Tn-2 Tn-1

WACO CG-4 Invasion Glider - $$7.50

The CG-4A found favor where its small size was a benefit; the CG-4A could land in smaller spaces than larger capacity aircraft. In addition, by using a fairly simple net system, an in-flight C-47 equipped with a tail hook could "pick up" a CG-4A waiting on the ground.

WACO CG-4 Invasion Glider Downloadable Card Model

The Waco CG-4 Hadrian Invasion Glider

WACO CG-4 Title

Waco CG-4 model


What people say...

Thanks for the great model. I am going on an Air Force Staff ride this weekend to Holland to study Operation Market Garden and I am to brief on the Gliders and this will be a nice thing to educate folks with. Jason

Here is a little something for you! I built this little bugger slowly over the period of about a week. I reduced the WSAM scale by half to get a scale of 1:120. Some of those folds were tough! I actually built this to be used in my Axis and Allies miniatures game to ferry troops onto the map. I hope you like her! I look forward to building all the transport gliders like this! Calvin Gwinner, NY


The WACO CG-4A Invasion Glider


Army development of troop-carrying gliders began in 1941, with experimental contracts for a series of prototypes to meet two separate specifications. The first requirement was for an 8-9 seat transport, and contracts were placed for single prototypes of the Frankfort Model TCC-41 as the XCG-1 (41-2961 5); the Waco NYQ-3 as XCG-3 (41-29617); the St. Louis XCG-5 (41-29619) and the Bowlus XCG-7(41-29621). WACO CG-4 Unloading

The second type was to be a larger, I 5-seat glider, and the same four companies each received contracts for a single prototype of this type as follows: Frankfort TCC-21 as XCG-2 (41-29616); Waco XCG-4 (41-29618); St. Louis XCG-6 (41-29620) and the Bowlus XCG-8 (41-29622). Of the eight prototypes ordered, all but the XCG-1, XCG-2 and XCG-6 were completed and test-flown but no further development of the St. Louis or Bowlus designs occurred, only the two Waco types reaching quantity production. The CG-4 became the first and most-widely used US. troop glider of World War II.

After trials with the XCG-4 in 1942, a second prototype was ordered (42-53534) and plans were made for large scale production in which, eventually, sixteen different assembly lines participated, to deliver 13,906 examples of the CG-4A.

Of mixed wood and metal construction, mostly fabric covered, the CG-4A was of conventional troop-glider design, with a high wing, a box-section fuselage and an upward-hinged nose section to permit direct loading of vehicles into the cabin. The hinged portion of the nose contained the cockpit with its dual control for two pilots side-by-side, and the tow attachment.

As required by the specification, the CG-4A could accommodate I5 equipped troops, including two serving as pilots. Among other tactical loads which could be carried were a standard Army Jeep, Ford or Willy's 1/4 ton truck with four-man crew, or a 75-mm. howitzer and crew. Its gross weight of 7,500 lb.-9,000 lb. and towing speed of 150 m.p.h. made it suitable for operations behind the C-46 and C-47.

Companies which were included in the CG-4A program, and the numbers built by each, were as follows: Babcock, 60: Cessna. 750; Commonwealth, 1,470: Ford, 4,190: G. and A. Aircraft, 627: General. 1,112; Gibson Refrigerator, 1,078; Laister-Kaufman, 310; National, 1; Northwestern, 1,510; Pratt & Read, 956; Ridgefield Manufacturing, 156; Robertson, 170; Timm, 434; and Ward Furniture Co., 7. Waco built 1,075. Included in these totals are four airframes converted to other configurations, as noted below.

The CG-4A went into operation, rather disastrously, in the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943. A series of misadventures, none of them attributable to the design of the aircraft, minimized the effectiveness of the glider attack. Greater success attended their participation, in March, 1944, in the second Wingate Chindit operation in Burma, involving landing in a jungle clearing by night ISO miles behind the main Japanese lines. Subsequently these gliders participated in other major airborne operations of which the most significant were the D-Day landings in France on June 6,1944, the landings in southern France in August 1944, the action at Arnhem and the crossing of the Rhine.

