Douglas A-1 Skyraider
During World War II the Navy began looking for a new dive-bomber torpedo aircraft to
meet its changing tactical and operational requirements. Several planes, among them the
AD's direct predecessor, the SB2D/BTD
, were developed by
the Bureau of Aeronautics. Design difficulties and over-weight problems, however,
ultimately led to a decision not to produce the SB2D/BTD
This in turn led to a new design which incorporated the good features of the SB2D/BTD
while overcoming its inherent difficulties.
The AD series (later redesignated A-1) that emerged from the combined efforts of the
Bureau of Aeronautics and Douglas, who was the contractor, had two particularly
significant design aspects. First, great emphasis was placed on the importance of the
stringent weight control policy. Secondly, the standard bulky, heavy bomb displacing gear
was replaced by a light, explosive device which literally blew the bomb clear. In
comparison with the most advanced operational dive-bombers in 1945, the AD's initial
design compared most favorably with a 27 percent greater top speed and a capability of
carrying up to 4,000 pounds of either bombs or torpedoes.
For the next 12 years there was constant improvement in the airplane up through the
AD-7, and 3,180 Skyraiders were delivered to the Navy, many of which were used during the
Korean Conflict and Vietnam War also.
|General characteristics A-1H
||Attack aircraft, dive-bomber
||One Wright R-3350-26WA engine
||400.3 sq ft
||37.193 sq m
||4x 20mm cannon, up to 3,630 kg external weapons
||March 18, 1945
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Last updated 01.01.2017