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Aircraft Reference Articles
Skyraider Details


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Skyraider Details

Photographs and Text by Scott Taylor


The Kalamazoo Air Zoo's Douglas Skyraider, an AD-4NA, is the subject of these photographs. The closeup photos were taken in August 1995, while the photo above was taken at the Hamilton Air Show in the late 1980s. Since this is a restored aircraft, I will not vouch for the accuracy of the colours at all, but hope that the photographs will still reveal useful details to modelers.


A close-up of the front end of the Skyraider. Note the massive propeller boss, as well as details of the crankcase housing. Along the inside of the cowling can be seen two of the cowl doors in the open position; these could be sealed when the aircraft was parked on deck to protect the engine from the elements.


A detailed view of the exhaust area, showing the complex contours around the heavily weathered pipes. Also notice the shape of the open cowl flaps.


A Skyraider's wingfold is relatively simple compared to such aircraft as the A-6 Intruder family or Lockheed's S-3 Viking, and would be a fairly easy conversion for anybody tackling Tamiya's 1/48 AD-6/A-1H. If this aircraft were fitted with guns, then the 20mm cannon breeches would be visible through the holes in the center of the inner wing.


The Skyraider's main gear is also simple, yet hefty. The only visible brake line runs down the aft end of the strut. Note that the wheel hubs are open, not solid cast; this is one of several hub variations seen on the AD family.


One of the few areas in the Tamiya kit that can use significant amounts of extra detail are the wheel wells. This photo shows a little bit of what's going on in there, with a canvas boot visible in the wheel well, sealing up the hole in the inner well. There is lots of wiring and struts in the forward part of the well, where the gear strut's retraction mechanism is. Notice that the gear doors are quite smooth (unilke Tamiya's, no punch marks are visible!).


The Skyraider has a simple but substantial tailwheel assembly, with a solid rubber tire. Note that the tailhook has been removed from this warbird; it would normally be visible just underneath the "NX92034" registration number.