A4K's A-4K Thread

Discussion in 'Modern' started by nuuumannn, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Hi,

    As per requests from forum member A4K in far away Hungary, this thread contains images of Royal New Zealand Air Force A-4K and TA-4K Skyhawks I took while based at RNZAF Base Woodbourne. For those of you not familiar with the Kiwi air force A-4 debacle, a little background:

    In December 2001 the RNZAF took the unprecedented step of disbanding its strike force of A-4s and Aermacchi MB-339CB combat trainers. It was hoped, somewhat ambitiously as it turned out that the fleet of aircraft would be sold abroad. This did not happen and earlier this year it was announced that the aircraft would be passed on to museums, as many in NZ predicted. Those not going to museums are due to be scrapped.

    The images I am supplying here are of the A-4s in storage indoors and outside, which took place because the hangar they were kept in was required for upgrades to the RNZAF's fleet of C-130 Hercules. It was believed that with the ambient humidity of the region where Woodbourne is located is very low (it's the largest wine growing region in NZ), the Skyhawks could be stored outdoors. This decision did not take into account the fact that it rains a lot in Marlborough! Because of this there were corrosion issues with instrumentation and ingress of water into the aircraft panels, despite them being sealed with 100 mph tape, was a problem.

    First, a walk around of NZ6215.

    Copy of NZ6215 iii.jpg

    Copy of NZ6215 iiii.jpg

    Copy of NZ6215 iiiii.jpg

    Copy of NZ6215 iiiiii.jpg

    Copy of NZ6215 iiiiiii.jpg

    Copy of NZ6215 iiiiiiii.jpg

    Next, three of the aircraft outside the day after we had spent a weekend taping them up ready to be sprayed with Spraylat.

    Copy of A-4s iii.jpg

    Copy of NZ6217 i.jpg

    Copy of NZ6251 i.jpg

    In the early 1990s, the RNZAF Skyhawks were modified with modern avionics, including APG-66(NZ) radar, a sophisticated nav attack system and HOTAS. How they managed to fit all the equipment into the confines of the nose of the A-4 is one of the Eight Wonders of the Modern World. Two of the instrument panel after the Kahu (Hawk) upgrade.

    Copy of A-4 panel.jpg

    Copy of A-4 HUD.jpg

    The barbed wire compound where the A-4s were contained was jokingly referred to by personnel I worked with as "Guantanamo Bay".

    Copy of A-4s viii.jpg

    Copy of A-4s Viiii.jpg

    ...and finally, one of my favourite aircraft I've worked on.

    Copy of NZ4201 vi.jpg

    :)
     
  2. Capt. Vick

    Capt. Vick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    7,885
    Likes Received:
    637
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Cool and sad at the same time. Does NZ have any attack or fighter aircraft?
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,201
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    You worked P-3s????? I worked for Lockheed 1980 - 90 and was a QA rep. I saw the last 138 aircraft built. Also worked on them in the USNR, some of the same aircraft I built were in my squadron.
     
  4. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Mate, great photos, thanks! ...and some almost tearful memories - I worked in No.4 hangar while at WB (I think that's No.2 in your photos isn't it?).

    I also have photos of Orion NZ4202 in same pose (and place!) as yours. Interesting time capsule - she was still in the old hi-viz scheme then (1991). Also have shots of her in stripped condition for servicing, a future diorama project. If I can get some of the pics scanned, I'll post them. (All my A-4 pics are stilll in NZ unfortunately)

    Many thanks for the thread and info!

    Evan
     
  5. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,676
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    A sad end in my opinion. When the RAN scrapped the carrier, its my understanding our A4Gs and Fs were passed to the NZDF. Was that the case, if so, were these slightly earlier marks of the Skyhawk upgraded as well.

    Pretty long serving aircraft for some of those airframes if they did. We acquired our A4s in '67, some were still flying in 1984 when transferred. I hope they were upgraded.

    I could use a little upgrading myself come to think of it.....
     
