Designed originally to provide the US Navy and Marine Corps with a simple low-cost lightweight attack and
ground support aircraft, the Skyhawk was based on experience gained during the Korean War. Since the initial
requirement called for operation by the US Navy, special design consideration was given to providing
low-speed control and stability during take-off and landing, added strength for catapult launch and arrested
landings, and dimensions that would permit it to negotiate standard aircraft carrier lifts without the complexity
of folding wings.
Construction of the XA-4A (originally XA4D-1) prototype Skyhawk began in September 1953 and the
first flight of this aircraft, powered by a Wright J65-W-2 engine (32 kN), took place 22 June 1954.
A total of 2,960 A-4 Skyhawks was built. The last one was built in 1979.
| ENGINE||1 x P+W J-52-P-8A, 41.4kN|
| Take-off weight||11110 kg||24493 lb|
| Wingspan||8.4 m||28 ft 7 in|
| Length||12.6 m||41 ft 4 in|
| Height||4.6 m||15 ft 1 in|
| Wing area||24.2 m2||260.49 sq ft|
| Max. speed||1100 km/h||684 mph|
| Range w/max.fuel||3200 km||1988 miles|
| ARMAMENT||2 x 20mm machine-guns, bombs, missiles, torpedos|
|A three-view drawing (1000 x 474)|
|DAVID L. CLEVENGER, dclevenger45=yahoo.com, 01.08.2011|
I WAS A PLANE CAPT.WITH VA36 ROADRUNNERS ON THE USS ENTERPRISE FROM 65 THRU 66.I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE A4 ITS THE BEST AIRCRAFT IVE HAD THE PLEASURE TO WORK WITH.
|Norman Wood, kd6soo=yahoo.com, 03.06.2011|
Spent 2.5 years as plane capt. with VA-106 at Cecil Field. 2 med crusises then moved to NAS Lemoore for the remainder of my 4 years. I enjoyed working on the A4 for my entire 4 years. Easy to maintain and service.
|Ken Rector, rectorkm=sbcglobal.net, 30.04.2011|
Attached to VA-45 "Blackbirds" at Cecil Field in late 60's which flew the TA4F. Looking for a picture of a TA4F attached to VA45 if anyone has any suggestions. Thanks.
|Nick Nickerson, cavutothemoon=comcast.net, 11.04.2011|
I flew the A4A and B with VA-741 at NAS JAX in the mid sixties.
|Michael Langworthy, lcdrlang=aol.com, 20.03.2011|
What a great aircraft to fly. Cash is right it was originally designed to give the Navy a nuclear weapon platform.
|Louis Roath, roath27=gmail.com, 25.02.2011|
I started with the A-4E with VMA-332 at Cherry Point (1965), from there to Vietnam joining VMA-214 flying the A-4C. Back to Cherry Point and the TA-4F with VMAT-203. I did fly an A-4A one time on a maintenance test flight in Pensacola. I once flew a "C Model" through a tree in Vietnam at 450 knots and it brought me home. Not only a fun airplane, but pretty dam tough.
|Joe DeMarco, jdemarco_242=hotmail.com, 23.02.2011|
Retiered Marine A4 Mechanic, VMA-133, H&HS-12, and VMA-134. I also had the honor of flying back seat in the TA4-J (300 hours). She was tough to work on but when she flew there was no better feeling.
|uncle-mac, uncle-mac=embarqmail.com, 11.02.2011|
Forgot, A4s from coast to coast in the ferry comand. A4As to Ds did not take off well on a hot day. A4Es were a diferent bird. A4 one day, F8 the nex, and a A1 the next, Any right seat the next and back to an A4 to get back to North Island
|uncle-mac, uncle-mac=embarqmail.com, 11.02.2011|
Flew the A4B/C at Pt Mugu along with the F8 and F1 and the T-bird. Most fun was taking Frank Mz out for practice before he became a Blue, #4 Where did he go? and where did class 7-57 go? This was in the early 60's.
|Ron Bowden, ronsan69=yahoo.com, 24.01.2011|
I worked on every model A4, from A thru E, at El Toro, Iwakuni, Viet Nam, and Los Alimitos. It was a good plane from a mechanical stand point - hydraulics was my MOS. After nine years in the Corps, I used that training in the civilian world as an industrial Hydraulics Mechanic.
|Paul E,. Nichols, penbarb2=yahoo.com, 24.01.2011|
McDonnell Aircraft or McDonnell Douglas never had anything to do with this aircraft. It should be in the Douglas File.
We often reffered to this aircraft as Ed Heineman's Hot Rod.
