Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1402 A-4B "Gladiator" VA-106 Cdr. L. W. Baldwin USS Essex, late 60's

The first US Navy A-4 Skyhawk entered service in the mid of 1950s to replace the A-1 Skyraider . VA-106 started as Strike-Fighter Squadron ONE ZERO SIX in January 1945 but became VA-106 “The Gladiators” in 1955. A total of 542 A-4B Skyhawks were manufactured, many of which were later modified and/or refurbished and sold to foreign countries. The Skyhawk flew more missions than any other US Navy plane during the Vietnam War and because it was so nimble it was chosen by the US Navy aerobatic team the “Blue Angels”.

The Skyhawk was extensively used during the Cold War period and the Vietnam War by the Navy and the Marines. Because of its small size and powerful performance, the A-4 was also known as the “Heinnemann's Hot Rod”. A total of 2, 960 of Skyhawk were built and many of them were exported to other countries.

Specifications
Wing Span : 27 ft 6 in Length : 39 ft 5 in Height : 15 ft
Weight : 20,000 lbs (loaded)
Maximum Speed : 664 mph
Service Ceiling : 20,100 ft
Range : 1,160 miles
Engines : 1 Wright J65-W-20 turbojet, 8,400 lbs thrust
Crew : 1