Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1408 McDonnell Douglas A-4 Lady Jessie

Designed to replace the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider the Skyhawk first flew in 1954. Its small size was a radical departure from the normal “Big” thinking of the time. The USN first took delivery in late 1956 with the USMC receiving theirs 3 months later. Over the years many nicknames were used, “Tinker Toy”, “Heinemann’s Hotrod” (the designer was Ed Heinemann), with the E and F models labeled the “Camel” because of the electronics hump along the dorsal. Probably the most well known nickname used for the 2,960 A-4’s that were produced is “Scooter”.

During the 1950’s Dick Perry worked part-time to pay for university and became very special to the husband and wife that employed him. Dick became a USN pilot with the VA-164 “Ghost Riders” so the entire squadron became special to the couple. The lady sent letters of encouragement to Dick and other Ghost Riders when they were in Vietnam. To honor the lady Dick named his aircraft after her. LCDR Richard Perry was killed by a SAM and the VA-164 wanted to continue to honor her so every VA-164 CO aircraft bears the name “Lady Jessie”.

Specifications Douglas Aircraft Corporation A-4F Skyhawk
Type: Carrier based, single-seat attack bomber
Total “F” variant manufactured: 147
Length: 40 ft 1 in (12.22 m) Height: 15 ft 2 in (4.62 m) Wingspan: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m) Wing area: 260 sq. ft (24.15 m 2 )
Empty Weight: 9,853 lbs. (4,469.24 kg) Gross Weight: 16,216 lbs. (7,355.45 kg) Maximum Weight: 24,500 lbs. (11,113.013 kg)
Propulsion Power plant: Single Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408 Thrust-lb.: 11,200 lbs. (5080.2345 kg)
Range: 2,000 miles (3,218.688 km) Max. Speed: 646 mph (1,039.6362 kph) Ceiling: 40,000 ft (1,2192 m)
Armament 5 X hard points capable of carrying a maximum 10,000-lbs. 2 X 20mm cannon in wings with 100 rounds per gun.