670 mph at Sea Level! - The A-4C is Initially dubbed 'Heinemann's Hot Rod' after chief design engineer Ed Heinemann, the A-4 Skyhawk is one of the best jet aircraft to have served withthe US Navy and Marine Corps. Chosen to replace the A-1 Skyraider, the A-4'ssmall design and light weight gave it the speed and power to exceed the Navy'sspecifications and fight on until today in air forces around the world. The delta wing aircraft houses its avionics in the nose, along with a pair of cannons for dealing with aerial adversaries. The wings hold the fuel tanks, and the Pratt & Whitney turbojet fits snugly in the fuselage. Ordered during the Korean War, the A-4 was delivered to the US Navy VA-72 attack squadron on October 26, 1956. Other squadrons were soon re-equipped as soon as aircraft became available. The Marines began receiving their A-4s in January 1957. By the time of the Vietnam War, all carrier wings had at least two Skyhawk squadrons. The A-4s were soon performing most of the Navy's and Marine Corps' light air attack missions over the jungles and mountains of Vietnam.
The A-4 has been sold to countries around the world and has seen combat with the air forces of Kuwait, Israel and Argentina. Production finally ceased in 1979.
Until recently, both the US Navy and Marine Corps used A-4s for training purposes. Skyhawks are still found serving as frontline units in several smaller countries.
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