Although the CG-4A was unable to carry some of the larger items of military equipment, it performed its designed mission satisfactorily, and little design development occurred. One of the subcontractors, Timm Aircraft Corp.. built in 1943 the sole XCG-4B (42-46394), in which metal was excluded from the structure. Another sub-contractor, Northwestern, converted one CG-4A to the sole XPG-1 (43.27315) in 1943 War. The first 385 were I5-seaters, the remainder of the batch having 16 seats each. The CG-15As saw limited service alongside the CG-4As.


I finally got around to reading the reference section for the WACO invasion
glider. A few tidbits to pass on to the historian that my father "gave" to
me. During WWII my father was briefly assigned to a unit of glider troops
and trained in them sometime during 1943.

One aspect of the glider not
talked about too much was a design deficiency with the landing gear. On hard
landings, the struts had a tendency to spear up through the fuselage and pin
the luckless bastards in the seats above them to the ceiling...many
casualties to that weakness before ever using the glider in combat.

He also relayed a story to me that I thought was largely bs until running
across an independent reference to it a couple years ago. At the time, my
father was a Sergeant. Because he is and was then a big man (6' 2", over 200
lbs), he was usually seated in the nose of the glider (next to the pilot) to
help distribute weight. During a night landing exercise (on this occasion,
only the pilot was supposed to have been aboard, because of excessive risk to
troops), my dad somehow managed to talk himself onto the flight.

On this
exercise, as happened all too often during the real thing, the glider was
released far before the drop zone was reached...fact is, the ground end of
the trajectory (one does not grace the WACO with the term 'glide path') was
in the middle of the training camp.

The pilot managed to put it down on the
main street of the camp. When it finally came to rest, the pilot compartment
was snuggled up against the bar of the O club, the fuselage having managed to
make it through the front doors of the joint. My dad was handed a cold beer
before he even managed to get un strapped, then was dressed down for being an
uninvited enlisted man in officer country. Verified true story. Please pass
on to the archivist. D Grigg (Jan 30, 01)

One XCG-15A was converted in 1945 to the XPG-3 (44-90986), with two Jacobs R-755-9 radial engines, for use as a low-cost troop or cargo transport which could also be towed as a glider. Fuel was carried for three hours' duration.

In June 1948, the Air Force discarded the CG, PG and TG designations in favor of a simple G category. A number of the Waco types were redesignated as follows: the PG-2A to G-2A; the CG-4A to G-4A; the CG-I5A to G-l5A and the XPG-3 to G-3. In 1947, 35 G-4As were converted to G-4C
with a Navy-developed tow bar.

Invasion scene
WACO cg4

Invasion scene as seen by a strafing ME-190. By Wayne Cutrell..Thanks Wayne!




The CG-4A was preceded by the nine-seat CG-3A, of which 100 were produced by Commonwealth Aircraft in 1942 following the single Waco-built XCG-3 of the previous year. This modest figure, however, paled into insignificance beside the 13,916 CG-4As turned out during 1942-45 by no fewer than 16 US manufacturers, many completely outside the aircraft industry.

Cancelled contracts, covering an additional 5,190 gliders of this type, would have raised the overall total to well over 19,000. Waco itself contributed only two XCG-4 prototypes and 1,075 CG-4As. The remainder were produced by Babcock (60); Cessna (components for 750, assembled at Boeing Wichita); Commonwealth Aircraft (1,470); Ford Motor (4,190); G & A Aircraft (627); General Aircraft (1,112); Gibson Refrigerator (1,078); Laister-Kauffman (310); National (1); Northwestern Aeronautical (1,520); Pratt, Read & Co (956); Ridgefield Manufacturing (156); Robertson Aircraft (170); Timm Aircraft (434); and Ward Furniture (7).

The Glider's hinged noseWhile the CG-3As were used as training gliders, the CG-4A was intended from the outset to deliver troops, equipment and supplies to forward areas. Some were also adapted for casualty evacuation, carrying up to six stretcher cases. Of rugged steel tube, wood and fabric construction, the glider carried a crew of two and accommodated up to 15 fully-equipped troops or two US tons (1,814 kg) of cargo.

