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Technical Data

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Technical Data

This page is dedicated to
Mr. Robert O. Rahn

Please read about him below.

Original R.G. Smith
Skyhawk Concept Blueprint
R.G. Smith A4D-1 Sketch

Variant A4D-1
A-4A
A4D-2
A-4B
A4D-2N
A-4C
A-4L A4D-5
A-4E
A-4F A-4M Drwg1
A-4M Drwg2
TA-4F TA-4J
Length 39'4" 39'4" 40'1" 40'1" 41'3" 41'3" 41'3" 43'7" 43'7"
Wing Span 27'6" 27'6" 27'6" 27'6" 27'6" 27'6" 27'6" 27'6" 27'6"
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-8A, 8B J52-P-408 None J52-P-8A, 8B None
Intakes Flush Flush Flush Separated Separated Separated Separated Separated Separated
Max level mph 664 661 649 649 673 673 673 675
Elevator Boosted Powered Powered Powered Powered Powered Powered Powered Powered
Extendable Control Stick Yes Yes No No No No No No No
Nose Wheel Steering No No No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Drag Chute No No No No No No Yes No No
Internal Fuel (gal) 810 810 810 810 810 810 670 670
Wng Fuel Sensors 2 2 6 6 6 6 6 6 6
Refueling Probe No Yes Yes Yes Yes yes yes Yes Yes
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
Spoilers No No No Yes No,(AFC442) Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ext. Stations 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 3
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

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
Roll Rate: A Skyhawk's roll rate is 720 degrees per second with a limitation of 2 rolls before the front and back of the airplane switch positions uncontrollably do to a dynamic called "roll coupling".
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.
Skyhawk Electrical System
Engine Start Capabilities
JATO (A-4B with "ASC 172" and later) 4500lbs thrust each for 5 sec.
Max Speed: A4D-1 BuNo 137820, LT Gordon Gray USN - 500 kilometer closed course world speed record 695.163 MPH, 15OCT1955, Edwards Air Force Base. The Skyhawk can exceed the speed of sound in a dive, but it is not a recommended activity.
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
External Plyons:
Centerline Aero 7A (suspension= 14 and 30 inch)
Centerline w LB-18A Camera POD
Wings Aero 20A (suspension= 14 inch)

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
Air Refueling Store
Centerline 400gal Drop Tank - 396gal

External Baggage Container CNU-188/A [Blivet]
(Bobtail or Two Fin models - 27in diameter)

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 A-4A A-4B A-4C A-4L A-4E A-4F A-4M TA-4F TA-4J
Upper Avionics Bay No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
AFCS No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Radar No No AN/APG-53A AN/APG-53A AN/APG-53A AN/APG-53A AN/APG-53A,
Provisions Only
AN/APG-53A
Video IP-936/AXQ No No No Some Provisions Only Provisions Only Provisions Only No Provisions Only
Comm Gear RT-355/
ASQ-17
(AN/ARC-27A)
RT-355/
ASQ-17
(AN/ARC-27A)
RT-355/
ASQ-17
(AN/ARC-27A)
RT-355/
ASQ-17
(AN/ARC-27A)
AN/ARC-51A
AN/ARR-69
AN/ARC-51A
AN/ARR-69
AN/ARC-51A
AN/ARR-69
AN/ARR-114 (VHF-FM)
AN/ARC-51A
AN/ARR-69
AN/ARC-51A
AN/ARR-69
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
IFF RT-354/
(AN/APX-6B)ASQ-17
RT-354/
(AN/APX-6B)ASQ-17
RT-354/
(AN/APX-6B)ASQ-17
AN/APX-64(V RT-354/
(AN/APX-6B)ASQ-17
AN/APX-64(V) AN/APX-72(V) AN/APX-64(V)
AN/APX-72
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
The A-4F variant was the only one equipped with ALS , the AN/ARA-63. AFC 482 Updates A-4C/E Avionics to A-4F Configurations
OA-4F EA-4F
Mongoose and Super-Fox Modifications Sample parts list.
A-4A thru A-4E Integrated Electronics Pack

Mock-up of CNI installation A4D
A-4L Throttle
Image of the horizontal stabalizer.
Cutaways of Rudder/Elevator and Wing Areas

If You Aint Ordnance You Aint ----!


Variant A-4A A-4B A-4C A-4L A-4E A-4F A-4M TA-4F TA-4J
Guns 20MM 200rds 20MM 200rds 20MM 200rds 20MM 200rds 20MM 200rds 20MM 200rds 20MM 400rds 20MM 200rds 20MM 200rds
Ext. Stations 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 5 3
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
CP-741/A No No No Yes Yes Yes Yes Provisions Only Yes
Special Weapons Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sidewinder No No Some
AFC-203A
No No Two Stations
AFC
No No Some
AFC-203A
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
Shrike No No Limited Yes Yes Yes Yes Provisions Only/td> Yes
Walleye No No No Some Provisions Only Provisions Only Provisions Only Provisions Only No Provisions Only

Skyhawk Ordnance Page


Non-Domestic Variants
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
OA-4AR (TA-4F) TA-4G TA-4H TA-4K TA-4KU TA-4PTM AF-1A


This Skyhawk webpage is dedicated to
Douglas Test Pilot Robert O. Rahn,
the first pilot to fly the A-4 Skyhawk, the Ferrari of airplanes.


Test pilot Bob Rahn is pictured in the first A-4, XA4D-1 BuNo. 137812 shortly after the first Skyhawk flight.
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."


page | by Dr. Radut