Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Technical Data
|This page is dedicated to
Mr. Robert O. Rahn
Please read about him below.
Variant differences by Gabby
A-4B Carlos A. Garcia
|Main Lndg Gr Width||7'9.5"||7'9.5"||7'9.5"||7'9.5"||7'9.5"||7'9.5"||7'9.5"||7'9.5"||7'9.5"|
|Empty weight (lbs)||8,400||9,146||9,728||9,728||9,853||10,448||10,465||10,602|
|Engine||Curtiss-Wright J65-W-16A||Curtiss-Wright J65-W-16A||Curtiss-Wright J65-W-16A||Curtiss-Wright J65-W-20||Pratt Whitney J52-P6A||Pratt Whitney J52-P8A/8B||Pratt Whitney J52-P408||Pratt Whitney J52-P8A/8B||Pratt Whitney J52-P6A|
|Static Thrust (lbs)||7,700||7,700||7,700||8,400||8,500||9,300||11,200||9,300||8,500|
|Engine Upgrade (some)||None||J65-W-20||J65-W-20||J52-P-8A, 8B||J52-P-408||None||J52-P-8A, 8B||None|
|Max level mph||664||661||649||649||673||673||673||675|
|Extendable Control Stick||Yes||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No||No|
|Nose Wheel Steering||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Internal Fuel (gal)||810||810||810||810||810||810||670||670|
|Wng Fuel Sensors||2||2||6||6||6||6||6||6||6|
|Stabilizer Trim (degrees)||12up,1dwn||11up,1dwn||11up,1dwn||11up,1dwn||12.25up,1dwn||12.25up,1dwn||12.25up,1dwn||12.25up,1dwn||11up,1dwn|
|JATO||No||No||Some Provisions Only||Partial Provisions||Some Provisions Only||Partial Provisions||Complete Provisions||Partial Provisions||Some Provisions Only|
|Oxygen||5 Litre||5 Litre||10 Litre||10 Litre||10 Litre||10 Litre||10 Litre||10 Litre||10 Litre|
Fuselage fuel tank was directly behind the cockpit, and utilized one fuel gauge sensor in all variants. This tank was smaller in the two seat variants.
In the A-4A, the aileron was powered by a single system. All subsequent models the aileron was tandem powered.
The Control Stick Grip Functions.
AOA Pic1 Pic2 Pic3 Pic4
AFC 442 incl Spoilers
Tail Pipe Extension (Israel)
Engine Start Capabilities
All US Skyhawks with the exception of the A-4M required an external start cart in order to start the engine. Some of the earliest models also were required to carry a starter probe in the rear "hell hole" which was a gear mechanism that was placed in the right wing root in order to turn the engine before adding fuel and then re-stowed after start. The A-4M had its own starter along with a very small pump handle that had to be attached to the JFS (Jet Fuel Starter) and hand pumped whenever the start was not successful on the first attempt.
|1961 Flying Ubangis Skyhawk BuNo 142719, AB-402, is manned and ready to go as the line division clears the area of starter probes and the boarding ladder||BuNo142085 at NAF China Lake with a good view of the starter probe installed in the right wing root.||13MAR63: China Lake Skyhawk BuNo 147680 and Shrike test pilot LCDR Jack Sickel. Navy photo from J.A. Sickel Jr. Starter probe installed and commencted to a turbine starter.|
The A-4A, B, C utilized the starter probe. Starting with the A-4E model the probe was no longer necessary, and the ground unit provided compressed air hose was connected directly to the a/c. There were several types of units that provided compressed air for starting a/c. One, the "Mobile Gas Turbine Compressor (GTC) was shaped like a a/c drop tank and could be carried on the centerline or inboard wing store racks of the Skyhawk. If carried on the centerline carrier landings were permitted. If carried on the inboard wing stations, carrier landings were not permitted. Thus a Skyhawk could carry a GTC along to another air station to provide compressed air for starting the engine.
RNZAF Official photos via Don Simms.
RNZAF N2 (nitrogen gas) rig next to fuel tank vent trolley.
Sprauge Hydraulic Serviving Rig, operators side.
Egress Systems [Early seats = Cartridge Seat, RAPEC]
A-4A,B,C,E = Escapac 1, 1A-1;
A-4F, TA-4F = Escapac IC-3; IF-3, IG-3
Centerline Aero 7A (suspension= 14 and 30 inch)
Centerline w LB-18A Camera POD
Wings Aero 20A (suspension= 14 inch)
A-4E and A-4F reworked per AFC 546 and AAC-614 had a modified centerline plyon with the LB-18A Camera Pod. This pod contained either a DBM-4A 16mm Motion Camera or a KB-10A Still Camera
Maximum External Load Capacities:
Fuselage Centerline Station (all models) = 3,500 lbs
2 Inboard Wing Stations (all models) = 2,200 lbs (ea.)
2 Outboard Wing Stations (all except A/B/C/P/Q) = 1,000 lbs (ea.)
External Fuel Tanks: (Useable)
150gal Aero 1C Drop Tank - 147gal
300gal Aero 1D Drop Tank - 295gal (P/N 22548000?)
Centerline 400gal Drop Tank - 396gal
The Buddy Store Pioneered by Douglas and the A-4 Skyhawk, the air refueling system enables the carrying aircraft to serve as a tanker for other aircraft. All fuel in the Skyhawk tanker aircraft, except the fuselage tank, may be transferred to the receiver aircraft.
The refueling store (Buddy Store) carried on the center-line rack contains a 300 gallon fuel cell, a constant speed ram air turbine-driven hydraulic pump, a hydraulically driven fuel pump, a hydraulically operated hose reel, and 50 feet of refueling hose with a droque.
