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Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

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The Aircraft

Designed to a U.S. Navy requirement for a lightweight, single-engined, carrier-based, high-performance daylight attack aircraft capable of close support, dive-bombing and interdiction roles, the prototype A4D first flew in 1954.  The first model entered service in 1956.  This fast and nimble attack aircraft was also known as "Heinemann's Hot Rod" for Douglas Chief Engineer, Ed Heinemann.

The original A4D used a Wright J65 as its powerplant.  The first A-4 to use the P&W J52

was the A-4E in 1961.

The 2,960th Skyhawk was handed over to the U.S. Marines in 1979, the longest continuous manufacturing run of any U.S. military aircraft.

The Skyhawk served with the armed forces of Argentina, Australia, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore.  They saw action in Vietnam, the Middle East and the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands.

Specifications (A-4M)





Type: Attack
Engines: one 11,200 lb (49.8 kN) thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408A turbojet
A4D: U.S. Navy/Marines (pre-1962)
A-4: U.S. Navy/Marines (post-1962)
TA-4: trainer version, two seats

Related Pages


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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010