Australia''s Lost Fighter - The Ca-15 and it's demise by David Clark

Review by David Harvey

Review Type
First Look
$27.45 AUD from Red Roo
Contents and Media:
128 pages
Covers a little known aircraft in good detail
Light card cover
Highly Recommended



The Ca-15 is one of those aircraft that you wish was manufactured and operational but never was. The aircraft was designed as a result of a RAAF Specification issued in August 1943 that called for the design and construction of a single engined medium altitude fighter with optimum performance at 20,000ft, a good rate of climb, manouverability and high speed. CAC, thanks to Lawrence Wackett, took up the challenge and eventualy managed to produce the single prototype of the Ca-15 that started flying trials in 1946. Unfortunately despite it's promise and good performance it was overshadowed by the new jet powered fighters and was eventualy cancelled.

Unfortunately for we model makers there was only one prototype manufactured that had very few schemes to model. It has also been poorly serviced by the modeling industry but hopefully that will change with the advent of this book.

The book

The book is a 128 page softcover publication that covers the rise and fall of the Ca-15. The book consists of the following:

  • Pages 1 - 6: Origins of CAC and it's aircraft production including the Wirraway and the Boomerang.
  • Pages 7 - 29: The Ca-15 genesis, production and cancellation.
  • Pages 31 - 34: colour profiles of the Ca-15 including intial prototype, post crash and final scheme.
  • Pages 35 - 126: Line drawings and original documentation for the Ca-15.

Due to the short lifespan and use of the Ca-15 there is minimal information and images of it available. Thanks to the efforts of David Clark, the few images available have been collected and a fair amount of them have been included in this book, including some cockpit images to help the more adventurous modellers (or maybe a manufacturer?) with it. David has also enlisted many others to help him find the information for the book and it read's like a 'who's who' of modelling and aircraft knowledge including Dick Hourigan, Fred Harris, the RAAF Museum - Point Cook, the Australian National Aviation Museum, Steve Mackenzie and many others.

Unlike the previous book from Red Roo, this one does not have a great deal of commentry by the Author. Most of the book is taken up by images of the aircraft, line drawings and most interestingly - a great number of original documents on the Ca-15. Personally I find that the images and original documents are the main drawcard of the book as there is not really a great deal that could be written about an aircraft with juch a relatively short life span.

My only dislike in the whole book is the very light card cover as it is easily bent and will soon wear. All of the previous publications from Red Roo (I have most of them) have had a clear plastic cover over the light card to protect it, unlike this one. This is only a very minor drawback and does not detract from the information inside.


Whilst not the same size as Southern Cross Mustangs it is still a very good book that covers a little known Australian aircraft. The images and original documentation are the main drawcard of this book and if you have any interest in the Australian aircraft industry then you should get this book as it gives an insight into the politics of the time and the main character in the saga, Sir Lawrence Wackett.

To that end I Highly Recommend this book for those interested in the Ca-15 and/or the Australian aircraft manufacturing industry.

Review sample courtesy of Red Roo Models.

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