The CG-4A was built with steel tubing and wood, and covered with fabric. It could carry 15 fully equipped troops, or a jeep, or a 75mm howitzer and its crew. The nose of the glider could be swung up for loading and unloading. There were also doors in the sides of the fuselage. When carrying a jeep or other large item, a sturdy cable connected the cargo to the hinged nose. If the cargo shifted on landing, the cable would pull the nose (and the pilots) up and out of the way so the cargo didnít crush them.
In 1942, a 'Glider Deceleration Parachute' was developed and installed on many Wacos.
By Air Corps edict, no strategic materials such as aluminum, copper, etc., could be used in the gliderís construction. These materials were reserved for bombers, fighters and transports. The wood used in the construction of the CG-4A was mainly Sitka spruce and yellow poplar of carefully selected stock. Western hemlock, Douglas and Noble fir, Sitka pine, sweet gum and mahogany veneer plywood was also used. Much of the sheathing plywood was 3/32Ē, 5-ply stock; however some 3-ply was used.
Manufactures include Ford (4190 at their "Woodie" factory), Waco, the designer (750), Cessna (750), Gibson Refrigerator - at the facility that began building wooden ice boxes (1078) - a total of almost 14,000 gliders, with major assemblies like wings subcontracted to a variety of vendors, many from the Grand Rapids, Michigan area furniture businesses using the abundance of fir and ash from the local forests.
Gibson was founded by Joshua Hall in Belding, Michigan, in 1877 as the Belding-Hall Company selling cabinets that housed blocks of ice (ice-boxes). The area around Belding, Michigan, had a skilled workforce of Danish craftsman and a good supply of hardwoods including ash. The company was purchased by Frank Gibson, a competing manufacturer of "ice refrigerators" in the early 1900s. It was the largest in its industry at the time. In 1932, the company began making electric refrigerators. During the Second World War, Gibson manufactured 1,078 Waco CG-4 troop and cargo assault gliders under license. The company claims to have innovated the refrigerator light, the upright freezer, and the "Air Sweep" mechanism for distributing conditioned air. In 1956, Hupp Corporation acquired Gibson. In 1967 Hupp merged with White Consolidated Industries.
Many references on the Internet - some good ones are: