Douglas A-4A Skyhawk

The A-4A arrived at Estrella Warbirds Museum in 1999 from Naval Air Station, China Lake under a long-term loan agreement with the Department of Defense. This Skyhawk looks pretty good considering when it first arrived at Estrella Warbirds Museum in quite a few pieces after it was last used for target practice at China Lake! Well done, restoration crew!



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Specifications

Manufacturer: Douglas
Year/Model: 1966 A-4A Skyhawk
S/N: 137826
Tail Number: 7826
Power Plant: 5,970 lb Wright J65-2-4 turbojet
Wingspan: 26 feet 6 inches
Length: 39 feet 5 inches
Height: 15 feet 0 inches
Gross Weight: 14,875 pounds
Maximum Speed: 664 mph
Maximum Range: 1,490 statute miles
Service Ceiling: 46,600 feet
Crew: 1
Status: Static Display
Owner: US Naval Air Museum, Pensacola

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 and has a top speed of more than 664 miles per hour . 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.

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