Design and development
The CG-4A was constructed of fabric-covered wood and metal and was crewed by a pilot and copilot. It could carry 13 troops and their equipment or either a jeep, a quarter-ton truck, or a 75 mm howitzer loaded through the upward-hinged nose section. Also a small bulldozer, was loaded into some of these gliders. C-46s and C-47s were usually used as tow aircraft.
Whiteman Air Force Base was originally activated on 6 August 1942, as Sedalia Glider Base. In November 1942, the installation became Sedalia Army Air Field and was assigned to the 12th Troop Carrier Command of the United States Army Air Forces. The field served as a training site for glider tactics and paratroopers, and assigned aircraft included the CG-4A glider, and the Curtiss C-46 Commando and Douglas C-47 Skytrain. CG-4As went into operation in July 1943 during the Allied invasion of Sicily. They participated in the American airborne landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944, and in other important airborne operations in Europe and in the China-Burma-India Theater. Until late in the war, gliders were generally considered expendable in combat and were abandoned or destroyed after landing.
The CG-4A found favor where its small size was a benefit; the Allies had the larger Airspeed Horsa could carry more troops (seating for 28 or a jeep or an anti-tank gun) and the General Aircraft Hamilcar could carry a light tank but the CG-4A could land in smaller spaces. It was used to send supplies to partisans in Yugoslavia.
Prototypes, two built.
Main Production variant, survivors becamoe G-4A in 1948, 12,916 built by various sub-contractors.
One CG-4A built with a non-metallic structure.
One CG-4A converted with two Franklin 6AC-298-N3 engines by Northwestern.
One CG-4A converted with two 200hp L-440-1 engines by Ridgefield.
Two CG-4As converted.
Variant of CG-4A with two 200hp L-440-7, redesignated G-2A in 1948, ten built by Northwestern.
Cancelled variant with two R-775-9 engines.
13 CG-4A transferred to the United States Navy.
PG-2A re-designated in 1948.
CG-4A re-designated in 1948.
G-4A with different tow-bar, 35 conversions.
Hadrian Mk I
Royal Air Force designation for the CG-4A, 25 delivered.
Hadrian Mk II
Royal Air Force designation for the CG-4A with equipment changes.
A Royal Air Force CG-4A Hadrian Canada
Royal Canadian Air Force
Czechoslovakian Air Force operated 2 or 3 Wacos, designated NK-4.
Royal Air Force
US Army Air Force
Crew: two, pilot and co-pilot
Capacity: 13 troops, or quarter-ton truck and 3 troops, or 6 litters for evacuation of wounded
Length: 48 ft 8 in (14.8 m)
Wingspan: 83 ft 8 in (25.5 m)
Height: 15 ft 4 in (4.7 m)
Wing area: 900 ft² (83.6 m²)
Empty weight: 3,790 lb (1,719 kg)
Loaded weight: 7,500 lb maximum design gross weight (normal load) / 9,000 lb maximum emergency gross weight (not to be exceeded) (3,400 kg / 4,091 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 7,500 lb (3,400 kg)
*Max take off (Emergency Load): 9,000 lb (4,091 kg)
Maximum speed: 150 mph @ 7,500 lb (240 km/h @ 3,400 kg;)
Cruise speed: CAS 72.6 mph (CAS 117 km/h)
Stall speed: CAS 49 mph with design load 7,500 lb (CAS 79 km/h with design load 3,400 kg)
Wing loading: 8.81 lb/ft² ()
Rate of sink: About 400 ft/min (122 m/min) at tactical glide speed (CAS 60 mph/96 km/h)
Landing run: 600-800 feet (180-244 m) for normal three-point landing