Ca-11 Woomera, Australia's Answer to the Beaufighter

[Would you like to see this in-game?]
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

  • Ca-11
  • Ca-11A
  • Neither

0 voters

History

After the beginning of the war in 1939, Australia found itself without a steady stream of imported vehicles. With the constant threat of war from Imperial Japan, Australia looked inwards for products which could be used to defend itself. This created several aircraft, such as the Boomerang or Wirraway found in game, but also created some other interesting aircraft such as the Ca-11 Woomera.

The initial prototype of this aircraft was the CAC Ca-4, often given the nicknames Wackett or Woomera, however it never received an official name. The proposed upgraded Ca-11 aircraft was ordered into production in March 1942, before the Ca-4 prototype had even been given to the RAAF for trials and before the Ca-11 had even been made. Despite an order 105 of these aircraft, CAC struggled to produce one. Australia’s aviation industry was not at an age where they could mass-produce multiple aircraft designs, and where under extreme pressure to produce more Wirraways and Boomerangs (the Boomerang itself was designed and flown within 6 months), which used parts needed for the Woomera. On Jan 15 1943 the Ca-4 crashed and was completely destroyed, killing 2 out of 3 of it’s occupants. This setback the Ca-11 program even more, with CACs only flying example now gone. As a result the Ca-11 wouldn’t fly until June/July 1944, by which point other designs were in production locally, US aircraft were being imported and the airframe was obsolete. The only aircraft produced was eventually stripped for parts and scrapped in 1946.

The Ca-11 featured many improvements over the Ca-4. These included:

  • A moulded perspex sighting turret for the tail gunner to control the novel engine nacelle mounted machine gun barbettes.

  • The fixed armament in the nose was increased, by replacing two of the four .303 Browning machine guns with two 20mm Hispano Mk.II autocannons and 7.92 Browning machine guns.

  • A redesigned tail including a swept up rudder and larger, longer tail fin

  • Most of the Vickers K machine gun position except ventral position were replaced with 7.92 Browning machine guns.

An attempt to improve the top speed was made when the original 1,200hp Twin Wasps were switched for newer models capable of producing 1,350hp, which changed the aircraft designation to the CA-11A.

Performance

Specifics on the Ca-11 are a big all over the place depending on the source. I’ve tried to use what seems most reasonable and have included as many sources as I can below, but extra research should be taken.

Crew: three, pilot, remote turrets gunner, and bombardier/ventral gunner

  • Length: 12.07 m

  • Wingspan: 18.04 m

  • Height: 5.54 m

  • Wing area: 41 m2

  • Airfoil: root NACA 2218.5; tip NACA 2209

  • Empty weight: 5,798 kg

  • Max takeoff weight: 10,380 kg

  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines, 1,200 hp each (or for Ca-11A Wasp R200 engines, at 1,300 hp each)

Flight performances:

  • Maximum speed: 454 km/h at 4,700 meters

  • Cruise speed: 364 km/h (some sources state 407 km/h or 296 km/h)

  • Range: 3,580 km (with external tank and one torpedo)

  • Service ceiling: 7,162 m

  • Rate of climb: 10.6 m/s

Armaments:

  • Offensive: 2 × 20 mm Hispano Mk.II autocannons and 2 × 7.92 mm Browning machine guns on the nose

  • Defensive: 4 × 7.92 mm Browning machine guns in two remotely controlled twin turrets on the engine narcelles and 1 × Vickers K machine gun on a manually-controlled ventral position

  • Suspended: * 4× 250 lb (113 kg) bombs internally in engine nacelle bays
    and 4× 500 lb (224 kg) bombs or 2x 250lb bombs and 8x 25lb bombs or 2× Mk XII, Mk XV or Mk 13 aerial torpedoes mounted under the fuselage or 1× torpedo and 1× 293 imp gal (352 USG) external fuel tank mounted under the fuselage

In game

Although the Ca-11 didn’t get a chance to shine in real life, it would hold it’s own in game very well. The reasonable top speed, multiple turrets and different loadout options would make it quite an enjoyable plane in Air and ground RB, being a perfect low tier CAS option.

It’s placement would be either in the British tree as a premium or event vehicle, or in a Commonwealth or Australian tech tree or sub-tree, something I hope to suggest once I have suggested enough vehicles. There are 3 potential versions, the Ca-4 (Which I hope to suggest eventually), the Ca-11 and the Ca-11A, the finally two being quite similar, while the Ca-4 is quite different, and would take a lower br.

Photos

I’ve tried to include photos from many different angles, along with production photos showing the prototype drop tanks and torpedoes mounted.

Woomera 1
Woomera 2
Woomera 3
Woomera 4
Woomera 4


Woomera 6

Woomera 8
WOomera 9

Woomera 11

Woomera 13
Woomera 14
Woomera 15
Woomera 16
Woomera 17

Sources

https://militarymatters.online/forgotten-aircraft/cac-ca-11-woomera-too-little-too-late/

https://aeropedia.com.au/content/cac-ca-4-and-ca-11-woomera/

https://www.destinationsjourney.com/historical-military-photographs/cac-ca-4-ca-11-woomera/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAC_Woomera

ADF Serials - Woomera (adf-serials.com.au) - This link contains official RAAF documents

https://old-forum.warthunder.com/index.php?/topic/558346-cac-ca-11-woomera-repost/

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/threads/cac-ca-4-and-ca-11-woomera.24304/

https://www.the-blueprints.com/blueprints/ww2planes/commonwealth-ww2/78458/view/commonwealth_ca-11_cac_woomera/

https://k.sina.cn/article_2035222637_p794f086d02700mn3x.html

Australia’s Military Aircraft by Ross Gillett, Page 58

3 Likes
More photos



273986225_2087606514724743_715673875051589504_n
274039952_2087606611391400_6885824648488702701_n
274091457_2087606581391403_3243233239158995574_n
274274440_2087606534724741_4798788732561475095_n



95792968_10222816689826713_2051649974004875264_n

236759589_872440076715756_5454810134696848969_n
94235865_2685169375049465_8249444256381403136_n
94516076_2685169401716129_5997536866650292224_n

94904643_2685169438382792_2476769930066788352_n



2 Likes

This looks super fun! I love twin-engine attack fighters, and this fits the bill! +1

25lb bombs though… I think that’d be the smallest yet!

One of my top wished vehicles for the game. Would absolutely love to see it.

1 Like

I learned some new things about the Woomera from reading this. Other sources I’d read never mentioned the CA-11A with uprated engines. I’d also never heard of the 25lb bombs being mounted on the outer of the wing. So a max payload of 4x500lb, 4x250lb and 8x25lb bombs.
Being able to have two of the really good US torpedoes would surely be good for naval as well, not many lower tier planes can carry two torpedoes I think.
Did you ever come across an ammo count for the 20mm?

2 Likes

Unfortunately I haven’t managed to find information on the rpg yet. I am hoping to get my hands on some more books soon which can help. I am also trying desperately to find more Ca-4 information.

1 Like

Soon the War Thunder forum will become the official source of the most detailed information on Australian aircraft lol. Keep up the good work, let’s hope we get to play these in game ourselves some day.

1 Like

It’s honestly impressive how much information gets gathered here. Thanks for the positive feedback! I will keep it up!

1 Like