The Army’s Glider Waco CG-4A

The Army’s Glider Waco CG-4A

The Waco CG-4A was the most widely used American troop/cargo military glider of World War II. It was designated the CG-4A by the United States Army Air Forces, and named Hadrian (after the Roman emperor) in British military service.

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Designed by the Waco Aircraft Company, flight testing began in May 1942, and eventually more than 13,900 CG-4As were delivered. The CG-4A was constructed of fabric-covered wood and metal and was crewed by a pilot and copilot. It had two fixed main wheels and a tailwheel. The CG-4A could carry 13 troops and their equipment. Cargo loads could be a 1⁄4 ton truck (i.e. a Jeep), a 75 mm howitzer, or a 1⁄4 ton trailer, loaded through the upward-hinged nose section. C-47s were usually used as tow aircraft. A few C-46 tugs were used during and after Operation Plunder.

Aviation History | History of Flight | Aviation History Articles, Warbirds, Bombers, Trainers, Pilots | The Army’s Glider Waco CG-4A

The USAAF CG-4A tow line was 11⁄16-inch-diameter nylon, 350 feet long. The CG-4A pickup line was ​a 15⁄16-inch diameter nylon cord, but only 225 ft. long including the doubled loop. In effort to identify areas where strategic materials could be reduced, a single XCG-4B was built at the Timm Aircraft Corporation using wood for the main structure.

Aviation History | History of Flight | Aviation History Articles, Warbirds, Bombers, Trainers, Pilots | The Army’s Glider Waco CG-4A

From 1942-1945, the Ford Motor Company’s plant in Kingsford, Michigan, built 4,190 Model CG-4A gliders for use in combat operations during World War II. The Kingsford plant built more CG-4A gliders than any other company in the nation at much less cost than other manufacturers. The other primary builders of the Model CG-4A gliders were located in Troy, Ohio; Greenville, Michigan; Astoria, New York; Kansas City, Missouri and St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

Updated: January 10, 2019 — 3:53 PM
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