WACO 'Hadrian' Glider

The C.G-4A Waco was the standard medium glider of the American Airborne Forces in the Second World War. As a result of the close liaison which existed between the two Airborne Forces it was used on a number of occasions by British Air-landing troops on operations, particularly during the airborne assault on Sicily.

Other operations included those of General Orde Wingate's Chindit forces in Burma. 

In British service and following the naming protocol for gliders of historical characters beginning with the letter 'H' it was known as the Hadrian - after the Roman general.

The Hadrian could carry 15 soldiers or a variety of cargo loads including vehicles and guns. Its 'tactical' undercarriage could be jettisoned after take off, the glider landing on skids.

The pilot's compartment was hinged to raise up allowing easy loading of vehicles. To unload a pulley was attached to the rear bumper of a vehicle which, when driven forward, automatically raised the nose section to the 'lock' position.


Crew: two pilots

Capacity: 13 troops, or quarter-ton truck (Jeep) and 4 troopers, or 6 litters

Length: 48 ft 8 in (14.8 m)

Wingspan: 83 ft 8 in (25.5 m)

Height: 15 ft 4 in (4.7 m)

Wing area: 900 ft2 (83.6 m2)

Empty weight: 3,900 lb (1,769 kg)

Useful load: 4,197 lb (1900 kg)

Loaded weight: 7,500 lb (3,402 kg)

Max. take-off weight: 7,500 lb (3,402 kg)

Max take off (Emergency Load): 9,000 lb (4,082 kg)


Max speed: 150 mph (241 km/h)

Read More


Make a donation to Airborne Assault ParaData to help preserve the history of The Parachute Regiment and Airborne Forces