Douglas AD (A-1) Skyraider

During World War II the Navy began looking for a new dive-bomber torpedo aircraft to meet its changing tactical and operational requirements. Several planes, among them the AD's direct predecessor, the SB2D/BTD, were developed by the Bureau of Aeronautics. Design difficulties and over-weight problems, however, ultimately led to a decision not to produce the SB2D/BTD. This in turn led to a new design which incorporated the good features of the SB2D/BTD while overcoming its inherent difficulties.

The AD series (later redesignated A-1) that emerged from the combined efforts of the Bureau of Aeronautics and Douglas, who was the contractor, had two particularly significant design aspects. First, great emphasis was placed on the importance of the stringent weight control policy. Secondly, the standard bulky, heavy bomb displacing gear was replaced by a light, explosive device which literally blew the bomb clear. In comparison with the most advanced operational dive-bombers in 1945, the AD's initial design compared most favorably with a 27 percent greater top speed and a capability of carrying up to 4,000 pounds of either bombs or torpedoes.

First contract 6 Jul 1944
First flight 18 Mar 1945
First reported in squadron 6 Dec 1946
Last delivery Mar 1957
Last reported in squadron 31 Dec 1971
Number accepted 3,180

Model Designations Accepted from the Manufacturer (New Builds)

Only one model will list the technical specifications for the aircraft. All the other models will only identify the specific changes resulting in a new model designation.

Other Designations

Skyraider Line Drawing

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