Author Topic: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby  (Read 13740 times)

Offline apophenia

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'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« on: May 22, 2014, 02:03:36 AM »
'Super Boomer' - The Story of the Commonwealth Aircraft CA-14 Wallaby

With the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-12 Boomerang in production, developments and replacement designs were considered. CAC's Ca-15 was to be world-class, frontline fighter of entirely new design. The simpler CA-13 development would standardize production line improvements to the CA-12 series. The CA-14 concept was to review more powerful engine options for the 'Boomer'.

Initial candidate powerplants for the evolved CA-14 were the large Wright R-2600 and Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radials. Unfortunately, the United States could make neither of these engines available in a timely fashion. Then, a third radial engine candidate appeared from a most unexpected source.

Ships returning from supplying the Australian Army in the Western Desert bought back the damaged remnants of the newest German fighter aircraft. CAC design staff had already been briefed on RAF reports of a captured Fw 190A-3. But the parts retreived from Tunisia represented the latest model Fw 190A-4/Trop. Further Focke-Wulf components arrived from Sicily at CAC's Fisherman's Bend plant.

RAAF Intelligence units had yet to recover an airworthy Focke-Wulf fighter but Fw 190 remains shipped to Australia included near-complete engines, damaged fuselages, and intact wings and tails. The RAAF Intelligence Section assumed that CAC would make a study of these Focke-Wulf components to determine what could be useful in the designing of the advanced CA-15 fighter.

[To be continued]
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Offline apophenia

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2014, 02:05:31 AM »
'Super Boomer' - The Commonwealth Aircraft CA-14 Wallaby - Part 2

Even the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation's chief, Lawrence Wackett, was startled when CA-12 designer Friedrich 'Fred' David suggested that CAC could 'leap frog' to the CA-15 Kangaroo by simply reverse-engineering the Focke-Wulf Fw 190A-4. Thanks to RAAF recovery efforts, Australia already had on hand all the Fw 190 components that it required. And the Fw 190A-4 possessed a distinct performance advantage over the Japanese type then being encountered in the Pacific Theatre.

Wackett ordered a feasibility study of Fred David's proposal. It quickly became apparent that there would be nothing 'simple' about reverse-engineering the Fw 190A-4. To speed development of the CA-15/Fw (as CAC's Focke-Wulf 'clone' became known), the monocoque fuselage was replaced by a welded steel-tube structure more in line with then-current CAC production practices. A mockup of this CA-15/Fw (03) concept was created using recovered Fw 190 components.

RAAF reviews of the CA-15/Fw (03) concept were, on the whole, positive but the mockup's tight cockpit and narrow canopy came under universal criticism. RAAF pilots, now use to the more generous proportions of US cockpits, demanded more space and an improved rearward view. To address these concerns quickly, Fred David evolved the CA-15/Fw (05) which incorporated the cockpit and canopy of the CA-12 Boomerang into the CA-15/Fw design.

The revised cockpit design of the CA-15/Fw (05) satisfied the reviewing service pilots. But the CA-15/Fw concept now faced another major hurdle. To build the CA-15/Fw, CAC also intended to reverse-engineer the Fw 190's BMW 801 engine. The resulting CAC R-2560 radial -- expected to produce 1,675 hp for take-off on 100 octane fuel -- was to power both the Ca-15/Fw Kangaroo and the revised CA-4B Woomera bomber. But the plan was a step too far. CAC simply lacked the design personnel for such a major undertaking at that time.

[To be continued]
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Offline Cliffy B

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2014, 02:09:33 AM »
Oh my!!!  Beer and popcorn at the ready, you may proceed  8)
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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2014, 02:52:43 AM »
Looking good. :) A different approach to the one I have for getting the Fw190 into RAAF service... ;)

One minor nitpick (and please don't take this the wrong way):  I somehow doubt reverting to the CA-12 style cockpit/canopy would result in "improved rearward view" over that used for the Fw190.  If anything, it would be the opposite.
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Offline Logan Hartke

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2014, 03:14:44 AM »
Looks more "right" than it should!

Cheers,

Logan

Offline Silver Fox

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 04:01:43 AM »
Very interesting!

Of course if the reversion to an earlier style glazing had not taken place, we wouldn't get to enjoy it's later modification. :)

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 01:58:05 PM »
Love the look of the CA-14 Wallaby, the Boomerang canopy & tail suits it well. 8)

This must have been before CAC developed the CA-14 turbo-supercharged Boomerang variant (for some reason CAC numbered each "block" of Boomerangs differently; CA-12, CA-13, CA-14(A) & CA-19).

In my mind I can see a CAS variant with inverted gull wings, 4 x 20mm cannon & rockets/bombs, too. CA-16 Thunderbird?

