Developed to satisfy a US Navy requirement of 1944 for a single-seat carrier-based dive bomber and torpedo carrier, the Douglas AD Skyraider (as it became designated) materialised too late for operational service in World War II. Ordered into production alongside the Martin AM Mauler, which had been developed to meet the same specification, it was to continue in production until 1957; although Martin's aircraft was taken off the production line after 151 had been built.
The Skyraider reflected the navy's wartime experience gained in the Pacific theatre, where it had been proved that the most important requirement for such aircraft was the ability to carry and deliver a heavy load of assorted weapons. Of low-wing monoplane configuration, a big Wright R-3350 radial engine was selected as the most suitable power plant to meet the load-carrying requirement, and this more or less dictated the fuselage proportions. The prototype XBT2D-1 flew for the first time on 18 March 1945. When production terminated 12 years later 3,180 aircraft had been built in many variants.
Although too late for World War II, Skyraiders were successfully deployed in both the Korean War and in Vietnam. Steady development led to the introduction of new power plant and equipment and the AD-5 was one of the most versatile military aircraft in US service. It differed significantly from earlier versions by having a wider and lengthened fuselage and providing side-by-side seating for two crew; specially designed quick-change kits were available so that the basic AD-5 could be utilised as a 12-seat transport, as well as for freight-carrying, ambulance and target-towing roles. When the US tri-service designations were rationalised in 1962, AD-1 to AD-7 versions became redesignated from A-1A to A-1J.
In addition to serving with the US Navy, Skyraiders have been operated also by the USAF and with the Royal Navy, French and Vietnamese Air Forces among others.
| MODEL||AD-7 (AD-1J)|
| ENGINE||1 x Wright R-3350-26WA, 1985kW|
| Take-off weight||11340 kg||25001 lb|
| Empty weight||4785 kg||10549 lb|
| Wingspan||15.47 m||51 ft 9 in|
| Length||11.84 m||39 ft 10 in|
| Height||4.78 m||16 ft 8 in|
| Wing area||37.16 m2||399.99 sq ft|
| Max. speed||515 km/h||320 mph|
| Ceiling||7740 m||25400 ft|
| Range||1448 km||900 miles|
| ARMAMENT||4 x 20mm cannon, 3629kg of bombs|
|John Teerling, jwteerling=aol.com, 22.02.2010|
I flew the A1H/Js off the Ticonderoga CV14 getting out in July 1965. Flew missions in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. A great flying machine that was extremely versitile. In one tour was able to log over 200 carrier landings with over 100 night landings. Flew with a bunch of great guys that pulled every stunt in the book.
|CDR. Darrell "Buddy" Edson USN, dwppilot=aol.com, 22.02.2010|
First flew the Skyraider during advanced pilot training at VT-30, Corpus Christie,TX. Received my "Wings of Gold" in OCT 1962 and then reported to VA-122 (Flying Eagles) at NAS Moffit Field, CA for Replacement Airgroup Training with further orders to V-152 (Aces) or commonly named the 152nd Light Bombardment and Twilight Pursuit Squadron. I was fortunate to fly the A-1E/G/H/J models of the Spad for 1,719hrs. I was a member of V-152 Det Zulu sent to Bein Hoa AFB, South Vietnam in 1964 to train the South Vietnamese pilots to fly the A-1H/J and also to fly combat sortties in South Vietnam. I also flew the A-1H/J in combat off the ORISKANY in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1965. I finished up flying the Spad training the last of the A-1H/J West coast Navy pilots at VA-122 in Lemoore,CA (1966-1969). This multi-mission capable aircraft was a pleasure to fly and could sustain a lot of battle damage and yet return one safely to the ship. As Captain George Duskin said, "had enough firepower to make true believers out of the gommers".
|CDR Lanny Cox, USN (Ret), Lanny.Cox=1963.usna.com, 21.02.2010|
First flew the venerable Skyraider during advanced pilot training at VT-30 in Corpus Christi, TX. Got my wings in Oct 1964, then to Lemoore, CA for more training in VA-122 with orders to join VA-152. While in VA-122, was selected to fill VAW-13's need for a Spad pilot who was already CARQUALED and who could transition quickly to the AD-5Q (EA-1F) the ECM version of the Spad. Spent 30 months (1964-67)in VAW-13, deployed to WESTPAC twice, flew 135 combat missions in support of Navy strikes over North Viet Nam, launching from the carriers Oriskany, Bon Homme Richard, Independence, Kitty Hawk, Ranger, Midway, Intrepid, Midway, Constellation, and F.D. Roosevelt. Drove Spads for over 1,200 hours and loved the airplane. Transitioned to jets in 1967 and flew the A-4 Skyhawk and A-7E Corsair II. "Jets are for kids".
