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GAF Jindivik A92-47

In 1948, the British Ministry of Supply issued a specification for a high-speed pilotless target aircraft for use in guided missile testing. With the majority of this missile development occurring on the Woomera test site, it was decided that the target aircraft would be developed in Australia. Performance specifications shaped the design of the aircraft, and by late in 1950, information gained from the manned Pika allowed construction of the Jindivik prototype to begin. After three attempts, the first flight occurred on 28 August 1952, ending in the loss of the prototype.

             

Although there were a variety of teething problems with the type, the Jindivik soon proved its worth as a target aircraft, and a number of variants were developed from the basic design. These included more powerful engines, and the provision for extended wingtips for high altitude testing, essential to simulate attack profiles for surface to air missile intercepts. Well over 300 Jindivik aircraft were constructed for use at both Woomera and Jervis Bay in NSW, as well as exports to the USA, United Kingdom and Sweden, making the aircraft the most successful Australian aviation export program, with a total production of over 600 airframes.

Flown by a team of four, the Jindivik utilises a take off trolley, which is linked to the controls of the aircraft and is left on the runway at launch. The aircraft's controls are then handed over from two visual operators to a second pair of 'pilots' who use radar plots and instrument readings to fly the aircraft during its trials. Upon returning to the airfield at the completion of tests, the visual pilots recover the aircraft, which lands on a retractable skid beneath the centre fuselage.

The Jindivik on display is A92-47, an early model of the type which was used for fatigue testing by the Aeronautical Research Laboratories at Fishermens Bend in Melbourne.

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Jindivik Data Sheet