Waco CG-4A Hadrian
The CG-4A was the standard US Airborne Forces assault glider in World War Two, named Hadrian by the British. It was a metal and wood framed, fabric covered glider, as opposed to the British all-wood method of construction. The first flight was in May 1942 and approximately 13,900 were built. They had a crew of two and could carry 13 troops, or a Jeep and crew, or a 75mm gun and crew. Loading was done via an upward hinged nose.
They were used by both the Americans and British in Sicily in June 1943 (the only time the British used them), and by the Americans alone for the D-Day Landings in June 1944, Arnhem in September 1944 and the Rhine Crossing in March 1945. They were also used in the China, Burma and Indian theatres. The last usage was in the early 1950’s in the Arctic, taking scientific research personnel to and from the ice, using a hook and line method of grabbing the glider which was developed during World War Two. An RAF Hadrian made aviation history in the spring of 1943 by being the first glider towed across the Atlantic.
Our CG-4A, serial “241079”, was rebuilt by the Assault Glider Trust between 2005 and 2014. It is based on an unknown original frame supplied by the Silent Wings Museum in Texas, with all other parts being made exactly to the original drawings. The aircraft arrived with us in November 2018 and is displayed as complete on one side. The other side has not been covered in fabric, allowing an uninterrupted view of the interior of the aircraft.
The Hadrian can be found displayed in the Airborne Forces Collection building.