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|A-1 H Skyraider|
|Date Deployed: March 18, 1945 - Redesignated on 1962|
|A-1H Skyraider - Navy 516th Fighter Squadron|
|Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft|
|Model from Italeri of Italy Kit # 02628 Built on 07-08-2006 1/48 scale|
Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider was a U.S. single-seat
of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. A propeller-driven
anachronism in the jet
age, the Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful
The Skyraider was originally designed in the 1940s by Ed
Heinemann of the Douglas
Aircraft Company, as a simpler alternative to the XBTD-1.
At the time of the first prototype's flight on 18 March 1945, it
was the largest production single-seater aircraft. The low-wing
monoplane design started with a Wright
engine, later upgraded multiple times. Its distinctive
feature was the presence of seven hardpoints
on each wing, enabling it to carry a tremendous amount of ordnance
for its size.
Although the Skyraider entered production too late for active
service in World
War II, it turned out to be of great value in both the
Korean and Vietnam
Wars, as its weapon load and 10-hour flying time far
surpassed the jets that were available at the time.
One of the Skyraider's most famous roles was as the
"Sandy" helicopter escort. In one incident an A-1
pilot landed under fire to rescue another downed A-1 pilot,
winning its pilot the Medal
of Honor. After November 1972 all A-1s in US service in
Southeast Asia were transferred to the South Vietnamese Air
Force and their former roles were taken over by the subsonic A-37
Dragonfly and A-7
Corsair II. The Skyraider in Vietnam pioneered the concept
of tough, survivable aircraft with long loiter times and large
ordnance loads later exemplified by the Fairchild A-10
Thunderbolt II. An A-1 was even credited with downing a MiG-17
that happened to fly across its gunsight.
In addition to serving during Korea and Vietnam as an attack
aircraft, it was modified into a carrier-based airborne early
warning aircraft (replacing the Grumman
Avenger). It served in this function in the USN and Royal
Navy, being replaced by the E-1
Tracer and Fairey
Gannet respectively in those services.
USAF Lieutenant Colonel William
A.Jones, III piloted an A-1H on the September 1, 1968
mission for which he was awarded Medal of Honor. In that
mission, despite significant damage to his aircraft and
suffering serious burns, he returned to his base and reported
the position of a downed flight crew member.
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