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Waco CG-4 Haig

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CG-4 Haig[1]
CG-4A Haig
Type Military glider
Manufacturer WACO Aircraft Company
Maiden flight 1942
Primary users US Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force
Number built > 13,903

The Waco CG-4 Haig (named Hadrian in Royal Air Force service) was the most widely used United States troop/cargo military glider of World War II. Designed by Weaver Aircraft Company of Ohio (commonly known by the acronym WACO, or Waco), CG-4 flight testing began in May of 1942 and eventually more than 13,900 CG-4As were delivered. Sixteen companies were prime contractors for manufacturing CG-4A's. Wicks Aircraft Company of Kansas City, Missouri was a sub-contractor while Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation of Kansas City, Kansas and the WACO Company of Troy, Ohio were two of the 16 prime contractors.

Design and development

The CG-4 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 a quarter ton truck (Jeep), or a 75 mm howitzer, or a 1/4 ton trailer, loaded through the upward-hinged nose section. Also, a small bulldozer was loaded into some of these gliders. C-47s were usually used as tow aircraft. A few C-46 tugs were used for the Wesel mission.

The USAAF CG-4A tow line was 11/16" diameter nylon, 350' (107 m) long. The CG-4A pickup line was 15\16"- (24 mm)-diameter nylon, but only 225' (69 m) long including the doubled loop.

Operational history

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 pilots and paratroopers. Assigned aircraft included the CG-4A glider, and the Curtiss C-46s and Douglas C-47s. However, the C-46 was not used as a glider tug in combat until the Wesel mission.

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. Although not the intention of the AAF, gliders were generally considered expendable by high ranking European theater officers and combat personnel and were abandoned or destroyed after landing. While equipment and methods for extracting flyable gliders was developed and was delivered to Europe, half of that equipment was rendered unavailable by certain higher ranked officers. Despite this lack of support for the recovery system several gliders were recovered from Normandy and even more from Holland and Wesel.

The CG-4A found favor where its small size was a benefit; 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, plus one stress test article.
Main Production variant, survivors became G-4A in 1948, 13,903 built by 16 various contractors.
One CG-4A built with a plywood structure.
One CG-4A converted with two Franklin 6AC-298-N3 engines by Northwestern.
One CG-4A converted with two 175hp L-440-1 engines by Ridgefield.
Two articles: XPG-2 engines changed to 200hp. plus one CG-4A converted also with 200hp engines..
production PG-2A with two 200hp L-440-7s, 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
Template:Country data Canada
Template:Country data United States

Specifications (CG-4A)

General characteristics

  • Crew: two (pilot and co-pilot)
  • Capacity: 13 troops, or quarter-ton truck and 3 troops, or 6 litters
  • 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[2] @ 7,500 lb (240 km/h[3] @ 3,400 kg;)
  • Cruise speed: CAS 72.6 mph[4] (CAS 117 km/h[5])
  • Stall speed: CAS 49 mph[6] with design load 7,500 lb (CAS 79 km/h[7] 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


  1. Fitzsimons, Bernard, ed. Illustrated Encyclopedia of 20th Century Weapons and Warfare (London: Phoebus, 1978), Volume 11, p.1199, "Haig, Waco CG-4A".
  2. CAS; IAS about 158 mph
  3. CAS; IAS about 254 km/h
  4. IAS about 85 mph
  5. IAS about 137 km/h
  6. IAS about 60 mph
  7. IAS about 96 km/h

External links

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Designation sequence

Related lists

Template:USAAF glider aircraft Template:USAF glider aircraft

cs:Waco CG-4 de:Waco CG-4A es:CG-Hadrian pl:Waco CG-4

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Waco CG-4 Haig".