Hobby Master HA1413 USN McDonnell Douglas A-4E Skyhawk Attack Aircraft - Lieutenant Commander Michael J. Estocin, VA-192 "Golden Dragons", USS Ticonderoga (CV-14), April 1967 (1:72 Scale)
"Television brought the brutality of war into the comfort of the living room. Vietnam was lost in the living rooms of America - not on the battlefields of Vietnam."
- Marshal McLuhan
The A-4 Skyhawk is an attack aircraft originally designed to operate from United States Navy aircraft carriers. Fifty years after the type's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 Skyhawks produced remain in service with smaller air arms around the world. The aircraft was formerly the A4D Skyhawk, and was designed by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation, later McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing.
The Skyhawk was designed by Douglas' Ed Heinemann in response to a U.S. Navy call for a jet-powered attack aircraft to replace the A-1 Skyraider. Heinemann opted for a design that would minimize size, weight, and complexity. The result was an aircraft that weighed only half of the Navy's specification and had a wing so compact that it did not need to be folded for carrier stowage. The diminutive Skyhawk soon received the nicknames "Scooter", "Bantam Bomber", "Tinker Toy Bomber", and, on account of its nimble performance, "Heinemann's Hot-Rod."
The Navy issued a contract for the type on June 12th 1952, and the first prototype first flew on June 22nd, 1954. Deliveries to Navy and U.S. Marine Corps squadrons commenced in late 1956.
The Skyhawk remained in production until 1975, with a total of 2,960 aircraft built, including 555 two-seat trainers. The US Navy began removing the aircraft from its front-line squadrons in 1967, with the last retiring in 1975. The Marines would pass on the A-7 Corsair II. The last USMC Skyhawk was delivered in 1979, and were used until the mid-1990s until they were replaced by the similarly small, but V/STOL vertical landing AV-8 Harrier.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of an USN McDonnell Douglas A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft that was piloted by Lieutenant Commander Michael J. Estocin, who was attached to VA-192, then embarked upon the USS Ticonderoga during April 1967.
Wingspan: 4.75 inches
Length: 6.75 inches
Release Date: January 2011
Historical Account: "Long Hull" - USS Ticonderoga (CV/CVA/CVS-14) was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II for the United States Navy. The ship was the fourth US Navy ship to bear the name, and was named for historic Fort Ticonderoga, which played a role in the American Revolutionary War. Ticonderoga was commissioned in May 1944, and served in several campaigns in the Pacific Theater of Operations, earning five battle stars. Decommissioned shortly after the end of the war, she was modernized and recommissioned in the early 1950s as an attack carrier (CVA), and then eventually became an antisubmarine carrier (CVS). She was recommissioned too late to participate in the Korean War, but was very active in the Vietnam War, earning three Navy Unit Commendations, one Meritorious Unit Commendation, and 12 battle stars.
Ticonderoga differed somewhat from the five Essex-class ships with lower hull numbers in that she was 16 ft (4.9 m) longer to accommodate bow-mounted anti-aircraft guns. Most subsequent Essex-class carriers were completed to this "long-hull" design and are considered by some authorities to be a separate class, the Ticonderoga class. Ticonderoga was decommissioned in 1973 and sold for scrap in 1975.