Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA1422 Douglas A-4H Skyhawk No 03, "HAIT" Valley Sqn, Yom Kippur War, 1970

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”.

The first 4 of 48 Skyhawks arrived in Israel by ship on December 19, 1967 and were assigned to the 109th Valley Squadron. On January 1, 1968 the first flight of the IDF A-4H Ayit (bird of prey, eagle) took place using A-4H BuNo. 155244 #03. This was followed by the first A-4H operational sortie on February 15, 1968. From March 1969 to August 1970 Israel was part of the “War of Attrition” with Egypt and occasionally other neighboring countries. On May 15, 1970 while flying #03 A-4H Col. Dotan (Mr. Skyhawk) destroyed two Syrian Mig-17’s over Lebanon using Zuni rockets and 20 mm cannons. On October 18, 1973 #03 was shot down by an Egyptian SAM and the pilot, Jacob Kubik was successfully recovered. Eventually Israel would be the largest export customer for the Skyhawk with 278 of several variants.

Specifications McDonnell Douglas A-4C
Crew – 1 Pilot
Length – 40ft 3in Wingspan – 27ft 6in Height – 14ft 11in
Empty – 10,450 lbs Loaded – 18,300 lbs Gross – 24,500 lbs
Powerplant – 1 x Wright J-65-W-20 non-afterburning turbojet, 8,200 lbs. of thrust Maximum Speed – 673 mph Combat Radius – 1,000 miles Ferry Range – 2,130 miles Service Ceiling – 42,250 ft Maximum Rate of Climb – 8,440 ft/min