Aircraft Designation

AD-1 Skyraider (Douglas )

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A-1 (AD) Skyraider

U.S. Navy A-1H Skyraider from Attack Squadron VA-152 over Vietnam in 1966.
Role Attack aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
First flight 18 March 1945
Introduction 1946
Retired 1985 Gabonese Air Force
Status Phased out of service
Primary users United States Navy
United States Air Force
Royal Navy
South Vietnam Air Force
Produced 19451957
Number built 3,180
Developed into Douglas A2D Skyshark

The Douglas A-1 Skyraider (formerly AD) was an American single-seat attack aircraft that saw service between the late 1940s and early 1980s. It became a piston-powered, propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, and was nicknamed "Spad, after the French World War I fighter. The Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career, even inspiring its straight-winged, slow-flying, jet-powered successor, the A-10 Thunderbolt II.

It was operated by the United States Navy (USN), the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) and the United States Air Force (USAF), and also saw service with the British Royal Navy, the French Air Force, the Air Force of the Republic of Vietnam (VNAF), and others.

 Variants

 

 

The XBT2D-1 in 1945.

A VC-35 AD-1Q in the late 1940s.

VC-33 AD-3Q, AD-4N, and AD-5N in 1955.

AD-4W AEW-aircraft landing on the USS Leyte


A VMA-331 AD-5 in flight.


EA-1F (AD-5Q) ECM-aircraft, BuNo 135010, of CVW-9 in 1966

A VAW-11 AD-5W aboard USS Kearsarge, 1958.



AD-6s from U.S. Navy Attack Squadron 42.

XBT2D-1
Single-seat dive-bomber, torpedo-bomber prototype for the U.S. Navy.
XBT2D-1N
Three-seat night attack prototypes; only three aircraft built.
XBT2D-1P
Photographic reconnaissance prototype; only one built.
XBT2D-1Q
Two-seat electronics countermeasures prototype; one aircraft only.
BT2D-2 (XAD-2)
Upgraded attack aircraft; one prototype only.
AD-1
The first production model; 242 built.
AD-1Q
Two-seat electronic countermeasures version of the AD-1; 35 built.
AD-1U
AD-1 with radar countermeasures and tow target equipment, no armament and no water injection equipment.
XAD-1W
Three-seat airborne early warning prototype. AD-3W prototype; one aircraft only.
AD-2
Improved model, powered by 2,700 hp (2,000 kW) Wright R-3350-26W engine; 156 built.
AD-2D
Unofficial designation for AD-2s used as remote-control aircraft, to collect and gather radioactive material in the air after nuclear tests.
AD-2Q
Two-seat electronics countermeasures version of the AD-2; 21 built.
AD-2QU
AD-2 with radar countermeasures and target towing equipment, no armament and no water injection equipment; one aircraft only.
XAD-2
Similar to XBT2D-1 except engine, increased fuel capacity.
AD-3
Proposed turboprop version, initial designation of A2D Skyshark.
AD-3
Stronger fuselage, improved landing gear, new canopy design; 125 built.
AD-3S
Anti-submarine warfare model; only two prototypes were built.
AD-3N
Three-seat night attack version; 15 built.
AD-3Q
Electronics countermeasures version, countermeasures equipment relocated for better crew comfort; 23 built.
AD-3QU
Target towing aircraft, but most were delivered as the AD-3Q.
AD-3W
Airborne early warning version; 31 built.
XAD-3E
AD-3W modified for ASW with Aeroproducts propellor
AD-4
Strengthened landing gear, improved radar, G-2 compass, anti-G suit provisions, four 20 mm (.79 in) cannon and 14 Aero rocket launchers, capable of carrying up to 50 lb (23 kg) of bombs; 372 built.
AD-4B
Specialized version designed to carry nuclear weapons, also armed with four 20 mm cannon; 165 built plus 28 conversions.
AD-4L
Equipped for winter operations in Korea; 63 conversions.
AD-4N
Three-seat night attack version; 307 built.
AD-4NA
Designation of 100 AD-4Ns without their night-attack equipment, but fitted with four 20 mm (0.79 in) cannon, for service in Korea as ground-attack aircraft.
AD-4NL
version of the AD-4N; 36 conversions.
AD-4Q
Two-seat electronic countermeasures version of the AD-4; 39 built.
AD-4W
Three-seat airborne early warning version; 168 built. A total of 50 AD-4Ws were transferred to the Royal Navy as Skyraider AEW Mk 1.
AD-5 (A-1E)
Side-by-side seating for pilot and co-pilot, without dive brakes; 212 built.
AD-5N (A-1G)
Four-seat night attack version, with radar countermeasures; 239 built.
AD-5Q (EA-1F)
Four-seat electronics countermeasures version; 54 conversions.
AD-5S
One prototype to test Magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) anti-submarine equipment.
AD-5W (EA-1E)
Four-seat airborne early warning version; 218 were built.
UA-1E
Utility version of the AD-5.
AD-6 (A-1H)
Single-seat attack aircraft with three dive brakes, centerline station stressed for 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) of ordnance, 30 in (760 mm) in diameter, combination 14/30 in (360/760 mm) bomb ejector and low/high altitude bomb director; 713 built.
AD-7 (A-1J)
The final production model, powered by a R-3350-26WB engine, with structural improvements to increase wing fatigue life; 72 built.