The Douglas Ad Skyraider at the Indianapolis Airshow 2006
2 Skyraiders fly during the Aviation Nation Airshow in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Douglas A-1 (formerly AD) Skyraider was a U.S. single-seat attack bomber of the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s. A propeller-driven anachronism in the jet age, the Skyraider had a remarkably long and successful career well into the space age, and inspired a straight-winged, slow flying jet powered successor which is still in frontline service today. It carried various nicknames including: "Spad" (a bi-winged airplane flown in World War I), "Able Dog" (phonetic AD), the "Destroyer," "Hobo" (radio call sign of the USAF 1st Air Commando/Special operations Squadron), "Firefly" (602nd ACS/SOS), "Zorro" (22nd SOS), "The Big Gun," "Old Faithful," "Old Miscellaneous," "Fat Face" (AD-5/A-1E version, side-by-side seating), "Guppy" (AD-5W version), "Q-Bird" (AD-1Q/AD-5Q versions), "Flying Dumptruck" (A-1E), "Sandy" (Combat Search And Rescue helicopter escort) and "Crazy Water Buffalo" (South Vietnamese nickname). The A-1 was originally designed to meet World War II requirements for a Carrier-based, single-place, long-range, high performance dive-/torpedo bomber. Designed by Ed Heinmann of the Douglas Aircraft Company, the Skyraider was ordered in July 1944 as the XBT2D-1. In April 1945, one month after its first flight on 18 March 1945, it was evaluated at the Naval Air Test Center (NATC). In December 1946, after a designation change to AD-1, delivery of the first production aircraft to a fleet squadron was made to VA-19A. (Wikipedia)
The Douglas A-26 Invader
The Douglas A-26 Invader in flight.
Listen the sounds of the mighty Douglas A-26 Invader in this video of an engine start up cycle on an Invader in Thermal, California in 2006.
From the Television series, "Great Planes" The story of the Douglas A-26 Invader Part 1
From the Television series, "Great Planes" The story of the Douglas A-26 Invader Part 2
From the Television series, "Great Planes" The story of the Douglas A-26 Invader Part 3
From the Television series, "Great Planes" The story of the Douglas A-26 Invader Part 4
From the Television series, "Great Planes" The story of the Douglas A-26 Invader Part 5
From the Television series, "Great Planes" The story of the Douglas A-26 Invader Part 6
First flown in 1942, the American Douglas A-26 Invader (from 1948, the B-26, although the designation A-26 was also in use again from 1965) was a twin-engined light attack bomber aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Co. during World War II and seeing service during the Cold War's major conflicts. A limited number of highly modified aircraft served in combat until 1969. The last B-26 was retired from service in 1972 by the National Guard Bureau and donated to the National Air and Space Museum. The A-26 was an unusual design for an attack bomber of that period, as it was designed as a single pilot airplane. The traditional copilot's seat did not have flight controls, instead, a crew member who served as a navigator and bombardier sat in that position. A gunner operated the defensive armament of remotely-controlled dorsal and ventral turrets. In the "C" model, the navigator also loaded the nose armament. The Douglas XA-26 prototype (41-19504) first flew 10 July 1942 with famed test pilot Benny Howard at the controls. Flight tests revealed excellent performance and handling, but there were some problems with engine cooling which led to cowling changes and the removal of the propeller spinners on production aircraft as well as a modification of the nose gear after repeated collapses in testing. The prototype's "flat-topped" canopy was later changed to a clamshell type with greatly improved visibility. The A-26 was originally built in two different configurations: the A-26B had a solid nose, which normally housed six or eight .50 caliber Machine guns, while the A-26C?s glass nose contained a Norden bombsight and was used for medium altitude precision bombing. Some aircraft were armed with additional guns in their wings, giving some configurations as many as fourteen .50 caliber machine guns fixed forward. (Wikipedia)