Douglas Poster courtesy of Gary Verver.
Ron Fulstow Skyhawk painting.
Golden Aniversary Skyhawk
|RNZAF #2 Squadron||RNZAF #14 Squadron||RNZAF #75 Squadron|
1970: The Royal New Zealand Air Force obtained ten A-4F and four TA-4F Skyhawks from the United States in 1970. They were delivered to Auckland, NZ by the U.S.S. Okinawa for their No. 75 Squadron. The aircraft were re-designated as A- 4K and TA-4K.
1984: An additional ten Skyhawks (eight A-4G and two TA-4G) were purchased from Australia in 1984 and equipped the RNZAF No. 2 Squadron. [Note: When converted from "G" to "K", the top of the tail was squared off during the installation of an "IFF" antenna. Plus a new radio antenna behind the cockpit, and the drag chute module is added under the tail.]
1988-91 "Kahu" upgrade: New Zealand conducted a major Skyhawk upgrade program involving installation of "glass" cockpits, HUDs (Head Up Displays), new acquisition/tracking radars and navigation systems, removal of the avionics "hump," wing re-sparring, and up-grading of landing gear and control surfaces.
RNZAF Skyhawks continued in active service until phase-out began in 2001. Operations by Number 75 Squadron at Ohakea airfield in New Zealand ceased at the end of September 2001, and Number 2 Squadron at the Naval Air Station at Nowra in New South Wales, Australia, terminated operations at the end of January 2002.
APR 2002: Ohakea Air Force Base.
Contact: Gary Verver Photo Credit: Glen Turner
Former RNZAF Avionics Technician, Don Simms wearing his Skyhawk Association patch in the cockpit of one of the T-bird demonstrators when he worked for Safe Air and they were trying to sell the aircraft to potential buyers (ATSI and ATAC). BuNo would have been either 157915 or 154911.
On 31 July 2004, A-4K serial number 6205 (BuNo 157908), the last of the RNZAF Skyhawks, was flown from Ohakea air base to be placed in mothballs at Woodbourne.
Following retirement from active duty, the seventeen New Zealand Skyhawks were put up for sale, but a sale was slow in coming due mainly to political hurdles in the USA. As of JUL 2010, it appeared political hurdles have been overcome and the RNZAF Skyhawks could be purchased, and the buyer was attempting to obtain funding.
23 SEP 2010: The U.S.A. buyer did not obtain funding prior to the experation of the approval (23 SEP 2010) for the sale by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Y2011: The New Zealand government has decided to donate some A-4K Skyhawks to museums, and sell others - probably as parts. As of 07 JUL 2011; it is know that these museums will receive a Skyhawk:
NZ6254 (TA-4K) RNZAF Museum Wigram, Christchurch
NZ6204 (A-4K) Asburton Aviaton Museum
NZ6202 (A-4K) Wings and Wheels Musem, Wanaka
NZ6216 (A-4G) Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, Blenheim
NZ6206 (A-4K) MOTAT. Auckland
NZ6255 (TA-4G) RAN Museum, HMAS Albatross, Nowra, Australia
NZ6209 (A-4K) NZ Warbirds Association, Ardmore, Auckland
NZ6201 (A-4K) Classic Flyers Museum, Tauranga
NZ6205 (A-4K) RNZAF Museum Wigram, Christchurch
The remaining 6 single-seaters and 2 dual-seat Skyhawks were to be sold (offers due by 16 MAY 2011) on an "as is" basis, along with a large selection of parts and support equipment including twenty J-52 engines.
15 NOV 2011: New Zealand's Defence Minister has announced that a United States company, JDI Holdings, is going to buy eight Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) retired A-4G and TA-4K Skyhawks.
01 AUG 2012: Draken International has acquired the 9 Aemacchi MB-339's and 8 McDonnell Douglas A-4K Skyhawks from the Kiwis (New Zealand)! It expects the MB-339’s to be operational during the 4th quarter 2012 and the Skyhawks during the 1st quarter of 2013! (much sooner than most had expected!) The Association finds this news VERY exciting indeed! These A-4G’s are nicely upgraded aircraft and the Draken lineup is fast becoming an extremely impressive tactical aircraft inventory for contract work around the country. They have an immediate need for skilled A-4 maintainers...so if you know some, or are one, get a resume in ASAP! While not so immediate a need, they are also building a collection of A-4 pilot resumes. Might be worth a try for some of you younger gents out there! E-mail point of contact for A-4 maintainer employment is: J Kerby. Interested pilots may want to send pilot resumes to Draken International at 3330 Flightline Drive, Lakeland, FL 33811.
