A57 DHA Glider
Designed and built by de Havilland Aircraft at Bankstown, NSW, two DHA-G2 prototypes were built (A57-1001 and 1002) and handed over to the RAAF on 11 November 1942. It was envisaged that they would be produced in large numbers to fly troops to meet any Japanese invasion, and would be towed by such aircraft as the Fairey Battle and Vultee Vengeance.
When the invasion threat did not materialise, only six aircraft were produced with longer wings and fuselages than the two prototypes. The first aircraft (A57-1) was delivered to the Aircraft Research and Development Unit on 5 May 1943 and was used for tests on the Griffith suction wing. After alteration by the Government Aircraft Factory, the glider was fitted with a 96hp Mercury 59A engine for testing as a Glas II Suction Wing Glider. The remaining aircraft (A57-2 to 6) were little used and were reduced to components by 1952. A subsequent 15 place glider design, GC-4A, was proposed but never built.
TECHNICAL DATA: de Havilland DHA-G2 Glider
Seven-seat (including pilot) glider transport
Empty 658 kg (1450 lb); loaded 1474 kg (3250 lb).
Wingspan 15.39 m (50 ft 6 in); Length 10.06 m (33 ft 0 in); Height 2.14 m (7 ft 0 in).
Diving max speed 322 km/h (174 kt); free max 298 km/h (161 kt); towing 209 km/h (113 kt); ceiling N/A.