AD Skyraider (Family)

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Description

The Douglas AD Skyraider was an American single-seat attack aircraft put into service in 1946. Its main operators were the United States, South Vietnam and France.

Vehicles

Rank IV

Service

Korean War (1950-1953)

World War 2 ended before the AD Skyraider could reach production, but it saw extensive service during the Korean War. The payload and flight time (10 hours) of the AD Skyraider far surpassed the jets of the time, and the first ADs saw action operating from the USS Valley Forge with VA-55 on 3 July 1950. AD Skyraiders executed the only aerial torpedo attack of the war on 1 May 1951, when they attacked the Hwacheon Dam, which was controlled by North Korea at the time. Eight Skyraiders participated in the raid, escorted by twelve F4U Corsairs, and seven torpedoes struck the dam - six of them detonating. The only documented air-to-air kill by an AD Skyraider occurred on 16 June 1953, when a Marine Corps AD-4 piloted by Major George H. Linnemeier and CWO Vernon S. Kramer shot down a Soviet-built Polikarpov Po-2 biplane. The Po-2 was used extensively by North Korean forces in night raids and reconnaissance missions to harass the UN forces. The night fighter versions of the AD Skyraider - the AD-3N and AD-4N Skyraiders - flew night sorties against ground targets, using bombs and flares. These radar-equipped Skyraiders were also used to jam enemy radars whilst operating from carriers and airfields.

The AD Skyraiders that participated in the Korean War were only used by the Navy and Marine Corps. The standard paint scheme was navy blue, and the Skyraider was well known by enemy forces as the "Blue Plane". When used in close air support (CAS) missions close to the ground, Marine Corps Skyraiders suffered heavy losses. In order to remedy this issue, an armor package was devised which could be applied to existing Skyraiders. The package consisted of 6.4-12.7 mm thick aluminum armor plates which were applied to the external surface of the bottom and sides of the fuselage. The package weighed 618 pounds (280 kg), and the affect on performance was minimal. During the Korean War a total of 128 Skyraiders were lost; 101 were lost in combat and 27 were operational losses. The main cause of operational losses was the extremely powerful engine. If when attempting a carrier landing the Skyraider was waved off and too much throttle was applied the aircraft would torque roll into either the carrier deck or the ocean. Because of the high torque of the engine, if the throttle was applied too much and too quickly, then the aircraft would rotate around the propeller - causing it to spin into the sea or carrier deck.

Operators

  • Cambodia
    • Khmer Air Force (KAF)
  • Central African Republic
    • Central African Republic Air Force
  • Chad
    • Chadian Air Force
  • France
    • Armée de L'air
  • Gabon
    • Garde Présidentielle - Presidential Guard
  • South Vietnam
    • Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF)
  • Thailand
    • Royal Thai Air Force
  • Sweden
    • Svensk Flygtjänst AB - Swedair AB
  • United Kingdom
    • Royal Navy
      • Fleet Air Arm (FAA)
  • United States
    • United States Navy (USN)
    • United States Marine Corps (USMC)
    • United States Air Force (USAF)
  • Vietnam
    • Vietnam People's Air Force

Media

Videos


Douglas Aircraft Company
Strike Aircraft  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · AD-2 · AD-4 · A-1H
Bombers  TBD-1 · B-18A · SBD-3 · BTD-1 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
Turboprops  A2D-1
Jet Aircraft  F3D-1
A-4 Skyhawk  A-4B · A-4E Early
Export  ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7 · ▂A-20G-30 · ▄AD-4 · ▄AD-4NA
A-4 Skyhawk  A-4H · A-4E Early (M) · A-4N · A-4E

USA strike aircraft
Douglas  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · A2D-1 · AD-2 · AD-4 · A-1H
North American  A-36 · PBJ-1H · PBJ-1J
Other  AM-1 · AU-1 · XA-38

France twin-engine fighters and strike aircraft
Twin-engine fighters  Potez 630 · Potez 631 · VB.10C-1 · VB.10-02
Strike aircraft  Br.693AB2 · ▄AD-4 · ▄AD-4NA