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)|
|Rob Renney, rob_renney=yahoo.com, 28.12.2008|
My dad was attached to VC-10 in Gitmo Bay Cuba. I am looking to build him a model of the TA4J model he worked on while stationed there. Any pics would be helpful. Thanks for your help.
|Dennis Crilly, denniscrilly=aol.com, 18.12.2008|
I have over 2000 hours in this bird. One time I was flying along and I smelled smoke in the cockpit. As I was returning back to the Tico I noticed I could not get my flaps down. We were blue water operations so I had to bring this bird back on the deck. With no flaps down it felt like I was going two times the speed of stink. I did catch the number three wire tho. When I went to the ready room after I landed all of my squadron mates kept saying I was the best stick on the boat, think I woud have to agree.
|Milt Jines, miltjines=yahoo.com, 25.07.2008|
As a newly winged Ensign I was assigned to the first fleet squadron of A4s, VA-72, Quonset Point, RI, later Oceana, VA (Virginia Beach). In those days of the cold war our primary mission was nuclear delivery (we could loft the 1.2 megaton Mark-12 weapon). I spent four years in VA-72 and made 2 Mediterrain cruises, USS Randolph (CVA-19)(Centurian) and the maiden shake-down and Med cruise on USS Independence (CVA-61). I was the first to obtain 1,000 hours in the Skyhawk ... McDonnell Douglas gave me a nice walnut plaque acknowledging that fact. I sent the plaque to The Navy's Museum of Flight (Pensacola) but when I visited there later, I was told they "lost" it! They also had an A4 hanging in the lobby with VA-83 colors and the erronous claim that VA-83 was the Navy's first operational A4 squadron! So much for the credibility of the Navy Museum of Flight!
|Larry Wood, lwooda4=aol.com, 22.05.2008|
The best description of the A-4 I ever read was that it was the last military airplane you could fly without voting with a computer. I flew the TA-4F, A-4E, A-4C, TA-4J, A-4F, A-4B (before they went to Argentina), A-4M, OA-4M, and the A-4Y (never called that, but it was an M with the bigger landing gear.) The most fun a boy can have in 3300+ hours.
|Pat McGirl, patsqd=aol.com, 22.05.2008|
Flew the A4A,B,C,E,L,KU,TA4F,TA4J. All great a/c. Had an Adversary sqdn. at Miramar NAS in the 70's. Not even the F-14s got close to beating us. A worthy adversary when flown with no external stores. Having flown the early F-86's, I insisted on proper slat lubrication to prevent rolling high "G" departures to an inverted spin. Never had one.
Don't believe the 1988 mile range. Max range as the F8, 1,000 NM.
|Ken Langford, liveoakken=ainternet.biz, 15.05.2008|
I flew the A-4B,C,E,M and the TA-4F and J for over 2600 hours and the scooter was a great air to ground platform. Honest, realiable and trustworthy throughout it's combat history in SE Asia.
|Bear Langworthy, flybear=peoplepc.com, 13.05.2008|
agree that the A-4 should be listed under Douglas a/c.
|T Kapurch, tkap1492=yahoo,com, 12.05.2008|
This would be more appropriately listed under Douglas A/C who developed it.
|Marv Garrison, mtgarrison2=cox.net, 02.04.2008|
I was lucky enough to command two squadrons of Skyhawks and two Air Groups with A4's assigned. I flew in this order A4C, TA4F, A4B,A4A, A4L,A4E, A4f, A4M, and TA4J. I have one less landing than take-offs.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?