(Image: @planedailymag. Forward fuselage of A-4L Skyhawk 147675)
The Spirit of Flight Center in Erie, Colorado offers is a treasure trove of varied and unique exhibits spanning the history of US aviation. One eye-catching exhibit to be found inside the non-profit organisation’s hangar is the forward fuselage section is a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.
The aircraft, an A-4L model (BuNo 147675) served with the United States Marine Corps and spent many years in the Arizona boneyard following retirement from active military service.
Only the forward fuselage, incorporating the cockpit, was on display inside the hangar. The remainder of the airframe, which carries the code 00, is currently in storage pending restoration.
It’s understood that Skyhawk 147675 will be restored in the distinctive colours of the US Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron, which operated the A-4F from 1974 to 1986. Drawing aviators from both the Navy and Marine Corps, the team has operated its current jet, the F/A-18 Hornet, since dispensing with its Skyhawks in 1986.
(Image: Greg Goebel. Blue Angels A-4s at the Naval Air Museum, Pensacola)
Between 1954 and 1979, an impressive 2,960 A-4 Skyhawks were produced primarily for the US Navy and Marine Corps. The versatile subsonic jet was also operated by Israel and Argentina, the latter’s aircraft seeing combat during the 1982 Falklands War.
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