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|
|jack g king at1 usn ret, 1208 espy benton il 62812, 13.10.2008|
in 1954 on the uss midway cdr nyburg and i his crewman flew 13.7 hrs in one long flight how about topping that bud
|Tex Brown, texbrownconsult=aol.com, 29.09.2008|
Wow, what a great airplane!! I was the last 2Lt to fly it in 1971-72 at NKP Thailand....We had A-1 E/G/H/J's and flew for the USAF doing SAR and CAS missions all over SEA....It was a fantastic experience flying this huge recip with some of the best pilots I have ever known....What a great kick off to my 35 yr career in the Air Force......
|b. richardson, eagleairaz=yahoo.com, 15.09.2008|
While serving in Nam, (4 tours), spec.ops. Sandy saved our group on two occasions. Great a/c and even greater drivers.
|Bill Query, queryb=bellsouth.net, 30.08.2008|
Way back in 1958 while I was in VF-173 flying FJ's, during a Friday happy hour, my skipper and rhe VA-44 (AD's) skipper got into a "discussion" about how difficult it would be for the other sqds. pilots to fly their A/C. Some of us in 173 had never flown a tail wheel A/C while few if any of the 44 pilots had flown a jet, much less a SWEPT WING jet!! The CAG heard this conversation and challenged the two skippers to "put their money where their mouth was and Monday AM swap A/C. Mon. myself and another ENS., Wayne Miller, got three hours of sys. lectures in the 44 ready room and went out as the first jet types with no tail wheel experence to do our stuff. A VA-44 pilot got on the wing of my AD-6 and started the engine, saluted and said "good luck". All I can say is it was a fun plane to fly and a hand full to land---something called 'torque'!!! The prop guys did well in our FJ's, only a few blown tires. I wonder what would happen to any C.O. who tried to pull a stunt like that now??
|Pete Weiland, petevaw12=aol.com, 28.08.2008|
I flew AD-3s, AD-4s, AD-4Ns, AD-5s and AD5Ws with about 800 hours and 125 traps, mostly aboard the USS Intrepid in the period 1957-60. Longest flight was 7 hours - a long time to not pee. It was a wonderful plane, very stable and very reliable. I am looking for a retired one to use as a display on the USS Intrepid. They are scarce. If anyone knows of one available please contact me. Thanks.
|EARL F. LONG ADR1 (USNRET), GNOLFE=AOL.COM, 31.07.2008|
WHILE FLYING OVER LAKE MIC.IN A AD4N ON WAY TO NAS BEMIDJI MINN. MY PILOT FLEW THE DROP TANK DRY AND THE ENG, QUIT, HE YELLED ON THE INTERCOM TO STAY WITH HIM AND HE AIRSTARTED THE ENG, I HAD MY HAND ON THE DOOR JETISON HANDLE AND NEEDLESS TO SAY WAS NOT A HAPPY CAMPER,AFTER WE LANDED HE TRIED TO JOKE ABOUT IT BUT I KEPT MY MOUTH SHUT, I THINK I COULD HAVE CAUSED HIM MUCH TROUBLE IF I WOULD HAVE TOLD THE SKIPPER ABOT IT. ALL IN ALL IT WAS QUITE A THRILL.
|Lloyd Patrick, almet9=comcast.net, 14.07.2008|
Flew the A1 with VA-35, 1956 thru 1958. Great aircraft. Over 1,000 hours and about 200 traps. VA-35 was primarily an atomic weapons delivery squadron - low level nav, loft bombing and all that stuff. Most shipboard time was aboard the USS Saratoga in the Med. Never had one of those great machines so much as cough or sneeze once in all of those hours and sorties.
|Matt Wallace, mattw=toast.net, 05.07.2008|
I served in the USMC, squadron VMA-212. In 1956, flying AD-4's & -4B's, we flew 4,276.2 hours. The commanding Officer was Major Warren P. Nichols. 4,276.2 hours set a record, I don't know if that record has been beaten.
|Capt. George Duskin, (USNR, Re, georgeduskin=hotmail.com, 11.06.2008|
Great aircraft. Extemely reliable; deadly accuate; flew like a dream. Had enough firepower to make true believers out of the gommers. Obviously slow compared to jets. They usually led us too much - which was good - but uncomfortable. Needed angle of attack instrumentation. Firing all four cannons at once would stop acceleration in a dive. 1075 hrs, 275 traps, 170 missions (VA-52 1965-67)
|Paul Brockman, ex-axemanL2=cox.net, 28.05.2008|
While I never flew in one, my good friend Cdr. Larry McGuire did. He spoke lovingly of the AD's he flew in Viet Nam. He also mentioned that if they weren't dripping oil it was because the sump was empty. After a mission he said they would fill up the oil and check the gas. He was saddened by the AD being phased out and replaced with the A4, a plane he was too tall to comfortably fly.
|Jack H. Olsen, cappy444=verizon.net, 21.05.2008|
I've got about 1000 hours in AD1,3,4,5,6. A great A/C. Your description says the AD's range was 900 miles. I once flew an AD6 from JAX to LAS at 50' (no higher) in 10 hours and 20 minutes. What a beautiful A/C.
|Bill Alderman, skyraiderman=gmail.com, 20.05.2008|
I was a plankowner in VAW 13 at Guam. In a 15 month period I landed on the Hancock, Ranger, Ticonderoga, Hornet, Yorktown and made an emergency night trap on the Forrestal while TAD at Oceana. Loved the airplane. If it wasn't dripping oil, it was out of it.
|ML CLARK, mlclark12=sbcglobal.net, 19.05.2008|
I served aboard the USS HORNET (MM2 1957-1929) and observed the AD in use at that time. Very impressive.
|George Caruana USAF Reti, georgehennie=att.net, 01.05.2008|
As a Airborne Mission Commander in Air Rescue while serving in Nam I had great admiration for the Spad pilots and learned during one mission that the Spad pilot off my wing (HC-130) was my friend from my Bermuda tour. My regret was that I did not get to fly in one lOVE TO HEAR FROM Spad pilots from Nam in 1968
|John Cleveland, jc3504=comcast.net, 28.04.2008|
|Dutch Schouttz, wgap=aol.com, 19.04.2008|
Received the ADs after suffering with SB2Cs and could out climb and out turn or F4U fighters and return our vexation about performance.
|Marv Garrison, mtgarrison2=cox.net, 02.04.2008|
This was my first aircraft out of Pensacola. I was able to log 500 hours in 12 months in AD-1's. My Commanding Officer believed that 2nd Lt's belonged in the air at all times. When he would see me on the ground, he would say, "Why are you not flying". Flew all versions of the AD.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?