The CAC CA-25 Winjeel, a three-seat training aircraft, was designed and produced in Australia.
It was introduced into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1955 as a primary and advanced trainer, fulfilling this purpose until 1975.
Subsequently, it was repurposed for target marking in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role until 1994, following which it was decommissioned from RAAF operations.
The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation at Fishermans Bend in Victoria developed the Winjeel in order to meet the RAAF technical requirement No.AC.77 that was issued in 1948.
The initial purpose of this aircraft was to replace both the Tiger Moth and the CAC Wirraway.
In February 1951, the first two prototype CA-22 aircraft were successfully flown.
However, it was discovered that the Winjeel was exceptionally stable, making it extremely difficult to perform spins.
Since spinning was an essential part of pilot training, the tail of the aircraft had to be redesigned accordingly.
Following this modification, a total of sixty-two production CA-25 aircraft were constructed and assigned the fleet serials A85-401 to A85-462.
The inaugural flight of the first aircraft took place in February 1955, with deliveries commencing in September of the same year.
The initial Winjeel was put into service at No. 1 Basic Flying Training School (1 BFTS) located near Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Subsequently, the final aircraft was delivered in August 1957.
Throughout the majority of its operational lifespan, the Winjeel served as a fundamental training aircraft at RAAF Base Point Cook in Victoria, following the relocation of 1 BFTS to that location in 1958.
Continuing its role as a basic trainer, the Winjeel remained in service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) until 1968.
At this point, the Macchi MB-326 was introduced to take over the training responsibilities, aligning with the RAAF’s transition to an “all through” jet training approach.
Despite the initial intentions behind this new training concept, the Winjeel persisted in its training duties until 1975.
It was during this year that the New Zealand-manufactured PAC CT/4A Airtrainer was brought in to replace the Winjeel in its training capacity.
Following its retirement from basic training duties, a small number of Winjeels were repurposed for use in the Forward Air Control (FAC) role.
Initially assigned to No. 4 Flight, these aircraft were outfitted with smoke bombs for target marking purposes.
By 1994, there were a total of 4 Winjeels in operation with No. 76 Squadron stationed at RAAF Base Williamtown.
However, later in the same year, these Winjeels were phased out and replaced by the Pilatus PC-9, ultimately leading to their retirement from active service.