The store is capable of transferring fuel at aprox. 180 gallons per minute. Provisions are made for dumping fuel when necessary. The operational envelope of the store with the droque extended is limited to 300KIAS or .8 MACH, which ever is lower up to 35,000 feet.
The air turbine that powers the 700-pound in-flight re-fueling package will be able to transfer about 6000 pounds of fuel from the center-line and wing tanks, as well as part of the internal load of 5400 pounds in the wings and fuselage. The tanker will weigh about 23,700 pounds on the catapult. When it reaches the bow, its speed will be about 150 knots (173 mph). It was SOP (standard operating procedure) to launch one tanker in each launch-recovery cycle. In combat, the air wing would launch two or three Skyhawk tankers if several divisions of aircraft were attacking well-defended targets. During the years that the Skyhawk tanker was operational, its pilots prevented innumerable aircraft losses due to fuel exhaustion. The most common causes of "low-state" were additional approaches needed for safe landings on a pitching deck, delay for clearing a crash on deck, using extra fuel in evading SAMs and MIGs, and fuel loss from battle damage. Official Navy photograph from Mike Trout below.
This photo shows a PPCP (Pilot's Personal Cargo Pod) being studied for a Weather Survey Pod.
The A4 in the 7X10 foot transonic wind tunnel at the David W Taylor Model Basin in Carderock, MD circa 1961-64. Above picture, I believe, is with a Walleye. Donald Henry
Variant Avionics Comparison
|Upper Avionics Bay||No||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Video IP-936/AXQ||No||No||No||Some||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||No||Provisions Only|
|Nav Cmptr||None||AN/ASN-19A||AN/ASN-19A||AN/ASN41||AN/ASN-19A/AN/ASN41||AN/ASN41||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||AN/ASN-19A|
|APC AN/ASN-54||No||No||Yes||Provisions Only||Yes||Yes||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Yes|
|Doppler AN/APN-153||No||No||No||Yes||Some||Yes||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||No|
|TACAN||AN/ARN-21D||No||No||Yes||Some||Yes||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||No|
|RADAR Altimeter||No||AN APN-141||AN APN-141||AN APN-141||AN APN-141||AN APN-141||AN APN-141 AN APN-194||AN APN-141||AN APN-141|
|AIMS||No||No||AFC-482||Partial Provisions||AFC-482||Partial Provisions||Provisions Only||Partial Provisions||AFC-482|
|ECM||No||No||Provisions Only||Some||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||No||Provisions Only|
A-4M BuNo 158182 Nose Hardware
10AUG77: close-up ARBS on China Lake Skyhawk BuNo 159485.
Variant Weapons Delivery Capability
If You Aint Ordnance You Aint ----!
Skyhawk Ordnance Page
Baumbeck doing Gun Pod Repair
|Guns||20MM 200rds||20MM 200rds||20MM 200rds||20MM 200rds||20MM 200rds||20MM 200rds||20MM 400rds||20MM 200rds||20MM 200rds|
|LABS||AERO 18B||AERO 18B||AN/AJB-3||AN/AJB-3A||AN/AJB-3A / 3A||AN/AJB-3A||AN/AJB-3A||Provisions Only||AN/AJB-3A|
|Bullpup||No||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||No||Provisions Only|
|GCBS||No||Some Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Yes||No||Provisions Only|
|Walleye||No||No||No||Some Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||Provisions Only||No||Provisions Only|
|Arg. A-4P (B)||Arg A-4C||Arg. Navy A-4Q (B)||A-4AR (M)||A-4KU (M)||A-4G (F)||A-4K (F)|
|A-4H (E)||A-4H (F)||A-4PTM (B)||A-4S (B)||A-4PTM (C)||A-4S (C)||AF-1|
Douglas Test Pilot Robert O. Rahn,
the first pilot to fly the A-4 Skyhawk, the Ferrari of airplanes.
June 22, 1954.
(Harry Gann photo)
- Robert O. Rahn, first pilot to fly the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, passed away at age 77 on Thursday, May 21, 1998, a victim of ALS (Lou Gehrig disease).
- Around the Douglas Aircraft Company flight test department, Bob had the reputation as being "a cool and thorough pilot." There were several instances in the flight test programs of the AD Skyraider, the F4D Skyray, and the A4D Skyhawk where his unflappable demeanor during test flight emergencies literally saved the programs. Bob also participated in the F3D Skyknight and F5D Skylancer flight test programs.
- Born in Harvey, Illinois, on December 29, 1920, Bob attended the University of Cincinnati, intending to earn a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. While there, he learned to fly in the Civilian Pilot Training Program and, in early 1941, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and entered flight training. After graduating, he became a member of the first United States fighter group to deploy to England, where he flew the Spitfire with the 309 Fighter Squadron.
- After completing his overseas tour, Rahn returned to the U.S. and wrangled an assignment to Wright Field to attend the United States Air Force Test Pilots School. With World War II all but over, in August 1945 Bob accepted employment as a test pilot at Douglas Aircraft Company, where he subsequently made first flights in 18 different aircraft between 1946 and 1956. In 1957 he joined the Rockwell Company as an Apollo Space Capsule simulator research pilot. Rahn retired from the aircraft industry in 1984 to devote much of his time to skiing and flying his Navion aircraft in speed enhancement and point to point flight competition with other Navion owners.
- Among the group of World War II pilots who bridged the gap between the "seat-of-the-pants" pilots and the engineer-scientist aviators that now conduct aircraft flight tests, Bob Rahn accumulated many honors in his flying career. He was inducted into the Navy Test Pilots Hall of Honor, set a world speed record in the Douglas F4D Skyray, served as a founding member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, was a charter member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, and an original member of the Skyhawk Association.
- Bob Rahn was characterized as "a pilot who knew what was going on, able to tell the engineers what the problems were in their own terms."