|Ron Soule, xfighterpilot=hotmail.com, 20.02.2010|
Flew A-1e/g/h/j's with USAF Air Commandos/Special Opns out of NKP 1968-69. The E's and G's with side-by-side seating in cockpit restricted vision out of the right side of acft, so tendency was to come off the tgt and break left. It didn't take the FNG (New Guy) long to realize the gomer gunners had this figured out -- the gunner usually drew lead to the left and the FNG conviently jinked into the ground fire. Usually only happened once. Old heads would say, "Told you not to break left."
|Chet Simpson, ltcolusmc=q.com, 15.02.2010|
I am looking fro some pictures from 1955--1957 of VMA-212 aircraft. While with that squadron we flew 4,276.2 hours in the month of May 1956 from MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawii, T.H.
|Larry Warren, larrywarren=quixnet.net, 15.02.2010|
Great airplane and close air support weapon. Engine & Cockpit were armor plated. Equipped with 20mm guns and 13 stations from which you could fire, shoot, eject, or drop about any munition; or use three of them for fuel tanks. My first assignment out of UPT, and probably my best flying assignment. Flew with the 56th Special Ops Wing under callsigns Zorro, Sandy, Spad, Hobo, and others with the 22nd & 1st SOS at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand; and the 56th OLAA at Danang.
|Peter Leyden, p_leyden=hotmail.com, 06.02.2010|
I was attached to VAW33(1962-4) out of Quonset Point. At that time the squadron was flying AD5Q's and AD5W's Got lots of experience repairing radar equipment on the AD5W("Guppy).I only got to fly in one of our planes twice -both times to Norfolk for school. I was so worried about doing something dumb that I barely noticed anything about the plane or the flight. She was a beautiful plane, easy to work on.After I retired in 2001 I volunteered as a tour guide at the American Airpower Museum and was thrilled when an AD4N version ended up as one of our exhibits and I could show, rather than just tell visitors about "my plane".
Unfortunately the plane is now gone. The plane was called "Naked Fanny" and can be seen on the internet
|CHUCK STARK USN CORPSMAN, NPDOCUSN=BELLSOUTH.NET, 05.02.2010|
HERE IN THE PALM BEACH'S THERE LIVED LCDR JOHN "BUCK" BUCHANAN WHO WAS A TEST "DRIVER" FOR THIS PLANE OUT OF CHINA LAKE, CA. IN 1947. HE HAD ASKED THAT HIS PLANE BE PAINTED WITH ORANGE STRIPES AS THE DARK BLUE WAS HARD TO PICK UP IN THE PHOTOS. HE GAVE ME A COPY OF THE PIC WITH HIM STANDING NEXT THE WING. COPY IS AT THE OFFICE OF THE ASSOC. OF NAVAL AVIATION. THE STORY IS IN THE SUMMER-FALL ISSUE 2006 "WINGS OF GOLD" HE WAS A "MUSTANG" STARTING OUT AS A WHITE HAT IN 1934. HE PASSED AWAY 23 MAY 2005 WAS A HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO HAVE KNOWN HIM. REGARDS, CHUCK
|Jim Galluzzi, jgalluzz=ix.netcom.com, 04.02.2010|
USAF Retired. Had the honor of being a Maintenance Officer on this aircraft in the Air Commando Wings at Hurlburt AFB and NKP 1966 -1972. Also logged lots of flying time in the "E". One of the greatest combat aircraft ever made.
|Kent Sezen, KentSezen=aol.com, 23.01.2010|
My Uncle, Robert E. Calkins fly one of these planes. Wish I had the chance to met him, but he died before I was born.
|M Harnetty, persist60=comcast.net, 20.01.2010|
ANYONE OUT THERE COULD GIVE ME THE NAME OF AN AVIATION "OUTFIT" IN THE USA, WHERE I COULD HAVE MY FRIEND, RET. COL BOB,(ONE OF THE ORIGINAL "SANDY"!) TAKE ONE LAST FLIGHT IN HIS FAVORITE WAR AIRPLANE,( WHATEVER THE COST, SORT OF.. )? HE FLEW VIETNAM 65/66.
