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Showing results for tags 'a-4 skyhawk'.
Gents, I grew up seeing bright orange/red and white airplanes out in the 1950s-1960s high desert of Southern California, and with this Skyhawk build I'd like to tap into those vague but absolutely fantastic memories. So I'm wading into the fray here with a California-based A4D-1 Skyhawk, either a Weekend Warrior with the US Navy reserves circa 1960 at NAS Los Alamitos, or one that served as a weapons test aircraft with the US Navy and US Marines out in the high desert of Naval Air Facility (NAF) China Lake and over water with the Pacific Missile Test Center (PMTC) at Point Mugu. So, I'll need to modify the PSSA A-4E/F Mass Build design just a bit to represent an earlier Skyhawk, the A4D-1, a designation that was later changed to the A-4A. These Skyhawks are identifiable by their shorter nose, no refueling probe, and lack of external stiffeners for the rudder. The next development, the A4D-2 (later designated A-4B), incorporated a refueling probe and the rudder stiffeners. Next came the A4DN-2 (later designated A-4C), which brought a longer nose that housed advanced avionics. Next came the A-4E and F variants with the more familiar Skyhawk shape we see in Matt and Phil's PSSA design. Unfortunately the photo here of a PMTC A4DN-2 and A4D-1 at sea off Point Mugu is lo-res, but compare the two nose shapes in that photo and you see the most prominent difference between the two marques, as well as general colour & markings for reserve and test aircraft in California during that era. The AD4N-2 is in the foreground, and behind her is an A4D-1. And I just had to include the early 1960s photo of an Point Mugu A4D-2 (A-4B) because of her fabulous AQM-37 target drones. That's a lot of aero-enthusiast mojo right there!