CAC Wallaby Regional Airliner Project

CAC Wallaby

Around 1950 the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation began a design study for a regional airliner with the range and speed of a then-ubiquitous Douglas DC3, but only half the passenger capacity. The aircraft was to be powered by two of the CAC-designed Cicada 450 hp, seven cylinder radial engines based on half a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp. A350 lb thrust Turbomeca Palas turbojet was provided in the rear fuselage to boost takeoff performance. The resulting design was known as the Wallaby.

The Wallaby was offered in three versions: a 12-15 seat airline version; a high-density, short-range 17 seat version; and a six seat Executive version. By 1953 the design was sufficiently advanced that the company issued a comprehensive sales brochure. You can download a copy of this brochure by clicking on the image above (2.4 MB .pdf file).

Around 1956 a proposal was put to the Australian Government for production of the aircraft, but there was little interest. Although CAC hoped to make a profit from the aircraft, Government financial support was required for tooling and preparing for production. One of the problems was the cost of the Cicada engines which, although efficient, could not compete in price with the large numbers of war-surplus 600 hp R-1340 engines that were available in Australia for as little as £250 each, compared with about £8,000 for a new engine of the same type from the USA. Another problem was competition from the smaller but more economical De Havilland Dove, which had been in service since 1946.

In 1958 a revised proposal was put to the Government featuring a version of the aircraft powered by war-surplus R-1340s at a cost of around £60,000 per aircraft. Once again, there was little interest and the project came to nothing.


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CAC Wallaby - click here to download brochure