USMC/McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

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Primary function: Single seat attack bomber, TA, dual-control trainer.
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Co, El Segundo (later McDonnell Douglas; finally Boeing Aircraft), USA.
Power plant: (B, C, L, P, Q, S) one 7,7001b (3493kg) thrust Wright J65-16A single shaft turbojet (US Sapphire);
(E, J) 8,5001b (3856kg) Pratt a Whitney J52-6 two shaft turbojet;
(F, C, H, K) 9,3001b (4218kg) J52-8A;
(M, N) 11,2001b (5090kg) J52-408A
Span: 27ft 6in (8.38m);
Length: (A) 39ft 1in;
(B) 39ft 6in (42ft 10.75in over FR probe);
(E, F, C, H, K, L, P, O) 40ft 1 2in (12.22m);
(M, N) 40ft 3in (12.27m);
(TA series, excluding probe) 42ft 7in (12.98m);
Height: 18ft (4.57m); (early single-seaters 18ft 2in. TA series 1 Sft 3in).
Performance: Clean:
(B) 676mph;
(F) 685mph;
(M) 670mph (1078km/h);
(TA-4F) 675mph.
With 4,000lb, 1814kg bomb load:
(F) 593mph, (M) 645mph;
Initial climb (F) 5,620ft (171 3m)/ mm;
(M) 8,440ft (2572m)/min;
Service ceiling (all. clean) about 49,000ft (1 4,935m);
Weights: Empty: (A) 7,7001b; (E) 9.2841b; (typical modern single-seat, eg. M) 10,4651b (4747kg); (TA-4F) 10,602 (4809 kg); Maximum loaded: (A) 17,000lb; (B) 22,000lb; All others. shipboard: 24,5001b (11,113kg) Land based: 27,4201b (12,437kg)
Range: (clean, or with 4,000lb weapons and max fuel, all late versions) about 920 miles (1480km); maximum range (M) 2,055 miles (3307km).
Armament: Standard on most versions, two 20mm Mk 12 cannon, each with 200 rounds; (H, N, and optional on other export versions) two 30mm DEFA 553, each with 150 rounds. Pylons under fuselage and wings for total ordnance load of (A, B, C) 5,000lb (2268kg), (E, F, C, H, K, L, P, Q, S) 8,2001b (3720kg); (M, N) 9,155lb (4153kg).
Introduction date: First flight (XA4D-1) 22 June 1954; (A-4A) 14 August 1954; squadron delivery October 1956; (A 4C) August 1959; (A-4E) July 1961; (A 4F) August 1966; (A-4M) April 1970, (A-4N) June 1972; first of TA series (TA-4E) June 1965.
Inventory: Retired, USMC
Development: Most expert opinion in the US Navy refused to believe the claim of Ed Heinemann, chief engineer of what was then Douglas El Segundo, that he could build a jet attack bomber weighing half the 30,000lb specified by the Navy. The first Skyhawk, nicknamed "Heinemann's Hot Rod", not only flew but gained a world record by flying a 500km circuIt at over 695mph. Today, more than 23 years later, greatly developed versions are still in production, setting an unrivalled record for sustained manufacture These late versions do weigh close to 30,0001b, but only because the basic design has been improved with more powerful engines, increased fuel capacity and much heavier weapon load. The wing was made in a single unit, forming an integral fuel tank and so small it did not need to fold. Hundreds of Skyhawks have served aboard carriers but in the US involvement in SE Asia "The Scooter" (as it was affectionately known) flew many kinds of missions from land bases. In early versions the emphasis was on improving range and load and the addition of all-weather avionics. The F model introduced the dorsal hump containing additional avionics, and the M, the so-called Skyhawk II, marked a major increase in mission effectiveness. Most of the TA-4 trainers closely resembled the corresponding single-seater, but the TA-4J and certain other models have simplified avionics and the TA-4S (Singapore) is a rebuild by Lockheed Aircraft Service with two separate humped cockpits and an integral-tank fuselage. Production of the M for the US Marine Corps continued until the AV-8B became available, over 30 years after first flight. Deliveries by 1977 neared 3,000.
Users: Argentina, Australia, Israel, Kuwait, New Zealand, Singapnre, USA (Air Force in SE Asia, Navy, Marine Corps).