  6. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Yep, 10 of our Skyhawks are ex-RAN, 8 A-4G and 2 TA-4G:

    # NZ-6211 (A-4K) BuNo.154903, crashed 16 Feb 01. Former RAN A-4G "882", transferred to RNZAF JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6212 (A-4K) BuNo.154904, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former RAN A-4G "883", transferred JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6213 (A-4K) BuNo.154905, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "884", transferred JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6214 (A-4K) BuNo.154908, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "887", transferred JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6215 (A-4K) BuNo.155052, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "871", transferred JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6216 (A-4K) BuNo.155061, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "875", transferred JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6217 (A-4K) BuNo.155063, rmd from srvc DEC 01. Former A-4G with RAN as "876", transferred JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6218 (A-4K) BuNo.155069, rmd from srvc (damaged) 15 AUG 01. Former RAN A-4G "877", xfd JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6255 (TA-4K) BuNo.154911, rmd from service DEC 01. Former RAN TA-4G "880", transferred JUL 1984.
    # NZ-6256 (TA-4K) BuNo.154912, crashed 20 MAR 01. Former RAN TA-4G "881", transferred JUL 1984 and converted to TA-4K configuration about DEC 1986.
    [Note: When converted from "G" to "K", the top of the tail is squared off during the installation of an "IFF" antenna. Plus a new radio antenna behind the cockpit, and the drag chute module is added under the tail.]

    (Info from this site: Royal New Zealand Air Force | A-4 Skyhawk Association )
     
  7. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    A4K, The walkaround of '6215 was taken in Hangar 4; that's the P-3 tail dock in the background of the front shots. In the fourth shot of the same you can see the Iroquois Group Servicing rig in the background, with an undercarriage skid just under the A-4's nose. The P-3 is NZ4201 at a quarter to seven in the morning the day after she had finished her Group. I miss WB sunrises; I used to cycle from Redwoodtown everyday, rain or shine since we only had one car and my wife worked on the far side of Renwick, so she needed it. We still own a house in Redwoodtown.

    FLYBOYJ, Yep, but not for too long. P-3s are the perro's cojones. I prefer them to the C-130 to work on by a long shot. I'm an airliner spanner turner now; line maintenance on Dash 8s.
     
  8. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Capt Vick; missed you out. Nope, not a sausage. The Vintage Aviator, film director Peter Jackson's reproduction aircraft building concern has a fleet of seven Fokker Triplanes, but that's about the sum of it. ;)

    Prior to their retirement, a squadron of A-4s (2 Sqn) was based at HMAS Albatross at Nowra, south of Sydney in Aussie for air combat training with RAN ships. I think there were only six or so of them. I have photos of RNZAF A-4s at an airshow at RAAF Richmond north of Sydney somewhere, I'll dig them out. When they left the Aussies were naturally none too happy as the Skyhawks provided an excellent training aid. I heard (I wasn't in NZ at the time) that the RNZN had to employ a civilian ex-Singapore Air Force Hawker Hunter to do the same once the A-4s were grounded.
     
  9. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    Parcifal, we all could; trust me... and I'm not that old! :D
     
  10. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,674
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    Great stuff, but a darned shame to see good aircraft mothballed.
     
  11. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    23,201
    Likes Received:
    786
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Maintenance Manager/ Flight Instructor
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Very cool! I know you guys were flying B models for ever. Yes, would rather work P-3s but C-130 squadrons were non-combat units in my world, a lot less stress. I help manage 2 Dash 6s (among other things) these days!

    Back to the scooter!
     
  12. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Actually our p-3Bs have long been Ks Joe, though I 've found books that still refer to them as Bs. (In saying that, I can't tell you what modifications were made, apart from maybe the IR camera under the nose)

    Nuuumannn...actually I did think that was No.4 hangar at first (especially because of the P-3 tail dock), but upon checking the old photos decided against it - it's changed a bit since I was there!
    Now that I think about it, I should have remembered that No.2 also has/ had a dividing wall...
     
  13. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    A4K, yep, 2 Hangar has RNZAF Air Movements at the western end, with the C-130 upgrade in the other half; it used to house the A-4s.

