Another CAC Boomerang Nears Flight in Australia

CAC Boomerang A46-54 is coming close to flying again, seen here in a hangar in Bribane, Australia having just had her main wheels installed. (photo by Aaron Turvey)
Aircorps Art Dec 2019

Tucked away in a hangar in Brisbane, Australia, a pair of Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Boomerangs are slowly coming back together, with one of them, CA-12 A46-54, coming very close to completion.
A46-54 rolled off CAC’s production line at Fisherman’s Bend in Melbourne, Australia during early 1943. The Royal Australian Air Force took her on strength in March, 1943, with the aircraft initially passing to No. 1 Aircraft Depot. While with 1 AD, A46-54 suffered a ground loop incident on April 3rd, 1943 while landing with Flying Officer William Neil McCullock at the controls. Following repairs, the Boomer’ served with 83 and  coded MH-B flying from Milingimbi Island, NT in defense of Darwin, which had come under attack by Japanese forces in February, 1942.
Armourers of RAAF 83 Squadron clean the 20mm cannon and load ammunition into a one of the unit’s CAC Boomerang fighter aircraft at their base on Milingimbi Island, NT on November 21st, 1943. From left to right they are Corporal G.A. Hughs, LAC Gough, Corporal Bradbury, LAC Knight, and Corporal Kennett. (photo via Australian War Memorial)
The Boomerang suffered a more serious accident on September 13th, 1943 while being flown by an 85 Squadron pilot at Strathpine Airfield on the outskirts of Brisbane, Queensland. Pilot Officer Clive Hollingworth Winnett was coming in to land but a strong gust caught the aircraft as he crossed the North Pine Creek just off the end of the airstrip which spun the Boomerang off the runway and into trees. The Boomerangs outer wings were badly damaged, but the aircraft received a new set.
A wartime shot of Strathpine Airfield where A46-54 suffered a landing accident. (photo via Australian War Memorial)
A46-54 went on to serve with 84 Squadron. After the war, the RAAF disposed of the Boomerang, selling her for scrap to the RH Grant Trading Company along with many other surplus aircraft. Somehow enough of her survived to be saved. Noted Boomerang restorer Greg Batts acquired her remains and performed much of the work on the present restoration. Batts has been involved with more than half a dozen Boomerang projects over the years.
84 Squadron CAC Boomerangs during WWII. (photo via Australian War Memorial)
The current owner has been hard at work on A46-54 for some time now. Present progress has included efforts involving the engine, fuel and oils systems along with component installation. The main wheels were just installed, and landing gear and flap retraction trials should take place in the near future. The owner expects to have the aircraft flying again before the end of this year. We wish him much luck in achieving this goal!

WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Aaron Turvey for providing us with these photographs and restoration details, and to our regular reporter, Phil Buckley for bringing them to our attention. We hope to have more details on the other Boomerang under restoration before too long.

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  1. Un CAC Boomerang revolera prochainement en Australie – L’Echarpe Blanche
  2. CAC Boomerang nearing return to flight in Australia – World Warbird News

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