General Aircraft Owlet

The General Aircraft GAL.45 Owlet was a 1940s British single-engined trainer aircraft built by General Aircraft Limited at London Air Park, Hanworth.


The Owlet was a training version of the Cygnet II built as an attempt to produce a cheap primary trainer for the Royal Air Force. The main change was a modified fuselage with a tandem open cockpit (the Cygnet had an enclosed cockpit with side-by-side seating). The same outboard wing panels were used, but due to the slimmer fuselage, the resulting wingspan was reduced by 24 inches (61 cm), and wing area was reduced.

The Owlet prototype (registered G-AGBK) first flew on 5 September 1940. It did not attract any orders, but ironically it was impressed into service (with serial number DP240) with the Royal Air Force as a tricycle undercarriage trainer for the Douglas Boston, which was the primary use to which unmodified Cygnets were also being put.

The only Owlet crashed near Arundel, Sussex on 30 August 1942.

Military operators

  • Royal Air Force
  • No. 23 Squadron RAF