The usual towing aircraft were Douglas C-47s or C-53s. One CG-4A, with a load of vaccines, radios, aircraft parts and engine parts, carved a small niche in aviation history in the early summer of 1943, when it arrived in the UK from Montreal after being towed in stages across the Atlantic in 28 flying hours. This was the first of 25 CG-4As delivered to the RAF, which entered service as the Hadrian Mk I. Subsequently the RAF received an additional 1,062 CG-4As, these having equipment changes and being known as Hadrian Mk II's.

In July 1943, like an earlier Hadrian on his way to Rome, the CG-4A made its first operational landings in Sicily. On this occasion, through no fault of their own, the CG-4As were not a great success, but they were used to considerably greater advantage in Burma some eight months later, supporting General Wingate's Chindit operations, and in the D-day and subsequent major airborne landings in Europe from June 1944 onwards.

Thirteen CG-4As were transferred to the US Navy, whose designation for them was LRW- 1. Single examples were converted to XCG-4B (by Timm, with a completely nonmetallic airframe); to XPG-1 (by Northwestern, in a new powered glider category, with two 130 hp Franklin 6AC-298-N3 flat-four engines mounted on the wing struts); and to XPG-2 (a similar conversion by Ridgefield, but with 175 hp Ranger L-440-1s in close-fitting underwing nacelles). A test batch of PG-2As followed, but the powered gliders never really caught on (inevitably, they were known as 'pigs').

Waco developed two improved versions. The first, in 1943, was the larger 30-troop XCG-13, followed by the 42-seat XCG-13A with a redesigned tail. After six prototypes, CG-13A production totalled 85 by Ford and 47 by Northwestern; a further 268 by these two companies were cancelled.

The CG-15 was outwardly similar to the CG-4A, one of which became the prototype XCG-15 in 1943. Main differences were shorter span wings without spoilers, a more streamlined nose, cantilevered main wheels, and improved internal fittings. After two essentially similar XCG-15As, Waco built 427 production CG-15As; a further 573 were cancelled. Two CG-15As were transferred to the US Navy and redesignated XLR2W-1; one of the XCG-15As was converted to XPG-3, the last in the USAAF powered glider category, with two Jacobs R-755-9 radial engines and provision for rocket-assisted take-off.




Jeep for Waco Cg-4

Click Jeep for Free Download

CG-4 cartoon

Interior of the WACO CG-4

The Interior of the WACO CG-4 showing the seats that are removable to make room for Jeep or Howitzer.

A creature of the Second World War, never having been used in combat before and never to be used again, the combat glider now disappeared from history.


PIlots in WACO

The Pilots looking forward in the WACO

The Griswold device

The Griswold device installed on as many WACO's a possible to act as a guard against trees, etc


WACO cg4

WACO cg4

WACO CG-4 Factory
WACO CG-4 Factory.


WACO CG-4 Cockpit
Cockpit of the WACO CG-4 Invasion Glider.



Three views of the WACO HAdrian Invasion Glider

Crew: two (pilot and co-pilot)
Capacity: 13 troops, or quarter-ton
truck (Jeep) and 3 troops, or 6 litters
Length: 48 ft 8 in
Wingspan: 83 ft 8 in
Height: 15 ft 4 in
Wing area: 900 ft²
Empty weight: 3,790 lb
Max takeoff weight: 7,500 lb
*Max take off (Emergency Load): 9,000 lb

Maximum speed: 150 mph at 7,500 lb
Cruise speed: CAS 72.6 mph
Stall speed: CAS 49 mph with
design load 7,500 lb
Wing loading: 8.81 lb/ft²
Rate of sink: About 400 ft/min at
tactical glide speed (CAS 60 mph)
Landing run: 600-800 feet for
normal three-point landing


WACO's Busted
Waco CG-4A gliders strewn out in the fields of France after the D-Day invasion of Normandy, 6 June 44