CAC Ca-14 - The ultimate Boomerang

  • Yes
  • No

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  • Ca-14
  • Ca-14A
  • Both
  • I said No

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History

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In late 1942 the Boomerangs performance was becoming quite lack-luster when compared to contemporaries. As a result the Australian War Cabinet and CAC started to explore options to improve the designs performance, particularly at high altitude. Finding a new engine proved troublesome, so the underpowered 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney (P&W) R-1830 engine of the original design was given a General Electric B2 exhaust driven supercharger and ancillary equipment, a Harrison intercooler was fitted into the fuselage behind the cockpit, and an intake for engine and intercooler air was positioned on the fuselage port side. Intercooler air was exhausted over the top of the fuselage through a temperature-controlled shutter behind the cockpit. The supercharger was mounted in the starboard fuselage, the normal exhaust tailpipe being extended down the fuselage to feed the turbine. The standard down-draught carburetor air intake was dispensed with, giving it a cleaner top cowl line, while high-altitude magnetos were also fitted. A panel of test instruments was mounted in the rear fuselage, with a 35mm remotely-controlled camera to record in-flight data… The tail was also slightly enlarged, as well as the original nose mounted air-intake removed and the wings leading edge slightly modified. The Ca-14 aircraft otherwise had the same weaponry as the original designs and similar performance to the Ca-13 below 10,000 feet.

The best propeller available was a three-blade, eleven-foot Curtiss Electric, with a blade activity factor of 87, which limited climb performance and was 50 pounds heavier than that on the standard Boomerang. The B2 supercharger (as the only one obtainable) had a diffuser design which limited critical altitude by 4,000 to 5,000 feet when used with the R-1830 engine, and a further 500 feet in critical altitude was lost because of a 0.50 in-Hg greater pressure drop across the intercooler, compared with an Airesearch cooler which became available after first flights. Ground-handling, takeoff and stall characteristics were similar to the Ca-13, but the deletion of the nose mounted intake improved forward visibility. Engine overheating was an issue when continuously climbing to 20,000 feet.

Boomer 1

In May 1943 this aircraft was then further modified into the Ca-14A. All weaponry was removed, the tail was drastically redesigned, the side scoop was removed, nose modified, a cooling fan added. The earlier supercharger was replaced by a B-13 supercharger, propeller upgraded, sliding cowl grills added rather than hinged, a lighter Airesearch intercooler and changes in the oil-cooler and ducting. This design likely performed better than the Ca-14, however flight data is very hard to find. This along to with the fact it didn’t have weaponry make this version hard to justify putting into the game.

Performance

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Fight performance as Ca-13 below 10,000 feet

At 28,000 ft (8,534 m):

  • 354 mph (570 km/h)

  • 1,400 fpm (7.1 m/s)

  • 8,095 lb (3,672kg)

  • 930 miles (1,497 km) range

  • 36,000 ft (10,973 m) (Ca-14A over 40,000 feet (12,192 m) )

  • 2 × 20 mm (0.787 in) Hispano or CAC cannons

  • 4 × 0.303 in (7.7 mm) Browning machine guns

  • provision for a bomb, when the large ventral drop tank was not carried

Dive speed on the Ca-14A was limited to 410 mph and all-up weight was 8,132 pounds.
The CA-14A was used by CAC as test beds for the prototypes of a CAC-designed-and-built four-blade propeller with high-density wooden blades, a 38 degrees pitch range and 130 pounds lighter than similar metal propellers. Although developed with some success, and intended for, among others, the Mustang, it did not go into production.

In Game

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The Ca-14 Boomerang would make a nice addition to early tier 3. Either as a British premium, event vehicle or tech tree vehicle for an other-Commonwealth tree. Better high altitude performance would help it contend against some of the later fighters, where the early types cannot, plus it would create some variety when the two in game are currently near identical. The Ca-14A would create further variety, but without flight data and in-need of imaginary weaponry it is unlikely to ever see it’s place in War Thunder.

Sources

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Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation CA-14/A Fighter | Old Machine Press
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAC_Boomerang
https://www.destinationsjourney.com/historical-military-photographs/cac-ca-14-a-boomerang/
Warbirds: The Turbo Interceptor Boomerang - Australian Flying
Cac Ca-14 Boomerang · The Encyclopedia of Aircraft David C. Eyre (aeropedia.com.au)

Additional photos

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boomer 5

3 Likes

In a dream world where Gaijin gives Australia a sub tree in Great Britain and the production model Boomerangs become tech tree options, the CA-14A would make a great option for a premium replacement. I don’t know if the BR would even change too much, probably 3.3-3.7 since the performance at lower alts doesn’t improve much.

1 Like

Wirraway, Boomerang and Ca-15 In Australian Service by Stewart Wilson, page 135 lists the maximum speed of the Ca-14 at sea level as 433km/h and 560 km/h at 28,200 feet.

Rate of climb at 2,150ft is as the earlier models, however at 28,600ft it is 1,180 feet per minute, 65% better than the earlier model. Operational weight is 400lb heavier than standard.

Once again, there is little information on the Ca-14A.

2 Likes

Probably fair to say that a more accurate CA-14A could be made in game than something like the J6K1 which never actually flew. I don’t have too much issue personally with a plane like the J6K1 because it’s cool.

This might also be interesting, an actual report of testing the CA-14. Let me know if the link doesn’t work.
https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/ViewImage.aspx?B=164605

1 Like

Absolutely fantastic. I’ll look at that more closely on the weekend when I get time. Thanks for sharing.

1 Like