The CA-16 Wirraway is a part of the Royal Australian Air Force’s Temora Historic Flight.

The Wirraway (an Aboriginal word meaning "challenge") was a training and general purpose military aircraft manufactured in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation between 1939 and 1946 at Fisherman’s Bend in Victoria. The aircraft was an Australian development of the North American Aviation NA-16-1A and NA-16-2K aircraft. It is powered by Australian manufactured versions of the Pratt & Whitney R1340 Wasp engine. CAC built a total of 755 Wirraway from 1939 to 1946.

VH-BFF was built in 1944 and its RAAF history, although brief, encompassed the drama of both flight training and active service.

The aircraft’s military service details are:

  • August 1944 – Received by the RAAF and allocated to 5 Service Flying Training School at Uranquinty, NSW.
  • January 1945 – Allocated to 5 Squadron. The aircraft was not actually received by 5 Squadron on Bougainville until July 1945.
  • January 1946 – Approval granted to dismantle the aircraft into components.

The Temora Historic Flight aircraft is a composite of factory new and restored components. It was rebuilt in Victoria and was completed in 1975. Its assigned construction number is 1105. The Wirraway was donated in December 2000 and is painted in 5 Squadron colours, as it was when it was based in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. 


Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation






Pratt & Whitney R-1340 600 horsepower (448 kW) Nine cylinder, supercharged, air cooled, geared radial engine


Length 8.48m, height 2.66m




1,811 kg basic, 2,991 kg maximum


1,160 km


23,000 feet

Max Speed

354 km/h  (191 knots)