The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a carrier-capable attack aircraft developed for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. The delta winged, single-engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company, and later by McDonnell Douglas. It was originally designated the A4D under the U.S. Navy's pre-1962 designation system.
The Skyhawk is a light-weight aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 24,500 pounds (11,100 kg) and has a top speed of more than 600 miles per hour (970 km/h). The aircraft's five hardpoints support a variety of missiles, bombs and other munitions and was capable of delivering nuclear weapons using a low altitude bombing system and a "loft" delivery technique. The A-4 was originally powered by the Wright J65 turbojet engine; from the A-4E onwards, the Pratt & Whitney J52 was used.
Skyhawks played key roles in the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War, and the Falklands War. Fifty years after the aircraft's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 produced remain in service with several air arms around the world, including from the Brazilian Navy's aircraft carrier, São Paulo.
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... General characteristics Crew 1 (2 in OA-4F, TA-4F, TA-4J) Length 40 ft 3 in (12.22 m) Wingspan 26 ft 6 in (8.38 m) Height 15 ft (4.57 m) Wing area 259 ft² (24.15 m²) Airfoil NACA 0008-1.1-25 root, NACA 0005-0.825-50 tip Empty weight 10,450 lb (4,750 kg) Loaded weight 18,300 lb (8,318 kg) Max ... takeoff weight 24,500 lb (11,136 kg) Powerplant 1 × Pratt Whitney J52-P8A turbojet, 9,300 lbf (41 kN) Performance Maximum speed 585 kn (673 mph, 1,077 km/h) Range 1,700 nmi (2,000 mi, 3,220 km) Combat radius 625 nmi, 1,158 km Service ceiling 42,250 ft (12,880 m) Rate of climb 8,440 ft/min (43 m/s) Wing loading 70.7 lb/ft² (344.4 kg/m²) Thrust/weight 0.51 g-limit +8/-3 g Armament Guns 2× 20 mm (0.79 in) Colt Mk 12 cannon, 100 rounds/gun Hardpoints 4× under-wing 1× under-fuselage pylon stations holding up to 9,900 lb (4,490 kg) of payload Rockets 4× LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4× 127 mm Mk 32 Zuni rockets) Missiles Air-to-air missiles 4× AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-surface missiles 2× AGM-12 Bullpup 2× AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missile 2× AGM-62 Walleye TV-guided glide bomb 2× AGM-65 Maverick Bombs 6× Rockeye-II Mark 20 Cluster Bomb Unit (CBU) 6× Rockeye Mark 7/APAM-59 CBU Mark 80 series of unguided bombs (including 3 kg and 14 kg practice bombs) B57 nuclear bomb B61 nuclear bomb Others up to 3× 370 US gallons (1,400 L) Sargent Fletcher drop tanks (pylon stations 2, 3, 4 are wet plumbed) for ferry flight/extended range/loitering time Avionics Bendix AN/APN-141 Low altitude radar altimeter (refitted to C and E, standard in the F) Stewart-Warner AN/APQ-145 Mapping Ranging radar (mounted on A-4F, also found on A-4E/N/S/SU) ...
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“How can I live among this gentle
absolescent breed of heroes, and not weep?
for they are falling into two legends
in which their stupidity and chivalry
are celebrated. Each, fool and herb, will be an immortal.”
—Keith Douglas (19201944)