The RNZAF has on loan for their musuem, from the U.S.N., an A-4L aircraft (BuNo 149516) that is displayed as NZ6207, which was lost in a crash.
"This aircraft is on Long Term Loan from the United States Navy in an agreement arranged by McDonnell-Douglas in 1987. It had been reconfigured to A-4L specifications and came from the stock at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, and was transported to New Zealand by C-130 Hercules. Considerable work was carried out by the Museum's Technical Section to reconfigure the aircraft to early A-4K specifications as operated by the RNZAF in the early 1970s. The aircraft is displayed as NZ6207 - the original aircraft being lost after engine failure in October 1974."
- NZ-6201 (A-4K)  BuNo.157904, rmd from service DEC 01. [Museum]
- NZ-6202 (A-4K)  BuNo.157905, rmd from service DEC 01. [Museum]
- NZ-6203 (A-4K)  BuNo.157906, crashed 20 JUN 96.
- NZ-6204 (A-4K)  BuNo.157907, rmd from service DEC 01. [Museum]
- NZ-6205 (A-4K)  BuNo.157908, rmd from service DEC 01. [Museum]
- NZ-6206 (A-4K)  BuNo.157909, rmd from service DEC 01. [Museum]
- NZ-6207 (A-4K)  BuNo.157910, BuNo. 157910 crashed 18 OCT 74.
- Note: Aircraft displayed as 6207 at RNZAF Museum at Christchurch is USN A-4L BuNo 149516 on loan (rmd srvc DEC 2001). Display/trainer based upon repaired remains of BuNo 157910 NZ6207, which crashed in 1974.
- NZ-6208 (A-4K)  BuNo.157911, crashed 23 JUL 92.
- NZ-6209 (A-4K)  BuNo.157912, rmd from service DEC 01. [Museum]
- NZ-6210 (A-4K)  BuNo.157913, crashed 24 OCT 89.
- NZ-6211 (A-4K) BuNo.154903, crashed 16 Feb 01. Former RAN A-4G "882", transferred to RNZAF JUL 1984.
- NZ-6212 (A-4K) BuNo.154904, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former RAN A-4G "883", transferred JUL 1984. [Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N142EM]
- NZ-6213 (A-4K) BuNo.154905, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "884", transferred JUL 1984. [Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N143EM]
- NZ-6214 (A-4K) BuNo.154908, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "887", transferred JUL 1984. [Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N144EM]
- NZ-6215 (A-4K) BuNo.155052, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "871", transferred JUL 1984. [Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N145EM]
- NZ-6216 (A-4K) BuNo.155061, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "875", transferred JUL 1984.[Museum]
- NZ-6217 (A-4K) BuNo.155063, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "876", transferred JUL 1984.[Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N146EM]
- NZ-6218 (A-4K) BuNo.155069, rmd from srvc (damaged) 15 AUG 01. Former RAN A-4G "877", xfd JUL 1984. [Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N147EM]
- NZ-6251 (TA-4K)  BuNo.157914, rmd from service DEC 01. [Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N140EM]
- NZ-6252 (TA-4K)  BuNo.157915, rmd from service DEC 01. [Sold to Draken International Inc. U.S.A. as N141EM]
- NZ-6253 (TA-4K)  BuNo.157916, crashed 25 MAR 81.
- NZ-6254 (TA-4K)  BuNo.157917, rmd from service DEC 01. [Museum]
- NZ-6255 (TA-4K) BuNo.154911, rmd from service DEC 01. Former RAN TA-4G "880", transferred JUL 1984. [Museum]
- NZ-6256 (TA-4K) BuNo.154912, crashed 20 MAR 01. Former RAN TA-4G "881", transferred JUL 1984 and converted to TA-4K configuration about DEC 1986.
- [Note: When converted from "G" to "K", the top of the tail is squared off during the installation of an "IFF" antenna. Plus a new radio antenna behind the cockpit, and the drag chute module is added under the tail.]
TA-4K: Plugged Barrel Roll. Official RNZAF Photo.
Kiwi Red practicing over Raumai. Offical RNZAF Photo via Don Simms.
Kiwi Red in the Australian Bi-Centenial Airshow, 1988 RAAF Richmond. Photo from Don Simms.
Kiwi Red performing the star burst. Offical RNZAF Photos via Don Simms.
Kiwi Red in the Australian Bi-Centenial Airshow, 1988 RAAF Richmond performing the "roll under break". Photo from Don Simms.