Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1412 A-4M Skyhawk VMA-311 "Tomcats", 1981

Designed by McDonnell-Douglas the A-4 Skyhawk was meant to replace the AD Skyraider and met all the requirements of the US Navy and exceeded many. It was half the maximum weight, could carry four times the weapon load and small enough that it didn’t need folding wings for carrier duty. This small aircraft would earn many nicknames “Heinemann’s Hot Rod” "Scooter", "Bantam Bomber", "Tinker Toy Bomber". The A-4 was replaced in the mid 1980s by the AV-8 Harrier II.

First formed in 1942 as VMF-311 and in 1958 renamed VMA-311 Tomcats with a tail designator WL and a patch with Sylvester the Pussycat riding a missile. In 1971 the A-4M variant was being delivered to the USMC and one of the initial 49 A-4Ms built was BuNo. 158194. VMA-311 received this aircraft on May 31 1978 where it remained until put in storage in July 1989. In October 2003 it was moved to the Goldwater Range and used as a target.

A-4M specifications
Engine (1) 11,200-pound thrust Pratt & Whitney J52-P-408A turbojet
Empty - 10,465 lbs. Max Takeoff - 24,500 lbs.
Wing Span: 27ft. 6in. Length: 40ft. 3.75in. Height: 15ft. 0in.
Maximum Speed at Sea Level: 670 mph Range: 340 miles with 4,000-pound bomb load
(2) 20-mm cannon Up to 9,155 pounds of weapons on five external hard-points