A-4 Skyhawk
The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a carrier-capable
Carrier-based aircraft
Carrier-based aircraft are military aircraft designed specifically for operations from aircraft carriers. The term is generally applied only to fixed-wing aircraft, as naval helicopters are able to operate from a wider variety of aviation-capable ships. Carrier-based aircraft must be relatively...

 ground-attack aircraft designed for the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 and United States Marine Corps
United States Marine Corps
The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...

. The delta wing
Delta wing
The delta wing is a wing planform in the form of a triangle. It is named for its similarity in shape to the Greek uppercase letter delta .-Delta-shaped stabilizers:...

ed, single-engined Skyhawk was designed and produced by Douglas Aircraft Company
Douglas Aircraft Company
The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer, based in Long Beach, California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. and later merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas...

, and later McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

. It was originally designated the A4D under the U.S. Navy's pre-1962 designation system
1922 United States Navy aircraft designation system
Until 1962, the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps used a system to designate their aircraft that included information about a craft's role and its manufacturer.-The system:...


The A-4 is a compact, light-weight design with a maximum takeoff weight of 24500 pounds (11,113 kg). With a top speed of more than 600 miles per hour (965.6 km/h), its performance is compromised by its small size.