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Waco CG-4A Hadrian / LRW-1 / XLRN-1
General Aircraft Corp CG-4A

 

waco-hadrian
Hadrian


During 1942 the U.S. Navy let contracts for the development of several amphibious transport gliders. At the same lime as the requirement for a twelve-seat glider was issued, the US Navy ordered a small number of Waco CG-4A (Hadrian) gliders under the designation LRW-1. At least thirteen Waco LRW-1s were delivered (BuAer Nos. 37639-481 44319, and 69990-1), and the Naval Aircraft Factory modified two further CG-4As under the designation XLRN-1 (BuAer Nos. 36431-2).


Because military planners did not want to divert scarce strategic resources and aircraft workers from powered aircraft production to build gliders, the CG-4A was built by hundreds of subcontractors with experience in woodworking, including employees of furniture companies. The only large production facility was Ford Motor Company’s wooden station wagon plant. The CG-4A was a front-loading glider designed to carry a pilot, co-pilot and 13 fully equipped glider infantrymen or an equivalent load of equipment or muni-tions.

Including the two pilots in the hinged nose, it could carry 15 fully armed troops or a jeep with its crew, or an Army 75 mm howitzer with crew and ammunition. It could carry a total military load of around 3,500 lb and could land in a field 660 feet by 200 feet surrounded by 50 feet obstacles at a loaded stalling speed of 50-60 mph.


The fuselage of the Hadrian was 6 feet 5 inches wide and made of a steel tubular framework covered with fabric on wooden formers with a wooden floor. The wingspan was 83 feet 8 inches and the wings and tail unit were made of wood with a plywood and fabric covering. The training undercarriage consisted of independent wheels, with shock absorbers and hydraulic brakes. The operational undercarriage could be jettisoned by parachute and was a simple cross axle with brake-less wheels. The glider then landed on skids.


Several hundred CG-4A gliders were built in 1945 with a paper composition floor rather than the reinforced plywood box floor.  The glider could carry 13 infantrymen or a Jeep.  Because of the floor, a trailer or howitzer could not be carried. The floor was reinforced at the Jeep wheel locations but not reinforced where the trailer or howitzer wheels would normally be positioned.

 

Waco-CG4A-02
WACO CG-4A

 

It was named Hadrian when in service with the British forces, and was the only American built troop-carrying glider to be used by the allied forces in the airborne invasions of Sicily and France.


Ford produced the CG-4A. Approximately 14,000 were built.

 

 


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