Canadian Wings :: The History & Heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force


The Hadrian was the first and most widely used troop glider employed by the Allies during World War II. It was a mixture of wood, fabric and metal construction and featured an upward-hinged nose section that permitted direct loading of vehicles into the box-section fuselage. In addition to heavy regular usage the type was also committed to unique experiments such as a successful trans-Atlantic crossing under tow involving Canadian crews.

In post-war Canada, a small number of gliders were also retained in service for experimentation and trials use.

aircraft specifications
CDN Reg:
Manufacturer: Waco Aircraft Company
Crew / Passengers: 2 pilots and up to 13 fully-equipped troops or a variety of stores
Power Plant(s): None
Performance: Max Speed: 150 mph (241 km/h) Stalling Speed: 44 mph (71 km/h) Service Ceiling:10,000 ft (3,345 m) Range: tow plane dependent
Weights: Empty: 3,700 lb ( 1,678 kg) Gross: 7,500 lb ( 3,402 kg)
Dimensions: Span: 83 ft 8 in (25.50 m) Length: 48 ft 4 in (14.73 m) Height: 12 ft 7 in (3.84 m) Wing Area: 852 sq ft ( 79.15 sq m)
Armament: None
A view of the Waco CG-4A glider in RCAF colours in Rivers, Manitoba showing the wing profile to good effect (Photos via Comox Air Force Museum)

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