Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
Technical Data

This page is dedicated to
Mr. Robert O. Rahn

Please read about him below.

(Republic of Singapore Air Force A-4SU Cutaway Diagram courtesy of Peter Lau)

Original R.G. Smith A-4 Blueprint

A-4A/B = 38'5"
A-4C/L = 39' 2"
A-4E/F/M = 41' 3" (nose to tail)
TA-4F/J = 42' 7"

Wing span: All = 27' 6"

Height: All = 14' 11"

Main Landing Gear width: All = 7' 9.5"

Empty / Max. Takeoff Weight in lbs.:
A-4A = 8,400 / 20,000
A-4B = 9,146 / 22,500
A-4C/L = 9,728 / 22,500
A-4E = 9,853 / 24,500
A-4F = 10,448 / 24,500
A-4K = 10,000 / 24,500
A-4M = 10,465 / 24,500
TA-4F = 10,602 / 24,500

Nose Wheel Steering:
A-4A/B/C/E/L/P/Q = No, All others = Yes

Drag Chute:
A-4H/K/M/N, TA-4H/K = Yes, All others = No

Engines (Manufacturer / Static Thrust)
A-4A/B/most C = Curtiss-Wright J65-W-16A / 7,700lbs.
A-4E = Pratt & Whitney J52-P6A / 8,500lbs.
A-4L/P/Q/PTM/S, some B/C =
Curtiss-Wright J65-W-20 / 8,400lbs.
A-4F/G/H/K, some E =
Pratt & Whitney J52-P8A/8B / 9,300lbs.
A-4SU = General Electric F404-100D / 10,800lbs.
A-4M/N, some F = Pratt & Whitney J52-P408 / 11,200lbs.
TA-4E/F/G/H = Pratt & Whitny J52-P8A/8B / 9,300lbs.
TA-4J = Pratt & Whitney J52-P6A / 8,500lbs.
TA-4KU = Pratt & Whitney J52-P408 / 11,200lbs.
JATO (A-4B with "ASC 172" and later)
4500lbs thrust each for 5sec.

Maximum Level Speed (mph)
A-4A = 664
A-4B = 661
A-4C/L = 649
A-4E/F/M = 673
TA-4F = 675
A4D-1 BuNo 137820, flown by U.S. Navy LT Gordon Gray, set a 500-kilometer closed course world speed record of 695.163 MPH on 15OCT1955, at Edwards Air Force Base, CA.
The Skyhawk can exceed the speed of sound in a dive, but it is not a recommended activity.

Internal Fuel Load(Useable)
Fuselage: A-4A/B/C/E/F = 240gal (gravity filled)
A-4B/C/E/F = 230gal ( if pressure filled)
TA-4F/J = 100gal
Internal Wing: A-4A/B/C/E/F, TA-4F/J = 570gal (gravity filled)
A-4B/C/E/F, TA-4F/J = 560gal (if pressure filled)

External Plyons:
Centerline Aero 7A (suspension= 14 and 30in)
Centerline w LB-18A Camera POD
Wings Aero 20A (suspension= 14in)

Maximum External Load Capacities:
Fuselage Centerline Station (all models) = 3,500 lbs
2 Inboard Wing Stations (all models) = 2,200 lbs (ea.)
2 Outboard Wing Stations (all except A/B/C/P/Q) = 1,000 lbs (ea.)

External Fuel Tanks: (Usable)
150gal Aero 1C Drop Tank - 147gal
300gal Aero 1D Drop Tank - 295gal
Air Refueling Store
Centerline 400gal Drop Tank - 396gal
[figures are for JP-5 = 6.8lb/gal.]

External Baggage Container CNU-188/A
(Bobtail or Two Fin models - 27in diameter)

More U.S. Model Specifications

A-4L Throttle

Baseline Models (below) / Model Varients

If You Aint Ordnance You Aint ----!

