In March 1948 the British Ministry of Supply raised Specification E.7/48 for a high-speed pilotless target aircraft for use in the guided missile program. Development of the specification was undertaken in Australia by the Division of Aircraft Production of the Department of Supply. Prototype orders were placed in June 1948 for an aircraft designed around the 1050 lb thrust Armstrong Siddeley Adder ASA1 turbojet. Design work commenced under the code project B. The RAAF aircraft identification prefix A92 was allocated and the Aboriginal word for "hunted one" was chosen as a name, Jindivik.
At the same time it was decided to construct a piloted version to prove the general flying characteristics, automatic pilot and remote control gear. Two such aircraft were built by the Government Aircraft Factories as project C and the prototype made its first flight on 31 October 1950. The history of these two machines is described in the A93 GAF Pika narrative.
Construction of the prototype Jindivik Mk 1 began at GAF in December 1950. Initially these drones were to be fitted with the Viper ASV1, a short-life engine interchangeable with the Adder and of similar thrust rating. Delays in production of this engine, however, resulted in all Jindivik Mk 1s being powered with Adders. The first flight of a Jindivik was made with A92-5 on 28 August 1952. Delivery to the RAAF of A92-1 occurred on 19 October 1951. It remained in service until written off in a crash at Woomera on 11 June 1954. The Mk 1 remained in production until 1953 and 12 were built. The Jindivik was remotely-controlled at RAAF Air Trials Unit, Woomera, either from a ground station or by an observer in a shepherd aircraft. Take-off was effected under normal engine thrust from a recoverable trolley and a controlled landing was made on a single retractable skid.
Meantime, in 1949, the British Ministry of Supply issued a new specification for a higher performance target drone. To meet this requirement the Jindivik Mk 1 was redesigned with a thinner wing, larger air intake and duct and mated to the 1640 lb thrust Armstrong Siddeley Viper ASV3 turbojet. Work on the new design began in 1950 and an order for four prototypes was placed in October 1951. The first flight of Jindivik Mk 2, A92-21, was made on 11 December 1953. Subsequent modifications and improvements to Jindivik resulted in the first flights of the Mk 2A on 18 September 1958, Mk 2B on 8 October 1959, and Mk 3 on 12 May 1961 and Mk 3A on 10 November 1961. These various marks of Jindivik accounted for 358 machines, most of which were operated by the RAAF at Woomera. Of the balance, ten Mk 2s went to Sweden, 16 Mk 2s, 34 Mk 2Bs, 30 Mk 102Bs and 64 Mk 103As to Britain; 42 Mk 303As to the US Navy, and 10 Mk 203As to the Royal Australian Navy (the three digit marks were specific variants for Britain, US Navy, and RAN).
The last RAAF Jindivik, A92-486, was accepted on 25 May 1966. In 1967 the RAAF relinquished control of target operations at Woomera Research Establishment and subsequent Jindivik aircraft carried WRE serial numbers; the Jindivik on order from the RAN used an N11 prefix for identification.
TECHNICAL DATA: GAF Jindivik Mk 3B
Pilotless high-performance target drone, remotely controlled.
One 1134 kg (2500 lb) thrust Bristol Siddeley Viper Mk 201 turbojet.
S: Span (with camera pods and wing extensions) 7.92 m (26 ft 6 in); Length 7.11 m (23 ft 4 in); Height (on launching trolley) 2.59 m (8 ft 6 in).
Empty 1315 kg (2900 lb); loaded 1656 kg (3650 lb). P
Max speed 908 km/h (490 kt); Limiting Mach No 0.86; Ceiling 63,000 ft (19 200 m); Range 1000 km (540 nm).
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