I attended a lecture given by William Balhouse and Ed Heineman discussing the optimazation of size for a fighter. Balhouse bragged how they were going to use a computer to do it. Heineman say they had done it already the old fashioned way. Thus the A-4 was born. That lecture was in 1954.
|Greg "Bug" Stevenson, gastvnsn=aol.com, 16.01.2011|
USMC '79-'92. 1600 hours of mostly A-4 time: TA-4 Js and Fs, A-4 Fs,Super Fs, and Mikes, and the OA-4 at HAMS 12 in Iwakuni... VMAT-102, VMA-311, and VMA-133. Great Airplane! Second the thought about the little jet being designed primarily to carry an atomic weapon. Mr Heinemann
told us this personally at a squadron dinner in his honor in 1984. Best Blue Angel airshow bird, ever!
|Gary D McMillan, garytas70=eastex.net, 16.12.2010|
I worked on the TA4J at NAS Kingville with VT-21 in the mid 70's, Flew backseat on rescue flights to fix down a/c. In the late 80's at Nas Dallas, was asigned to OMD,we had 4 A4's. We went to Top Gun and played the bad guys. In 1990 we aquired 4 A4M's from the USMC and dehumped them and made them into the 'Mighty Mike', light and very fast.That was agreat time and agood place to retire.
|AOC James F Shaw, jamshaw3=newsguy.com, 12.12.2010|
Worked with the TA4 at Nas Pensacola (VT-4) Great A/C for an Ordnanceman. Remember the great times we went to MCAS Yuma for Pilot Training on Weapons. 1979-81
|Bill Doody, williamdoody=aol.com, 04.12.2010|
Flew the A4D - 1 in VA - 12 out of Cecil Field in Jacksonville Florida.After flying the F7U - 3 Cutlass our squadron welcomed the Skyhawk in June 1957 with some wide smiles and relief.
We took the A4D aboard the USS Ranger CVA 61 in October of '57 and our Skipper Marshall " Pete" Deputy was the first pilot of an operational jet squadron to land aboard.Event celebrated with a big cake. CDR Deputy also was awared the Navy Cross in WW ll.
|john D. Henry, USMC, Retired m, JOHNHENRY41=GRACEBA.NET, 02.12.2010|
I was fortunate to have served in Marine A4 squadrons from early 1962 on. I was in VMA-331 at MCAS, Beaufort and later aboard the USS Independence in 70-71. I was with VMA-223 at Chu Lai, South Viet Nam in 66-67. The A4 was a great ordnance platform and not too difficult to maintain. A real work horse airplane. It was the Marine Corps top air to ground attack aircraft during it's time. Marine Naval Aviators who were fortunate enough to log alot of time in this aircraft absolutely loved it. I am sure the A4 could be of great benefit again during the present war in the middle East. A4s forever. Semper Fi.
|Mike Jindra ("Buzzard"), michael.jindra=us.army.mil, 18.11.2010|
Flew A-4s (TA-4J & F, A-4E & Fs &M, and the OA-4M) in VT-21, VMAT-102, VMA-331, and H&MS-32. To the best of my knowledge, H&MS-32 was the first squadron of OA-4Ms i the Corps. Got a chance to put my experience as a FAC / ALO / S-3Air for BLT 2/6 to good use as a "Fast FAC" / TAC(A) shortly after returning to 2nd MAW from 2nd MarDiv in the Med ... when H&MS-32 received its first OA-4Ms. Really miss flying "the fastest tricycle in the West". A-4s Forever! [Still have my T-shirt.] Ron Rhoads, I think we were at MCAS Yuma about the same time. Likewise, Steve Sanford. Semper Fi! to you both ... and to all the other aviators who slipped the surly bonds ... aviating, navigating, and communicating without a "helper". :-)
|Old Corps, tvotaw=hughes.net, 02.11.2010|
Spent a tour in I Corps RVN with First Marines, underneath these fast movers and the Phantoms. They kept our butts from getting overrun several times. They were like our guardian angels, coming in hot overhead, laying 20mm and HEAT on Charles' party. A big oo-rah to the drivers - you saved a lot of Marines, for sure. Thanks much.
|Bob Whitehurst, bobwhitehurst=gmail.com, 28.10.2010|
The only jet that the pilot ever strapped on to his back rather than the other way around! 2000+ hours in the scooter, then lots of A7 time, but never lost total loyalty to the great A4!
|Bear Hildebrandt, thehildebrandtfamily=gmail.com, 27.10.2010|
The mighty SKYHAWK will always be my favorite aircraft.I was lucky enough to accumulate over 3600 hours flying the A-4 in fleet squadrons, as an instructor in the training command, as an instrument guy in VA-45 and as a station puke begging flights at VC-8 in Roosy Roads. What a great bird !
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