting in 1958 - see http://www.history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1958-60v16/d19):

Quote
"...we have been desperately seeking a small, versatile airplane which can range over the whole area and which can operate from the thousand and one 6000-foot strips left over from the last war and which still are there and from which commercial airplanes are still operating...

...We believe we have found the airplane in a project which has been raised and was having a little difficulty here, the Northrop–156, which is a development of the T–38 supersonic trainer. It is a light airplane and can have a lot of sophistication in it, but we don’t want a lot of sophistication. We want it in a fairly cheap and uncomplicated form. It is the kind of thing we can build and build relatively cheaply, and it is the kind of airplane which could be used right throughout that area, where we ourselves are perhaps the most capable in the use of modern equipment…"

All hail the God of Frustration!!!

Offline KiwiZac

  • Who said Kiwis can't fly...though this one can organise for a kit of the Fletcher FU24 to be produced!
  • The Modeller Formerly Known As K5054NZ
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2015, 10:07:29 AM »
Great ideas, all!
"He's more real-world now than whif..."

Offline M.A.D

  • Also likes a bit of arse...
  • Wrote a great story about a Christmas Air Battle
Re: CA-29 Badina - the Aussie F-5
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2015, 06:52:57 AM »
Just thinking........
Could you possibly consider a twist in the CA-29 Badina trilogy, that Australia purposefully delays its N-156/F-5A Freedom Fighter purchase, to participate with the Canadian's in developing the CF-5, which offers many improvements and adds to the capability of the original Freedom Fighter design.
Maybe you could justify the delay on the CF-5's enhanced take off performance with Australia's hot/tropic conditions up North?

Just an idea  ;)

M.A.D