THANKS. M Harnetty
|paul amos amh-2, wpaulamos=att.net, 04.01.2010|
was in vaw-11 and vaw-13 1959-end of 1962 love these ad's and loved to work on them
|JEB Stuart, parkcityskier=hotmail.com, 11.12.2009|
I flew 150 combat missions in 1965 and 1966 off of the Coral Sea and Intrepid with VA-165 and the SPAD brought me home every time. We had the A-H/J models. Our mounts, phased out of the Navy with VA-165, I retreated to Pensacola and flew another year, flying the A-1E with NAMI. My mission--to try to get volunteer subjects sick, with an aerobatic routine while the Flight Surgeons in back tried just the opposite with the latest anti-nausea drugs. Fun for me!
|BILL DAVIDSON, WUDAVIDSON=COMCAST.NET, 11.10.2009|
Was a YN in VF-193 back in 1955 and didnít draw many flight skins but I did get the ride of my life in an AD5 from Moffett to Fallon, NV with Alan B. Shepard Jr. Didnít spend a lot of time on this trip right side up and I have told my grand children about it.
|Jim Merkle, jamerkle=earthlink.net, 25.09.2009|
I flew Spads off the Saratoga in 1965 and our skipper "Whiskey" Bill insisted we do an endurance flight. I tooled around the med,for 13.6 hours, 2 box lunches popped some pills from the flight surgeon, and landed over the LSO's screams.
|John Campbell, Jcp192aol.com, 26.04.2009|
we had an A-1E aboard the USS Intrepid, it had at one time ditched into ocean and was recovered. it spent months in re-work.On its test hop all went very well, not a glitch, but upon engageing arresting gear both external fuel tanks released and the engine mounts broke causing engine to fold away drom front of fuselage.
|Richard Goodrum, richardgood4=embarqmail.com, 02.04.2009|
I too was a member of VA176 aboard the Sexy Sara (CVA - 60 ). I remember the News Networks commenting about what was going on during the 6 day war. Then we were hearing in the squadron "Thats not what I saw". This plane was one of a kind. Able to do any task from close cover support to refueling the fuel hungry jets. The only plane since, any where similar would be the "Wart Hog".
|two98ZJs, ntrlnk44=consolidated.net, 02.03.2009|
A1s, This plane was second to God's hand for the ground troops in Nam. Not too fast, plenty of hurt until the choppers could get there to slice and dice the situation. ThankYou again and Welcome Home, SPAD drivers of BienHoa, NhaTrang, Pleiku '66. You were the best.... 2/09.
|LT. DAVE RANDOLPH, DRRRAR=AOL.COM, 05.02.2009|
WHILE ON CVA-60,USS SARATOGA, SUMMER, 1967, CAG WANTED TO PROVE THAT SKYRAIDERS COULD FLY LOW LEVEL (200' ABOVE GROUND, 100' ABOVE WATER) FROM AREAS OF THE MED TO DEEP PENETRATION OF AN ENEMY COUNTRY AND DELIVER A WEAPON. AT 6AM, CDR. JACK FRENCH (CO) AND I (GREEN ENSIGN) LAUNCHED AT SUNRISE EAST OF PALERMO, SICILY, TRAVERSED SAME AT 200' AGL AND WENT "FEET WET" AT THE FOOT OF MT. AETNA. ISLAND HOPPING THE AEGEAN, FEET DRY IN SOUTHERN TURKEY, 2 HOURS INLAND THEN REVERSE COURSE AND "FEET WET" ONCE AGAIN IN THE AEGEAN SEA. MORE ISLAND HOPPING UNTIL LANDING AT SUNSET JUST SOUTH OF THE STRAITS OF MESSINA. FLIGHT TIME WAS IN EXCESS OF 12 HOURS. ALL DONE WITH "DR" NAVIGATION A "WAC" CHARTS. THEY WORK!
|jack g king at1 usn ret, jgk hotmail.com, 13.10.2008|
in 1954 cdr nyburg and i flew one flight for 13.7 hrs off uss midway i have about 900 hrs in ad4nls and 5,s
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?