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1/72 CA31 – CAC’s little advanced trainer proposal of the ’60s

ULCA3129

Years ago  I chanced upon an article in the September 1967 issue of “Aircraft” on the CA-31 Supersonic trainer.  I looked at this diminutive aircraft and was immediately struck with the same intrigue mixed with sorrow I feel when I thumb through “Project Cancelled”, the wonderful book by Derek Woods (ISBN 1 85488 026 8—put it on your Christmas list NOW) on the British Government’s ineptitude towards aircraft research and production form the 40’s to the 60’s.
It becomes apparent when one reads literature on the subject of aircraft research, development and production in this country that up to the 70’s we had a world class industry that became stifled by government hampering and the general pandering to foreign influences. (Some would point out that the rot set in decades earlier !)
This aircraft represents an asset that would have provided sub to supersonic training capability for conversion to the Mirage from Vampires and the like. The relationship with the Delta shaped Mirage becomes obvious when you look at the general arrangement—it’s almost a 2/3 scale model of a Mirage ! This aircraft could also have been a minor ground support craft fulfilling a similar role that the Aermacchi MB326 eventually took on.

This project like so many others was scrapped in favour of either a foreign design or, in this case, nothing at all.

ULCA3105ULCA3107ULCA3106

I decided to model this aircraft initially in 1/72 with subsequent examples built in other scales and what you see displayed here is my attempts to capture the basic feel of the design.

Displayed here are some images gleaned from “Aircraft Magazine” circa 1967.

ULCA3108ULCA3101ULCA3130

Let’s have a look at the kit from basic parts to finished product.  Assembly can be gleaned from the series of photos, but the kit does come with a comprehensive instruction leaflet – which I’ll soon make available as a free PDF download soon.

ULCA3109 ULCA3100 

ULCA3112ULCA3113 ULCA3111 ULCA3110

Assembly is very simple with this kit but there will be need for filler and patience.

Now the paint goes on and the sanding begins.

ULCA3116ULCA3114  ULCA3115

et voila.  I chose an ARDU scheme for one , built about a decade ago and a more recent example as as a “Fanta can” Roulettes as inspired by some excellent artwork found here.

ULCA3118  ULCA3117

ULCA3120ULCA3121 ULCA3126ULCA3123ULCA3122  ULCA3124 ULCA3119

More information on the real aircraft and its mockup can be found at this museum site and this blog

and occasionally they pop up on eBay..

Here’s some more photos for those who have come this far.

ULCA3104 ULCA3103 ULCA3102

Feel free to drop me a line if you have any enquiries about the kit.