Douglas AD- 4 Skyraider
Nicknames: Able Dog, Flying Dump Truck, Firefly, Hobo, Sandy, Spad .
|Few aircraft have been known by so many names as the Skyraider. At various times in its career, it was designated the BT2D, AD (Able Dog), A -1, and was also affectionately called the Destroyer, Hobo, Spad, Sandy, and the Flying Dump Truck. The Douglas AD Skyraider was built to replace the SB2C Helldiver. It was the most powerful carrier based dive bomber ever built. Its single-engine with its three fuselage stations and six racks on each wing could carry a varied assortment of ordnance including bombs, rockets, mines,
torpedos and napalms at weights greater than that of the four-engine B-17 Flying Fortress.
The Skyraider has acted on a large scale as a close support aircraft in the Korean and Vietnam campaigns. It was used to attack targets on the ground in Viet Cong strongholds in South Vietnam as well as in Cambodia and Laos. Another famous use of the Skyraider in Vietnam was in the recovery of downed aircrew and that is how it picked up the nickname "Sandy", which was its radio call-sign. Once the alert was given, a team of helicopters and Skyraiders was sent out to effect the rescue. "Sandy" provides the escort cover for the Sikorsky HH-53s (Jolly Greens) by laying down suppresive fire while the vulnerable helos plucked the downed aircrew members.You can catch some footage of this rescue/escort mission somewhere towards the end of the Paramount Pictures movie "Flight of the Intruder" . Watch carefully and listen to Lt. Cmdr. Virgil Cole (played by William Dafoe), radioing to the Skyraiders loitering overhead with this call:-
"Sandy Leader, this is Cole, 505,
Though the Skyraider is a conventionally powered combat plane in a "Jet Age", its ability to stay aloft for many hours, then strike with unprecedented bomb-rocket-torpedo loads, has proved its effectiveness.
|AD- 5(A-1E) Skyraider Specifications|
|Wing span:||15.47 m|
|Wing area:||37.19 sq m|
|Cruise speed:||174.05 kts|
|Maximum speed:||270.27 kts|
|Rate of climb:||701.01 m/min|
|Service ceiling:||7,924.40 m|
|Powerplant:||One Wright R-3350-26W89A cyclone
18 cylinder radial of 2,700 hp
|Douglas Skyraider Variants|
|XBT2D-1(AD-1)||Prototype, first flew on 18 March 1945.|
|AD-3||Improved landing gear and new canopy design.|
|AD-3N||Equipped for night attack.|
|AD-3Q||Improved counter-measures equipment.|
|AD-3W||Airborne early warning (AEW) equipment.|
|AD-4 (A-1D)||Single-seat strike aircraft equipped with strengthened landing gear & improved radar.|
|AD-4N (Killer)||Three-seater night attack primary mission.|
|AD-4Q (Hunter)||Three-seater anti-submarine.|
|AD-4W||Three-seater served with Fleet Air Arm as the Skyraider A.E.W.1|
|AD-5 (A-1E)||Wider cockpit with side-by-side seating for co-pilot.|
|AD-5N (A-1G)||Night Attack version.|
|AD-5W (EA-!E)||Airborne early warning (AEW) version.|
|AD-6 (A-1H)||Improved single-seat version used by the French Armee de l' Air in Algeria.|
The Official A-1 Skyraider Site - An excellent & detailed Spad site .
Official Website of the A-1 Skyraider Association - A great page for fans of Able Dog .
A-1 Skyraider Combat Journal - by Lt. Col. Byron Hukee, USAF (Ret).
A mission-by-mission account of the author's year long combat tour in South East
Fly back to Hangar.
This page was edited on Monday, 10 November 2003.