Quick Facts

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

Heinemann's Hot Rod

Era: Jet Age

Donated by Bob Lutz
Location: Flight Innovation Center

Did You Know?

  • Skyhawks were the U.S. Navy's primary light bomber used over North Vietnam during the early years of the Vietnam War.
  • It is probably best known for the many years it was the jet of choice for the Blue Angels or because it was the attack aircraft being flown by John McCain when he was shot down by ground fire over North Vietnam.
  • The lightweight, high-speed bombers were affectionately nicknamed "Heinemann's Hot Rod" after Douglas designer Ed Heinemann. It also held the nicknames "Bantam Bombers," "Mighty Mite," and "Scooter."
  • Armed with two 20-millimeter cannons in the wing roots, the Skyhawk was capable of holding mission-specific weaponry with an ordinance of 5,000 pounds.
  • Douglas built 2,960 Skyhawks between 1954 and 1979.
  • The A-4 Skyhawk proved its worth time and again with decades of service to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, which both put the aircraft through rigorous pacing.
  • The Navy's Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron flew the A-4 Skyhawk II from 1974 to 1986.