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American WWII's aircraft


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
Primary function Attack aircraft, dive-bomber
Power plant One Wright R-3350-26WA engine
Thrust 2,700 HP 2,013 kW
Wingspan 50 ft 15.25 m
Length 38.85 ft 11.84 m
Height 15.7 ft 4.78 m
Wingarea 400.3 sq ft 37.193 sq m
Weight empty 11,970 lb 5,429 kg
max. 25,000 lb 11,340 kg
Speed max. 322 mph 518 km/h
cruising 240 mph 386 km/h
Ceiling 28,500 ft 8,685 m
Range 1,315 miles 2,116 km
Armament 4x 20mm cannon, up to 3,630 kg external weapons
Crew One
First flight March 18, 1945
Date deployed 1945
Cost $414,000
Number built 3,180

Jirka Wagner


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