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Spiros Pendedekas
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LTD 1/48 CAC Boomerang

March 11, 2024 · in Aviation · · 52 · 217

The origins of the can be traced in late 1941, when Lawrence Wackett, manager and chief designer of Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation () examined the possibility of designing and building a new fighter aircraft, a first for Australia's aviation industry.

To minimize risks and speed things up, Wackett implemented elements of the domestically produced Wirraways for the airframe (themselves based on the North American NA-16) and Bristol Beauforts for the powerplant (Australian-made Beauforts used license-built R-1830 Twin Wasps).

The emerging design, designated as CA-12, used the wing, tail assembly, undercarriage, and center section of the Wirraway in combination with a new forward fuselage to house the larger Twin Wasp engine, which gave it a stubby appearance.

It had a new cockpit with a sliding hood and carried an armament of two 20 mm Hispano-Suiza HS.404 cannons along with four .303 machine guns.

The proposal was presented to the Australian Government, which promptly gave its approval, authorizing an immediate order for 105 “Boomerangs” (as they were named shortly thereafter).

The fact that the order was fixed before even any prototype had been constructed could be due to a combination of reasons, including, among others, urgency of demand due to war, insurance against delay or cancellation of the RAAF's P-40 order and the expected low risk of the project itself, as it would use many readily available components (although the latter finally materialized to a lesser degree than originally envisaged).

Though the engine's performance was adequate at low altitudes, it fell rapidly above 15000 ft, so, the fact that the plane rarely engaged in aerial combat came as no surprise.

Attempts to fit the R-2600 power plant did not come to fruition due to non-availability, whereas the locally manufactured R-2800 would practically stress the landing gear beyond acceptable limits if fitted.

As it stood, the Boomerang was agile, easy to fly, with good range, sufficient armament and could withstand significant battle damage. While it might have never been recorded as having destroyed any enemy aircraft, it performed well in the light ground attack role, used by Army co-operation squadrons, often replacing the lightly armed Wirraway. It was also used for artillery spotting, aerial supply drops, tactical reconnaissance, and anti-malarial spraying. In total, 250 examples were built.

RAAF No. 5 Squadron flew Boomerangs in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Borneo Campaign, also in the close support role, with marked success. Flying in pairs (one to observe the ground, the other to observe the air around them), their tasks included bombing, strafing, close infantry support and artillery spotting.

They often operated in conjunction with larger aircraft, where they would get in close to confirm the identity of the target and mark it with a 20 lb smoke bomb, with the cooperating larger aircraft delivering the major ordnance from a safer distance. A partnership between No. 5 Squadron Boomerangs and Royal New Zealand Air Force Corsair fighter-bombers during the Bougainville Campaign was said to be particularly successful.

This the 1996 Boomerang mold of the now defunct .

A by all means a limited run kit that is reported to have some accuracy issues, most importantly a shorter fuselage, it can still be built to represent a decent Boomerang. The vacanopy was, sadly, of the going-yellow-with-time type, but I used it anyway. Should you wish to read the full build review, you may do so by visiting my beloved site Modelingmadness
https://modelingmadness.com/review/allies/aus/penboom.htm

Happy Modelling!
Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

52 responses

  1. Excellent build, Spiros!

  2. Nice work on one of the more usual aircraft of the war. Stubby-looking little thing!

  3. Looks great, Spiros (@fiveten), especially considering the small size of the model. LTD kits can be very challenging, but you have certainly elevated the kit.

  4. Yours is a great build of a challenging kit, Spiros. Nothing easy or simple about getting this fine a model out of the bits provided in the LTD box. Congratulations!

  5. Well done Spiros. Mine became landfill when I got to the clear parts

  6. Turned out very well, Spiros. @fiveten

  7. Another beauty added to your collection, Spiros @fiveten
    Considering this short run kit, your skills definitely tackled it to transform it into a wonderful Boomerang.

  8. Congratulations on building that kit - nice work!. I have the LTD Boomerang, started it a couple of times, now it resides in my junk drawer. I lost interest in it when the Special Hobby CAC-12 came along.

  9. Looks good and I learned about an aircraft that I knew almost nothing about. Modelling is a great way to explore an interest. Great job Spiros.

  10. I had forgotten about the LTD Boomerang, but it all came back to me.
    There were worse kits than the LTD's. You have done a great job on this one.

  11. Love it, great work Spiros (@fiveten).

    Despite living in Australia now (I'm an English expat), I don't know much about the aircraft that the RAAF used during the pre and post war era's. So seeing the odd RAAF plane pop up here and there is a bit of a surprise 😀

  12. Excellent work on what is obviously a difficult kit, Spiros, and an interesting background to boot.

  13. Again a very rarely seen model. Very nicely built. Straight up very interesting information about this lesser known aircraft.

  14. Nice looking Boomerang Spiros despite the kit handicaps. There use to be some official photos in the 5 Sqd hanger in the 60s.

  15. Well done build of a little known plane , Spiros. Nice article as well.

  16. “Stubby” is the word, Spiros @fiveten. Another fine piece of work.

  17. Great job on a nasty little kit mate. I built one years ago and, in the end, put it in a crash diorama because it had so many flaws. I called the diorama "My Boomerang won't come back".
    You've done a fine job here.
    All the best, Paul.

  18. Great job, Spiros. Those LTD kits were tough. I managed to finish the Yak-9 (poorly).

  19. For some reason I missed this one. It's a really excellent result on what always looked a bit too short for an aircraft.

  20. Nice job, Spiros!

  21. Nice work, Spiros!
    Great looking pint sized fighter.

  22. @fiveten, Now that's something we don't see everyday! 😃 What a gorgeous lil' fighter, Spiros! 👍 Great job on the model, my friend! 👏

  23. @fiveten Thats beautiful Spiros! Never seen a motorcycle that looks like that ;). Nicely done!

  24. Very nice piece of work, Spiros!
    Thanks for sharing this build as well as the story behind this aircraft.
    Greetz

  25. Spiros, great job on this LTD kit. You have made a great looking Boomerang.

  26. Oh Man! Great job with a difficult kit. There is a reason why LTD is defunct.

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