General Aircraft GAL42​ Cygnet

The first British light aircraft to have a stressed skin fuselage and wings. Developed into the General Aircraft Owlet basic trainer.
General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet (G-AGAX) General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet (G-AGAX) at Manchester Airport in March 1955
The Cygnet all-metal low wing monoplane was designed by CR Chronander and JI Waddington and built at Slough by CW Aircraft Ltd.
As first flown, the Cygnet was a tailwheel low wing monoplane with a single fin and rudder.
The prototype (G-AEMA) was first flown at Hanworth in May 1937 with a 90 hp Cirrus Minor engine. The prototype was progressively modified with twin fins and rudders, a Gipsy Major engine and a tricycle undercarriage.
CW Aircraft then sought to develop a twin engine machine, but ran into financial difficulties. General Aircraft subsequently took over CW Aircraft Limited and the rights to the Cygnet during the spring of 1938, developing the CW Cygnet prototype (G-AEMA) into the GAL42 Cygnet II, adopting a more powerful engine and a more streamlined tricycle undercarriage in the process.
General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet air to air General Aircraft GAL42 Cygnet air to air
The first Cygnet II to fly was G-AFVR. The stressed skin GAL42 Cygnet was an advanced machine for its day and was put into production; ten were built, three of which did not acquire civil registrations and may not have flown.

Specification (GAL.42 Cygnet II)

One 150 hp Blackburn Cirrus Major II
34 ft 6 in
Maximum Weight
2,200 lb
Two seats
Maximum Speed
135 mph
Cruise Speed
115 mph
445 miles

Number built

10 (GAL42) 3 of which were not registered and may not have flown          


Cygnet II
National Museum of Flight, East Fortune, Scotland, UK