Developed in New Zealand by New Zealand Aerospace Industries as a military training version of the Australian-designed Victa Aircruiser, the prototype of the CT4A first flew on 23 February 1972. Ordered by the RAAF as a replacement for the Winjeel, the first of 51 CT4As arrived in Australia in January 1975, with the final aircraft delivered in June 1982.
Nicknamed the "Plastic Parrot" in RAAF service, because of its lightweight construction (when compared to the Winjeel) and its green-and-yellow colour scheme, the CT4A commenced service as a basic training aircraft at No 1 Flying Training School (1FTS) at Point Cook in late 1975. In addition to service at 1FTS, the CT4A was also operated by the Aircraft Research and Development Unit (ARDU) at Edinburgh in South Australia and the Central Flying School (CFS) at East Sale for training RAAF flying instructors. The retirement of the CT4A from service in 1993 also meant the end of military flying training at Point Cook, an activity which had continued unbroken since 1914.
Stored since retirement from 1FTS in 1993, CT4A A19-077 has been returned to airworthy condition by the RAAF Museum's Technical Staff and Volunteers. The last CT4A to enter RAAF service, A19-077 took to the skies over Point Cook on 27 November 2006 for the first time since 27 May 1994. Since concluding a test and shakedown program, A19-077 has been added to our Interactive Flying Display roster alongside our Mustang, Winjeel, Tiger Moth and Sopwith Pup replica.