Integral Armament:
A-4M = Two 20mm (400 rounds)
A-4N, some A-4H = Two 30mm cannon (300 rounds)
All others = Two 20mm (200 rounds)

Weapons Systems (Mfg.-Installed Provisions):
Special Weapons = A-4A/B/C/E/F/L/M, TA-4F
Sidewinder = A-4C/F/G/H/K/L/N/P/Q, TA-4G/H
Bullpup = A-4B/C/E/F/G/K/L/M/N, TA-4F/G/K
GCBS = A-4B/C/E/F/L, TA-4F
Shrike = A-4C/E/F/K/L/M/N, TA-4F/J/K
Walleye = A-4E/F/L/M/N, TA-4F

Ordanance Racks:
MCB (Multiple Carriage Bomb Rack)
MBR (Douglas Multiple Bomb Rack)
MER (Mutltiple Ejector Rack)
TER (Triple Ejector Rack)

Special Weapons:
B61-2/5 Tactical

Smart Weapons:
AGM-12 Bullpup, AGM-65 Maverick
AIM9 Sidwinder, AGM-45 Shrike
AGM-62 Walleye (TV Guided-Glide)

Dumb Weapons:
2K, 1K, 750, 500, 250lb free fall and retarded bombs
BLU-Series Napalm
CBU-Series Cluster
LAU-Series Rocket Pods (2.75 and 5inch)
Gun Pods
Aero 14B Spray Tank
Aero 5A Practice Bomb

Special Weapons Weapons Rack Closeup
A-4C Weapons Load A-4E Weapons Load
Typical Marine Ord Load USMC A-4E Ord Chart
TA-4F Ord Load RAN A-4G Sidewinders
Mark 82 500lb Bomb Fuse Rockeye Cluster Bombs

This Skyhawk webpage is dedicated to
Douglas Test Pilot Robert O. Rahn,
the first pilot to fly the A-4 Skyhawk, the Ferrari of airplanes.

Test pilot Bob Rahn is pictured in the first A-4, XA4D-1 BuNo. 137812 shortly after the first Skyhawk flight.
June 22, 1954.
(Harry Gann photo)

  • Robert O. Rahn, first pilot to fly the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, passed away at age 77 on Thursday, May 21, 1998, a victim of ALS (Lou Gehrig disease).

  • Around the Douglas Aircraft Company flight test department, Bob had the reputation as being "a cool and thorough pilot."  There were several instances in the flight test programs of the AD Skyraider, the F4D Skyray, and the A4D Skyhawk where his unflappable demeanor during test flight emergencies literally saved the programs.  Bob also participated in the F3D Skyknight and F5D Skylancer flight test programs.

  • Born in Harvey, Illinois, on December 29, 1920, Bob attended the University of Cincinnati, intending to earn a degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  While there, he learned to fly in the Civilian Pilot Training Program and, in early 1941, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and entered flight training.  After graduating, he became a member of the first United States fighter group to deploy to England, where he flew the Spitfire with the 309 Fighter Squadron.

  • After completing his overseas tour, Rahn returned to the U.S. and wrangled an assignment to Wright Field to attend the United States Air Force Test Pilots School.  With World War II all but over, in August 1945 Bob accepted employment as a test pilot at Douglas Aircraft Company, where he subsequently made first flights in 18 different aircraft between 1946 and 1956. In 1957 he joined the Rockwell Company as an Apollo Space Capsule simulator research pilot.  Rahn retired from the aircraft industry in 1984 to devote much of his time to skiing and flying his Navion aircraft in speed enhancement and point to point flight competition with other Navion owners.

  • Among the group of World War II pilots who bridged the gap between the "seat-of-the-pants" pilots and the engineer-scientist aviators that now conduct aircraft flight tests, Bob Rahn accumulated many honors in his flying career.  He was inducted into the Navy Test Pilots Hall of Honor, set a world speed record in the Douglas F4D Skyray, served as a founding member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, was a charter member of the Aviation Hall of Fame, and an original member of the Skyhawk Association.

  • Bob Rahn was characterized as "a pilot who knew what was going on, able to tell the engineers what the problems were in their own terms." Home Page