Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1415 NZ6205, No. 75 Sqn., RNZAF, Ohakea AFB, late 1980s

Designed as a lightweight low-cost attack and ground support jet for the US Navy and eventually the USMC to replace the A-1 Skyraider the A-4 Skyhawk was first delivered in late 1956. It weighed less than half the Navy’s requirements and small enough not to need folding wings for carrier operations. The Navy started replacing the A-4 in 1967 with the A-7 Corsair II but production continued until 1979 when the Marines started to replace the A-4 with the Harrier. More than ten other countries flew the A-4.

The Royal New Zealand Air Force No.2 Squadron was formed in 1930. With re-organization in 1937 No.2 Squadron became the Wellington Territorial Squadron. This was the first of many activations and deactivations for the squadron. In December 1984 at Ohakea AFB No.2 Squadron was reactivated and equipped with A-4K Skyhawks. This aircraft was one of the original A-4’s delivered to the RNZAF. In October 2001 this aircraft was piloted by the C/O of No.2 Squadron Sqd Ldr Jason Easthope when it past the 8,000 mark. This made it the first RNZAF A-4 to do so. In December 2001 the remaining A-4’s were removed from service and No.2 Squadron was disbanded.

Specifications for the A-4K Skyhawk
Country of Origin – United States of America
Manufacturer – Douglas Aircraft Company
First Flight – June 22, 1954
Crew – 1
Length – 41 ft 3 in (12.57 m) Wingspan _ 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m) Height – 14 ft 10 in (4.53 m)
Power Plant – 1 X Pratt & Whitney J52-P-8A producing 9,300 lb st thrust Maximum Speed – 730 mph @ sea level (1,167 km/h) Maximum Rate of Climb – 8,440 ft/min (43m/sec) Ceiling – 49,000 ft (14,935 m) Range – 2,025 miles (3,241 km)
Empty – 11,800 lbs (5,352 kg) Maximum – 24,500 lbs (11,113 kg)