Douglas A-1E Skyraider

  • Douglas A-1E Skyraider
  • Douglas A-1E Skyraider
  • Douglas A-1E Skyraider

History of the A-1E Skyraider

First manufactured during World War II, A-1Es were used primarily during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. With their capacity to carry a large weapon load, these aircraft provided support to ground forces, attacked enemy supply lines, located and rescued downed aircrews and supported the insertion and extraction of special operations teams inside enemy-held territory along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Production of the aircraft ended in 1967 after 3,180 had been built.

Douglas A-1E Skyraider Blueprint

Douglas A-1E Skyraider

Serial Number: 52-0247

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company

Crew: One

Engines: One Wright R-3350-26W “Cyclone” reciprocating radial piston engine; 2,700 horsepower

Wingspan: 50 feet 1/4 inch

Length: 40 feet

Height: 15 feet 9 5/8 inches

Weight: 24,872 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 240 mph (cruising); 325 mph (maximum)

Range: 1,500 miles

Service Ceiling: 26,200 feet

Armament: Four 20mm cannons; assortment of bombs, rockets, mines, grenades, gun pods and flares

Cost: $414,000

The A-1E Skyraider at Hill Air Force Base

Hill Aerospace Museum acquired the A-1E on display from the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (more widely known as the “Boneyard”) in 2001. It was restored with parts from several other A-1s that served in South Vietnam and painted to resemble the aircraft flown by Major Bernard Francis Fisher from his rescue mission in Vietnam on March 10, 1966, for which he was awarded a Medal of Honor.

What replaced the A-1 Skyraider?

The Skyraider was eventually replaced by the A-6A Intruder as the United States military began its overall shift toward the more modern, jet engine aircraft.

Did a Skyraider shoot down a MiG?

In two separate instances, the A-1 used their onboard cannons to shoot down a single MiG-17 of the Vietnam People’s Air Force.

Why was the Skyraider called “Sandy?”

Due to the Skryaider’s ability to loiter over an area for extended periods, it was perfect for use during Search and Rescue (SAR) missions for downed pilots. One A-1 pilot used the call sign Sandy, which would go on to be used by his replacements, and eventually, any Skyraider involved in SAR missions.

What engine was in the A-1 Skyraider?

The A-1 used an 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine from the Wright Company, capable of producing 2,700 hp.

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