A-4 Skyhawk History
The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a single seat subsonic carrier-capable attack aircraft developed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps in the early 1950s. The delta winged, single turbojet engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later by McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated A4D under the U.S. Navy’s pre-1962 designation system.
The Skyhawk is a relatively lightweight aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 pounds (11,100 kg) and has a top speed of more than 670 miles per hour (1,080 km/h). The aircraft’s five hardpoints support a variety of missiles, bombs and other munitions. It was capable of carrying a bomb load equivalent to that of a World War II-era Boeing B-17 bomber, and could deliver nuclear weapons using a low altitude bombing system and a “loft” delivery technique. The A-4 was originally powered by the Wright J65 turbojet engine; from the A-4E onwards, the Pratt & Whitney J52 was used.
Skyhawks played key roles in the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War, and the Falklands War. Sixty years after the aircraft’s first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 produced remain in service with several air arms around the world, including from the Brazilian Navy’s aircraft carrier, São Paulo.
A-4E Skyhawk #151194 History
|Dec 1964||Acceptance date at Long Beach, CA|
|1-2-65 to 2-28-65||VA 164||Lemoore|
|2-28-65 to 11-28-65||NAS Cubi Point|
|1-28-65 to 1-10-66||VA 164||Aboard USS Constellation|
|1-10-66 to 4-29-66||VA 56||Aboard USS Ticonderoga #22|
|4-29-66 to 6-9-66||VA 56||Lemoore|
|6-9-66 to 8-5-66||VA 56||Aboard USS Enterprise|
|8-5-66 to 5-18-67||VA 192||Lemoore|
|5-18-67 to 6-16-67||NAS Sugi Costa||Sugi Costa|
|6-16-67 to 9-29-67||VA 212||Aboard USS Bon Homme Richard #3|
|9-29-67 to 6-11-68||VA 164||Aboard USS Handcock|
|6-11-68 to 6-18-68||VA 164||Fallon NV|
|6-18-68 to 4-21-69||VA 44||Cecil Field|
|4-21-69 to 2-18-72||VA 127||Lemoore|
|2-18-72 to 10-76||VC 1||Barbers Point|
|10-76 to 3-77||VC 1||North Island|
|3-77 to 8-77||VC 1||Pensacola|
|8-77 to 3-79||VC 2||Oceana|
|3-79 to 9-79||MARTD Willow Grove||Willow Grove|
|9-79 to 8-80||HMS 49 DT Willow Grove||Willow Grove|
|8-80 to 8-81||HMS 49 DT Willow Grove||Pensacola|
|8-81 to 9-84||HMS 49 DT Willow Grove||Willow Grove|
|9-84 to 9-87||MAG 49 DT Willow Grove||Willow Grove|
Note: Aggressor squadron markings on top of vertical stabilizer, Red Star.
Note: “VMA-131” on aircraft – not listed above.
A-4E Skyhawk Specifications
27 ft, 6 in (8.38 m)
40ft 4in (12.29 m) excluding refueling probe
15 ft, 10 in (4.57 m)
260 sq ft (24.16 sq m)
10,800 lb (4,899 kg)
Maximum Takeoff Weight
24,500 lb (11,113 kg)
1,040 mph (646 kmh) with 4,000lb (1,814 kg) bomb load
Initial climb rate
10,300ft ft/min (3,140 m/min)
2,000 miles (3,220 km) with maximum fuel
One 11,200 lb (5,080kg ) Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408 turbojet
Fixed: Two Mk 12 20mm cannon with 200 rounds per gun in the wing roots
Disposable: This is carried on one under fuselage hardpoint, rated at 3,500 lb (1,588 kg), and on four underwing hardpoints, the inner pair each rated at 2,250 lb (1,021 kg) and the outer pair each at 1,000 lb (454 kg); a great variety of weapon loads can be carried, including nuclear bombs, the Mk 84 2,000 lb (907 kg) bomb, the Mk 83 1,000 lb (454kg) free-fall or retarded bomb, the Mk 82 500 lb (227 kg) free-fall or retarded bomb, the Mk 81 250 lb (113 kg) free-fall or retarded bomb, the LAU-3/A launcher with 19 2.75 inch (69.85mm) rockets, the LAU-10/A launcher with four 5 inch (127mm) rockets.
Communication and navigation equipment, plus Bendix automatic flight control, Marconi AN/AVQ-24 head-up display, Texas Instruments AN/AJB-3 bombing system, ANIASN-41 navigation computer, AN/APN153(V) radar navigation, and electronic countermeasures.