    Here are some more images of Kiwi A-4s illustrating the different colour schemes and markings they wore in their career. The following two wear the three tone 'Lizard' scheme applied once the Australian A-4s had joined the fleet, although most were resprayed at the time of the Kahu upgrade. Note the styles of roundel and fin flash. Between the red and blue there was a small space where white would have been located in high visibility markings. Compare the images with those in my opening post.

    NZ6255 at an airshow at RAAF Richmond, north of Sydney, Australia. It wears the No.2 Sqn badge on its fin. 2 Sqn was based at HMAS Albatross, the Royal Australian Navy base at Nowra for combat training with RAN ships.

    NZ6255001.jpg

    NZ6206 is pictured at RAF Waddington in the UK; I can't remember when, but it's carrying a load of bombs, so exercises were underway. It is also from 2 Sqn.

    NZ6206001.jpg

    The next two images were taken at the RNZAF Museum and show their A-4F on loan from the USA. It has been converted to resemble an early A-4K; NZ6207, which was the first Kiwi Skyhawk lost in an accident. It wears No.75 Sqn badge on its intake. The colour scheme was as the aircraft were delivered to New Zealand.

    Copy of NZ6207 i.jpg

    Copy of NZ6207 iii.jpg

    :)
     
  14. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Great pics mate!

    Very minor point, but was the museum bird an A-4F or -L? Always read it was an A-4L originally.
     
  15. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
    Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2005
    Messages:
    47,651
    Likes Received:
    1,485
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    A retired military Navigator/ATC, FIS controller
    Location:
    Poland
    :thumbright: for both of you. :D
     
  16. nuuumannn

    nuuumannn Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2011
    Messages:
    3,743
    Likes Received:
    439
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Aircraft Engineer
    Location:
    Nelson
    :oops: Looks like I got it wrong. It was originally built as a 'C' model. The following is from a list of the museum's aircraft:

    McDonnell Douglas A-4K Skyhawk c/n 61-0022 BuAer No. 149516 "NZ6207" constructed as A-4C (A4D-2N), on loan from the United States Department of Defense

    Regarding the dispoal of the Kiwi A-4s, here is an up-to-date list of who got what airframe.

    The RNZAF Museum received A-4K NZ6205 and TA-4K NZ6254:

    Copy of NZ6205 i.jpg

    Copy of NZ6254.jpg

    Ashburton Aviation Museum has NZ6201

    Wanaka Transport Museum is getting NZ6202

    MoTAT has NZ6206

    New Zealand Warbirds are getting NZ6209

    Royal Austalian Navy FAA Museum at Nowra are getting either NZ6213 or '6215, both former RAN A-4Gs

    Aviation Heritage Centre at Omaka has NZ6216

    The rest are, I believe being sold to an American firm, so I believe, so they might not be scrapped after all.

    This list is curret as of today, but it might change yet. The places where I've listed as "having" their aircraft have already received them.

    Finally for tonight; here is a fantastic site which details the RNZAF "Golden Skyhawk" that was painted especially for the RNZAF 50th Anniversary in 1987. The site features modelling info for those of you who like a challenge. Enjoy.

    Gold NZ6256.jpg
    RNZAF Official

    RNZAF 50th Anniversary Skyhawk

    :)
     
  17. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    47,674
    Likes Received:
    1,417
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    That gold bird is a beauty ! I can see Evan doing a model of that one !
     
  18. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
    Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Messages:
    20,140
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Engineer
    Location:
    Washington State
  19. CharlesBronson

    CharlesBronson Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2005
    Messages:
    3,822
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Metalurgic Technician
    Location:
    Cordoba - Argentina
    #19 CharlesBronson, Nov 6, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
    Nice topic, I think those bird could still fly with a decent refurbishing, sound like a good option for a country like New Zealand wich has no big defense requeriments/needs.

    Edited to add:

    In that sence is similar to the Argentina A-4ar still in service, comparing the cockpit images the argentine variant seems to have one more lcd display.
     
  20. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2007
    Messages:
    12,162
    Likes Received:
    123
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    The back of beyond
    Beauty photos and info mate, thanks! :D

    Thought about doing the golden bird a long time ago - if I do it will probably be in 1:72. The biggy has to a green bird :)
     
Loading...

Share This Page