GAF Nomad

Without doubt the most important all-Australian aircraft since World War Two. The GAF Nomad was hoped to be a huge global success. Despite such hopes and good quality engineering the Government Aircraft Factories (GAF) Nomad was not a success with production ending in 1984, with 170 built, of which only 150 had been sold by 1985. GAF blamed the lack of government guarantees for a large batch order, and eventually 11 unsold Nomads entered Australian service as no civilian buyer could be found

The first prototype flew on 23rd July 1971. It was originally going to have an Aboriginal name but this idea was later dropped. The Nomad is an all metal machine with outstanding short field performance, a cockpit which seated one or two and had optional dual controls and space for 12 passengers in back. A more powerful engine was fitted in later versions and several specialist versions were made including Floatmaster seaplanes, and Medicmaster and Surveymaster specially equipped versions.  The military of Australia, The Philippines, Thailand and Papua New Guinea bought Nomads with Indonesia buying a short bodied Mission master variant. Military versions included self sealing fuel tanks, armour, and surveillance and night vision equipment as well as the provision for under wing weapons as detailed below.

The Nomad has suffered several fatal air crashes and aerodynamic failures often associated with poor centre of gravity when loaded in a certain way and tail plane failures, it remains a controversial aircraft with an Australian report in May 1995 recommending that they be withdrawn from military service.

Cruising speed; 311km/h (193mph)
Range; 1352km (840 miles)
Weapons; x4 hardpoints each able to take 500lbs of weapons including gun pods and rockets.

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How to cite this article: Dugdale-Pointon, T. (25 April 2007), GAF Nomad,

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