In 1956, the Navy issued a requirement for a low-level, long range and all weather attack aircraft, to take over the medium bomber role from the legendary A-1 Skyraider. The A-6 quickly found itself in combat and proved to be a capable platform.
It gained a reputation for being able to carry large loads deep into North Vietnam at night when no other American aircraft could.
First flown in 1970, the A-6E brought improved radar and nav/system computer systems to improve reliability. The new model was produced with almost half new builds, the rest were made from the conversion of older A-6s, as was the case with this A-6.
The A-6E received continual system improvements over its career to enable it to deliver the latest weapons in the Navy inventory. In the end however, it became a victim of the post-Cold War draw down and wing fatigue problems, and the A-6 was retired in 1997.
|DISPLAY STATUS||COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||CURRENT LOCATION|
|PURPOSE & TYPE||MATERIALS||ERA & DATE RANGE|
1945 – 1975
First Produced: 1970
Number Built: 693 total, 450 E models through conversion or new build
Armament: 18,000 lbs of external ordinance
Wing Area: 528.9 sq ft
Empty Weight: 26,746 lbs
Gross Weight: 60,400 lbs
Powerplant: (2) P&W J52-P-8B
Cruise Speed: 477 mph
Maximum Speed: 793 mph
Range: 2,723 miles
Delivered: December 13, 1968
Dec 1968 – VA-128 NAS Whidbey Island, WA