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Conceived as a replacement for the AD-1 Skyraider, Ed Heinemann's Skyhawk was capable of proving itself in the skies above Vietnam, Israel, Kuwait and the Falkland Islands. So impressive was its speed and agility, the Skyhawk was often referred to by pilots as "Heinemann's Hotrod." McDonnell Douglas is the story of one of the finest naval aircraft ever built, told by an aviation enthusiast whose work is published in several leading international military aviation journals and magazines.
Few modern military aircraft can claim the longevity and success of the legendary Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. First flown in the mid- 1950s the A-4 Skyhawk achieved combat fame in the Falkland and Vietnam wars and saw service with the air arms of seven foreign countries including Israel and New Zealand. It is still in use today in South America.
The Skyhawk first entered service with the US Navy almost 50 years ago. It is still in service with various US units and remains the backbone of many of the air forces of those countries to which it has been exported. It was originally conceived as a carrier-borne fighter bomber, but as the aircraft has evolved it has taken on other roles.This is an in-depth look at the design, production, evolution, operation and performance of the aircraft. It will also include first-hand accounts of flying the Skyhawk in action.
The A-4 Skyhawk was the workhorse of the Vietnam War. It flew more strike missions than any other Navy aircraft and its losses in combat amounted to 37% of all Navy combat losses. The Navy lost 195 A-4s out of 530 total losses. The next highest losses were in the F-4 community with 75. A-4 losses, especially in the A-4E, were so heavy at times that squadrons had to re-equip with older A-4C's as there weren't enough A-4 E's to fill the squadrons. This small, nimble, rugged, and dependable bomber was the perfect surgical weapon for the day war over Vietnam. In fact, the A-4E/F with is five pylons could carry more than twice the tonnage of bombs that a B-17 or a B-24 could drop on Germany. This book is dedicated to the memory of Harry S. Gann.
Originally designed to replace another aircraft from the same manufacturer Douglas, the famous Skyraider, the A-4 Skyhawk enjoyed a remarkable career for nearly half a century. It was first the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps who utilized this aircraft extensively, with the many squadrons labeled " Scooter " it's quasi-official nickname. The two branches implemented them especially during the Vietnam War before transforming them into "aggressors" within the core of the training units. In total, nearly 3000 Skyhawks were constructed until 1979, when manufacturing was terminated, while the success of the delta wing and the smaller dimensions went beyond the borders of the United States, with only seven other nations employing it in the world. Among these is Israel, whose A-4 made its debut during the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and which was only retired from service in 2008. More recently the A-4 was used in Argentina, where the Skyhawk won several successes against the British forces during the Falklands War in 1982.
The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is one of the most successful military aircraft programs in history. Skyhawks are still flying in military service in 2019, over 60 years after the first flight of the A-4. This latest entry in the Illustrated series contains over 250 photos and diagrams, most of them in color, many of them published here for the first time. The Skyhawk story is told by the men who flew it in testing and in combat and in peacetime. These first-person accounts are the highlight of the book, putting the reader in that tiny cockpit that has seen so much action in the Skyhawk's long and illustrious career.
One of the most successful modern attack aircraft, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was a long-serving favorite of the US Navy, the USMC, and the Israeli Air Force. Illustrated with 205 photos, profiles, and detailed line drawings.

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