Douglas TA-4J 'Skyhawk'

Notes: TA-4F equipped for shrike, bullpup, buddy store refueling, AN/APG-53 radar doppler, and an/asn/41 navigation computer. Primarily configured for advanced training command.
  Base model:A-4
  Designation System:U.S. Tri-Service
  Designation Period:1962-Present
  Basic role:Attack
  Modified Mission:Trainer
  See Also:

  Length: 42' 7" 12.9 m
  Height:15' 3" 4.6 m
  Wingspan: 27' 6" 8.3 m
  Wingarea: 260.0 sq ft 24.1 sq m
  Empty Weight: 10,602 lb 4,808 kg
  Gross Weight: 15,783 lb 7,157 kg
  Max Weight: 24,500 lb 11,111 kg

  No. of Engines: 1
  Powerplant: Pratt & Whitney J52-P-6
  Thrust (each): 8,500 lb 3,854 kg

  Range: 1,350 miles 2,173 km
  Max Speed: 660 mph 1,062 km/h 574 kt
  Ceiling: 38,700 ft 11,795 m

Operators (Past and Present)
USMC MALS-32 MCAS Cherry Point NC
USMC MALS-42 Alameda CA
USMC MALS-49 NAS Willow Grove PA
USN VC-1 NAS Barbers Point HI
USN VC-5 NAS Cubi Point Philippines
USN VC-8 Roosevelt Roads PR
USN VC-10 Guantanamo Bay Cuba
USN VF-43 Oceana VA
USN VF-45 det Cecil Field FL
USN VF-45 det Key West FL
USN VF-126 Miramar CA
USN VFA-127 Lemoore CA
USN VFC-12 Oceana VA
USMC VMA-124 Memphis TN
USN VT-4 Pensacola FL
USN VT-7 Meridian MS
USN VT-21 Kingsville TX
USN VT-22 Kingsville TX
USN VX-5 China Lake CA

Known serial numbers
155070 / 155119, 156891 / 156950, 158073 / 158147, 158453 / 158527, 158712 / 158723, 159099 / 159104 , 159546 / 159556 , 159795 / 159798

Examples of this type may be found at
MCAS El Toro Historical FoundationIrvineCalifornia
NAS Ft. Worth Joint Reserve BaseFt. WorthTexas
NAS MeridianMeridianMississippi
National Museum of Naval AviationNAS PensacolaFlorida
Texas Air MuseumSlatonTexas
USS Lexington Museum On The BayCorpus ChristiTexas
Western Aerospace MuseumOaklandCalifornia

TA-4J on display

National Museum of Naval Aviation

Western Aerospace Museum


Recent comments by our visitors
 Buenos Aires, OTH
please, can anybody tell me if the original TA-4J was unarmed? even without cannons and weapons capability? I'm talking about factory TA-4J's, not modified airplanes of another version. And... just another question :D is the OA-4M a modification of the TA-4J? thankyou!!! greetings from Argentina, and please excuse my horrible english-speech
06/18/2015 @ 08:47 [ref: 69132]
 , OTH
I had always thought the TA-4J was unarmed.
A member has pointed out that my 40 yr-old photo of 158456 of VF-126 at Miramar, shows a wing-root cannon/machine-gun.
It\'s the only \'armed\' photo I have of TA-4s
Was this one unique?
Was re-fitting guns simple?
05/29/2014 @ 09:51 [ref: 68489]
 Seattle, WA
In answer to the question from Mike Morrison, to start the TA-4J you needed an electrical cart and Huffer. When hooked up to both and ready to start, you would show the ground crew 1 finger to connect electrical power, 2 fingers to send the air from the huffer to the airplane, 3 fingers to cut-off the huffer air and 4 fingers to disconnect electrical power. After that, the airplane is independent. Just starting the thing kept a lot of people employed and really limited the places you could go on cross countries. I was an instructor during the transition from the A-4 to the T-45. The T-45 was a self starter and was the first carrier jet to have an ILS (CILS and Bullseye don't count). I miss the A-4 and still think it's one of the prettiest airplanes there was. Maybe the Blue Angels couldn't do a dirty loop in them, but formations just looked so much tighter when they flew that tiny delta wing aircraft.

Ted Johnson

05/01/2013 @ 10:28 [ref: 67781]
 Don Owen
 Kewanee, IL
In 1960-1974 is was stationed at VT-24 @ NAS CHASE FIELD IN Beeville, TX We flew TA-4J's. But I notice that the the Squadron was't listed?
10/07/2012 @ 03:43 [ref: 67288]
 Chatsworth, CA
I flew the A-4F in the fleet and was a flight instructor at VT-7 in Meridian, but I left just before the TA-4J arrived.

Can one of you who was there tell me if it had a self-starter or if it still needed a huffer? If so, was it a conventional electric starter or a charge of some kind? Did you use it?


LCDR Mike Morrison, USN, retired
08/07/2012 @ 10:19 [ref: 65084]
 John Steinwinder
 Brookhaven, MS
I can answer that for you Phil. I was a Aviation Ordnanceman. I was the person that would load the fuel tank onto the A4-E bomb racks. As far as dropping the fuel tanks, it was the same procedure as dropping a bomb. The pilot would just select the bomb rack station the fuel tank(s) were located then just just press the bomb release button on the flight control stick.

Sorry, no photos were allowed of the cockpit during 1968 - 1972.

Hope this helps.
John Steinwinder
09/26/2011 @ 06:29 [ref: 49250]
 t. hoffman
 , TX
Was stationed at NAAS Kingsville Tx. from 1969 until 1974,was there during the transition from the old F9 aircraft to the TA4J.Was aTD both instructor and maintenance man on theDevice2F90, TA4J simulator there in Kingsville.Was allowed to be checked out on seat trainer,LPC etc and bagged many back-seat hours with my former division officer.Am currently working at NASA corpus Christi, and watching the ultimate demise of the Beechcraft T34 A,B andC models.
11/03/2010 @ 11:09 [ref: 32966]
 Phil Lange
 Topeka, KS
I have a question.

What is the procedure for dropping the fuel tanks?

Does anyone have a good cockpit photo that would help illustrat the location of the control functions that accomplish drop?

Phil Lange

03/27/2009 @ 09:52 [ref: 24029]
 Adam Hodge
 Marietta, GA
Hey Guys,

Not sure which model A-4 section this best to ask this in, haha. :)

I'm currently a HS Student (Jr) trying to start up a collection of Scooter patches from any service/mission (VA,VMA,VC,VT, etc) as a keepsake. I'm looking for anything anyone can spare (Squadron Patches,Decomm Patches,Shoulder Patches,Anniv Patches, etc) related to Navy or Marine A-4 Squadrons.

I wish I would've had the opportunity to see the Scooter in Navy/Marine Action but came along too late!

If anyone can help/donate anything to jumpstart my attempt at a collection, Please email me at HODGETCA@aol.com (Can try and offer a little bit of $$ if need be). I doubt there is many folks my age (17) trying to start a collection like this.

Thanks in Advance and Skyhawks Forever!
02/03/2008 @ 03:04 [ref: 19532]
 Andrew Owens
 , OR
I was stationed at Roosevelt Roads,PR between 1998-2002 and was attatched to VC-8 and had the privelage of working on the TA-4J's. Was a "Plane Captain" for both the TA-4J Skyhawk and the UH-3H SeaKing. As an Aviation Ordnanceman I worked with RMK/TDU, MK-76's, multiple PODS, 20B bomb racks, drop tanks, 500 lb bombs, and others that I don't recall. Fun times!
12/07/2007 @ 04:45 [ref: 18827]


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