A1 skyraider

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Jun 27, 2007
The A1 Skyraider was an Interesting plane and one of the last single prop U.S. millitary aircraft. It had many advantages and disadvantages. I like the skyrader personally, but do you think it was good or crap?
It was a great aircraft, there are many threads on here covering its history. As far as the last single engine "prop" aircraft - incorrect. Maybe the last single engine recip aircraft.?!? Even that's incorrect because the USAF still operates T-41s and the military version of the Cessna 150 - the T-51. The Texan T-6 II is a single engine "prop" aircraft.

The Skyraider was never intended to dogfight. It was built as an attack aircraft, hence the "A" designation. Only certain models had those huge speed brakes. They are not dive brakes, they are speed brakes (ask Skyraider Bob, he knows. ).
Grunts loved the "Spad" in Viet Nam. Could carry lots of ordnance and linger forever. A great attack aircraft.
One of the most befitting tributes paid to the Skyraider appeared in an article of the Virginian-Pilot on June 22, 1967, by Robert C. Miller:


The Fischer and Myers famous 'rescue' of 1966 will also immortalise the Skyraider.
I never said the AD was intended to be a dogfighter. Even I am not that stupid. I quote Ralph Linnekin in "Eighty Knots to Mach 2" At this time he was flying Bearcats. " For single engine aircraft, those AD-2s were large.....they were also light and surprisingly agile."" One sunny afternoon I was leading the second division of a flight of F8F-1Bs. The sky was suddenly filled with big blue airplanes....eight shiny new Skyraiders were swarming all over us." After the shock of that surprise attack, a melee ensued. I accelerated after an airplane that had just made a SUCCESSFUL run on me. I was closing nicely, almost in gunsight tracking range, when he pulled a hard turn--just what he was supposed to do. I followed suit, confident as always that my trusty Bearcat could out turn anything in the sky." "Then I saw a glimmer of red, followed by a lot of red, and found myself looking at the plan view of a big airplane that seemed to have come to a complete stop in midair. Closing like hell, all I could do was to level my wings and fly over him;collision avoidance was paramount. I badly overshot my intended target. Once past him, I rolled into a steep bank and pulled nearly 8 gs(limit load in the Bearcat) too late! Over the radio I heard rat tat tat, you're dead. My opponent had reversed his turn and slid on to my tail in a classic 6 o clock firing position." " What had made the difference in the maneuver was the huge barn door like DIVE BRAKES on the sides and bottom of the aft fuselage of the AD." The undersides of the dive brakes were painted red in those days apparently. I don't think the A4 was designed to be a dogfighter either but under certain circumstance it could be a tough opponent.
I read somewhere, can't for my life remember where, about a radio communication between Marines I think in Korea and a Skyraider. When the Spad pilot had finished telling what they've loaded up, the guy in the other end asked.."what the hell are you, destroyers?!"
Sorry, but I will take the word of a Skyraider pilot over the word of a Bearcat pilot. Skyraider Bob himself told me that they were NOT dive brakes, they were speed brakes.

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