The A-4 is the lightest and smallest jet fighter built by the United States. The single engined, single-seated attack jet served with distinction as both a land and carrier based attack aircraft. In an attempt to reverse the trend toward larger and more expensive aircraft, the A-4 was intended to be the jet powered successor to Ed Heinemann’s AD Skyraider design. Initially designed as a simple attack aircraft, the A-4 was continually upgraded and was able to utilize the latest ground attack weapons.

After more than 22 years of production over 2,900 A-4s were built. This A-4 last served with VF-45, one of the US Navy’s air combat training units. Unlike “Topgun,” which took a few pilots from each squadron, units like VF-45 taught entire squadrons how to fight. The A-4s were stripped of unnecessary equipment, painted to simulate adversary aircraft and flown by pilots that specialized in dogfighting. They were trained in possible adversaries tactics and flew aircraft well suited to simulate many early MiGs flight characteristics.

DISPLAY STATUS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN CURRENT LOCATION
Own United States  Restoration
PURPOSE & TYPE MATERIALS ERA & DATE RANGE
Fighter  Steel Early Jets
1945 – 1975
PRODUCTION &
ACQUISITION
SPECIFICATIONS SERVICE HISTORY
MFG: Douglas
First Produced: 1961
Number Built: 2,960 total; 500 E models
Armament: (2) MK 12 20 mm canon, up to 8,200 lbs of external ordnance

Wingspan: 27’6”
Wing Area: 260 sq ft
Length: 42’11”
Height: 15’
Empty Weight: 9,853 lbs
Gross Weight: 24,500 lbs
Powerplant: (1) P&W J52-P-6A
Thrust: 
Cruise Speed: 498 mph
Maximum Speed: 673 mph
Range: 1,160 miles
Delivered: January 31, 1964 Stricken: 1994

September 1965 – VMA-331 Greece, Beaufort and Roosevelt
April 1966 – VMA-332 MCAS Cherry Point, NC
Oct 1966 – VA-93 ABD USS Hancock
May 1967 – VA-93 ABD USS Bon Homme Richard
Oct 1967 – VMA-331 deploy to Chu Lai, RVN, MCAS Iwakuni, Japan and Bien Hoa, RVN
Aug 1974 – FS FAWPRA, Atsugi, Tripoli and Cubi Point
Aug 1975 – MARTD NAS Willow Grove, PA and NAS Pensacola, FL
April 1979 – HMS-49 DT NAS Willow Grove, PA
Sept 1984 – MAG-49 DT NAS Willow Grove, PA
July 1987 – VF-45 NAS Key West, FL
Feb 1990 – NAS Pensacola, FL, May 1990 NAS Key West, FL
June 1994 – Davis-Monthan AFB, Tuscon, AZ