Edit: Sorry, CA-15/Fw .... The title & in-article references are somewhat confusing. :-\
« Last Edit: May 22, 2014, 02:11:21 PM by Old Wombat »
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Offline buzzbomb

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2014, 02:30:10 PM »
Inspiring.
Just wonderful vision on that, I agree with Logan.. it really does look more right than it should
Time until somebody builds one.. 10...9...8...
Les.. are you out there ?



Offline Old Wombat

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2014, 02:52:31 PM »
Time until somebody builds one.. 10...9...8...
Les.. are you out there ?

I've put it on my 1/72nd To-Do list but, like everything these days, it may take a while before I get to it.
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."

Offline Weaver

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 07:03:54 PM »
Wow - that looks great as a "westernised" Fw-190: I'm a big 190 fan.  8)
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Offline kerick

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2014, 01:10:15 AM »
Perhaps a canopy was scrounged from a damaged P-38 to replace the Boomerang canopy?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2014, 01:17:24 AM by kerick »

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2014, 02:36:54 AM »
Or even one from the real world CAC CA-15? 8)
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Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2014, 06:33:13 AM »
Many thanks for the responses folks!

Greg: You're probably right about the rear vision issue. I had in mind some burly, beef-fed Aussie lad banging his noggin on the narrow Fw canopy when craning for a look behind. As for the Wallaby itself, stay tuned for gradual cockpit cover changes ... as Silver Fox has already anticipated  ;)

"Looking good. :) A different approach to the one I have for getting the Fw190 into RAAF service... ;) "  Do tell!  :D

Old Wombat: The RW CA-14 designation followed the engine twist-and-turns I mentioned ... other than the BMW 801, of course ;)  But why CAC applied designations as they did is anyone's guess  :icon_surprised:

CA-16 Thunderbird: Love the idea of applying names from extinct animals to aircraft. Dromornis:
http://k31.kn3.net/taringa/4/7/1/9/5/4/5/matias1097/647.jpg?9116
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline apophenia

  • Suffered two full days of rapid-fire hallucinations and yet had not a single usuable whif concept in the lot !?!
  • Patterns? What patterns?
Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2014, 06:36:10 AM »
'Super Boomer' - The Commonwealth Aircraft CA-14 Wallaby - Part 3

With the CAC R-2560 engine on hold, designer Fred David was forced back to the drawing board. A lack of suitable engines had also stalled the CA-14. But a CAC Engine Division development put the CA-14 project back on top. CAC was now scheduled to produce an enlarged Twin Wasp derivative for the Woomera bomber. Engine Division suggested applying some of the lessons learned from the stalled R-2560 project to the licensed Pratt & Whitney R-2000 for the Woomera.

Most noticeably, the CAC-built R-2000 would incorporate the BMW's cooling fan as well as its armoured cowling ring and protected oil cooler. The BMW 801's Kommandogerät (now redubbed the ECU -- for Engine Control Unit) would also be incorporated into the CAC R-2000. Following the pattern of CAC-produced R-1830 Twin Wasps, the new R-2000 was to power both bombers and fighters -- in this case, the revised CA-11B Woomera and the CA-14 Wallaby fighter.

The CA-14 (04) concept envisioned a CA-12 Boomerang airframe re-engined with the new, fan-cooled CAC R-2000 engine. But Fred David successfully argued for a more advanced design -- the CA-14 (06)  -- which would also incorporate the CA-15/Fw's wing and undercarriage into the revised concept.

With its 1,350 hp R-2000 radial, the resulting fighter would be almost as potent as the planned CA-15/Fw. The CA-14 Wallaby featured a lengthed CA-12 steel-tube fuselage. Extra forward fuselage bays tied in to wing and engine mounting points. The relative rearward positioning of the cockpit also meant that the depth of the CA-12 frames could be lessened. The result was a much reduced frontal area compared with the Boomerang and a good turn of speed for the new CA-14 Wallaby.

[To be continued]
Under investigation by the Committee of State Sanctioned Modelling, Alternative History and Tractor Carburettor Production for decadent counterrevolutionary behaviour.

Offline Old Wombat

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Re: 'Super Boomer' - CAC CA-14 Wallaby
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2014, 01:17:33 PM »
Had to modify this link "http://k31.kn3.net/taringa/4/7/1/9/5/4/5/matias1097/647.jpg?9116"

to this http://k31.kn3.net/taringa/4/7/1/9/5/4/5/matias1097/647.jpg to view the image.

However, for clarity re: this Mean-Mother-Chicken (Dromornis, lit. Thunder Bird)



I may have to build the CA-16 idea, too, just to get that on the cowling! ;)
"This is the Captain. We have a little problem with our engine sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and, ah, explode."