Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1403 McDonnell Douglas A-4E Skyhawk John McCain VA-163 Saints

Developed to replace the A-1 Skyraider the A-4 Skyhawk was extremely lightweight maneuverable inexpensive and didn’t need folding wings. One of the upgrades saw 499 A-4E’s built, some received a lighter weight 8,500 lb thrust engine and some late production planes had the 9,300 lb thrust engines as well as an upper fuselage “hump back” avionics pod added. All had one hard point added under each wing, re-designed center fuselage, air intakes, and airframe strengthening with bomb and navigation upgrades. Because of all the missions and tonnage of weapons delivered the A-4 was dubbed “The Workhorse of Vietnam”, this is "The Little Plane That Could". Eight A-4E’s were sold to Royal Australian Navy.

In July 1967 John Sidney McCain III survived a deck explosion and fire on the USS Forrestal that killed 134. He then joined the USS Oriskany VA-163 Saints and in October 1967 his A-4E Skyhawk was shot down over Vietnam. Released after 5 1/2 years in prison John retired in 1981 and was elected a Congressman in 1982 and Senator in 1986. While in the Navy McCain was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Legion of Merit, Purple Heart and the DFC.

A-4E Skyhawk Specifications
1 x Pratt & Whitney J52-P-6A turbojet, 8500 lb. Thrust
Max speed 673 mph at sea level with a clean aircraft 636 mph at sea level with a Mk. 28 nuclear weapon Crusing speed 498 mph Stall speed 139 mph Combat ceiling (clean aircraft) 40,500 feet Runway to 20,000 ft – 4 minutes
Flight distances:
230 miles with a Mk. 28 weapon 680 miles with 2 300-gallon drop tanks Ferry range 2130 miles
Wingspan 27 ft 6 in Length 41ft 4 in Height 15 ft Wing area 260 sq ft
9,624 lb. empty 18,300 lbs. gross 22,950 lbs. maximum
2 x 20 mm cannon with 100 rounds/gun Maximum weapons load 8,200 lbs. carried on 5 pylons - 2 pylons under each wing and 1 center-line pylon