|Year/Model:||1968 TA-4J Skyhawk|
|Power Plant:||8500 lb Wright J52-P-6 turbojet|
|Wingspan:||27 feet 6 inches|
|Length:||42 feet 7 inches|
|Height:||15 feet 3 inches|
|Gross Weight:||15,783 pounds|
|Maximum Speed:||660 mph|
|Maximum Range:||1,350 statute miles|
|Service Ceiling:||38,700 feet|
|Owner:||US Naval Air Museum, Pensacola, FL|
Built from June 1969, the two-seat TA-4J became the longest serving of the Skyhawk's as the US Navy's standard advanced jet trainer until replaced in the early 1990's with the T-45A Goshawk. The TA-4J descended from the Navy and Marine Corps single-seat light attack aircraft which was the Navy's and Marines' standard light-attack fighter for nearly 20 years. Originally designated A4D-1 and first flown (as XA4D-1) on June 22, 1954. The basic role for the TA-4J is that of an Attack Plane with a modified mission as a trainer.
Armament consisted of two 20mm cannon in the wing roots, and three external racks carried either a weapons load of 5,000 pounds or drop-able tanks for a fuel supply of 800 gallons. The Skyhawk was one of the most successful attack aircraft in US Navy and Marine Corps service. Single-seat Skyhawks were much used by Navy and Marine Corps squadrons during the Vietnam War. Its low delta wing of 27 feet 6 inches was small enough not to require folding on aircraft carrier decks. During service, the Skyhawk acquired several nicknames including Mighty Mite, Scooter, Tinker Toy, Heinemann's Hot Rod, and Bantam Bomber.
The TA-4J was a dedicated trainer version based on A-4F, but lacking weapons systems, and with down-rated engine, 277 built new, and most TA-4Fs were later converted to this configuration.
Originally dubbed "Heinemann's Hot Rod" after chief design engineer Ed Heinemann, the A-4 Skyhawk is one of the best jet aircraft to have served with the US Navy and Marine Corp. Chosen to replace the A-1 Skyraider, the A-4's small design and light weight gave it the speed and power to exceed the Navy's expectations and fight on until today in air forces around the world. In 2002, the last TA-4Js were retired from US military service, however, there are still an unknown number flying with air forces in Brazil, Israel and Argentina. The Collings Foundation currently has a flying TA-4J as part of their Viet Nam Memorial flights.