The CAC Boomerang was a light single-seater single-engine Australian fighter of mixed construction.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 and subsequent events showed how unready Australia was for war. The country had fewer than two hundred war planes, most of them obsolete. At that time, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) only produced a trainer, the CAC Wirraway (a licensed version of the American NA-33). The License Agreement provided for modifications, so, in order to have fighter planes as soon as possible, the CAC decided to remake the trainer into a fighter.
Thus the CA-12 (later called the Boomerang Mk.I) was created, the first serially produced Australian fighter in World War II. The CA-12 borrowed its predecessor’s landing gear, tail, and wing design. It was a monoplane of mixed construction with a closed cockpit and retractable landing gear. It used a Twin Wasp engine (1200 hp). The aircraft could carry four 9-kg smoke bombs to mark targets, one 227-kg bomb, or a 265-liter external fuel tank.
The CA-12 had high durability, good armament, and excellent flight characteristics.
Mass scale production began in July 1942 and 105 Boomerang Mk.I planes were produced.