Douglas AD-5W Skyraider at Platinum Fighter Sales

The Skyraider presents a menacing appearance in the air. (image via Platinum Fighter Sales)


Periodically, we highlight vintage aircraft listed for sale with one of our sponsors, Platinum Fighter Sales. One of their newly-listed airframes which really caught our eyes is the magnificent Douglas AD-5E Skyraider described in the text and images below…

AD-5W Skyraider BuNo.135178 rolled off the Douglas Aircraft Company’s production line in El Segundo, California during 1955; the U.S. Navy formally accepted the airframe on June 30th that year. This Skyraider was an airborne early warning variant, with a large rotating search radar housed within a bulbous, ventral radome. Such aircraft served as the ‘eyes of the fleet’ in a similar manner to the Grumman E-2 Hawkeyes of today’s U.S. Navy, albeit with far less capability.

This image of another AD-5W shows the variant’s bulbous ventral radome to good effect. This fiberglass fairing protected the rotating radar antenna within. The aircraft described in this article would have been similarly equipped during the bulk of its service life. The particular airframe in this image is AD-5W BuNo. 132751 during its time with Airborne Early Warning Squadron VAW-11 Det.J Early Eleven on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge (CVA 33) in the western Pacific. VAW-11 Det.J was assigned to Air Task Group 3 (ATG-3) aboard the Kearsarge for a deployment to the western Pacific from 9 August 1957 to 2 April 1958. (image via Wikipedia)

When the U.S. military unified its aircraft designation nomenclature during the fall of 1962, the Skyraiders still on the books with the U.S.Navy or Marine Corps officially became A-1s. More specifically, the AD-5W variant gained the new designator, EA-1E. While we presently don’t have details about the early part of BuNo.135178’s military career, we do know that by 1964 she was serving with VAW-11 aboard USS Kearsarge. The aircraft would have appeared much like the Skyraider depicted in the image above. By 1969, having undergone modifications which saw the removal of its radar suite (and radome) the Skyraider was serving with the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola in Florida, although precisely what her role was there is unclear at present. The U.S. Navy formally struck the airframe from their books on June 17th, 1971, transferring it the following day to the nascent U.S. Marine Corps Aviation Museum, then gathering exhibits in a small hangar at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Quantico in Quantico, Virginia. However, since this particular Skyraider did not have a strong connection to the ‘Corps’, they passed her on to the legendary warbird collector Doug Champlin in 1974. Champlin placed the aircraft on the U.S. civil register for the first time soon after, listing her as N62466. John Downing acquired the Skyraider from Champlin during the following year, and he in turn sold it on to Don Hedrick the year after that. This aircraft has been through several further owners in the interim, and appeared fairly regularly on the air show circuit, initially in her original NAS Pensacola colors but, by 1990, the aircraft had gained its present U.S. Marine Corps markings.

AD-5W Skyraider sporting the livery of a U.S. Marine Corps attack squaron, VMA-332. (image via Platinum Fighter Sales)

According to  Platinum Fighter Sales, the aircraft’s specific details are as follows…

Airframe:

  • 2744.6 TTAF

Engine:

  • R-3350-26WD
  • 542.7 SMOH
  • 121.4 STOH
  • Year of O/H 1971
  • Overhauled at NAS Alameda

Propeller:

  • Aero Products 4 Blade
  • 744.6 time since O/H
  • Overhauled by Alameda (Navy Prop Shop)

Avionics:

  • Comm:
    • King KXP755 Transponder
    • 2 X KFS 590B Control Heads
    • Pointer 3000 ELT
  • Nav:
    • 2 X King KNR 630 NAV
    • 2 X King KFS 560B NAV Control Heads
    • King KG102A
    • King KA 131 Radar Altimeter
    • King KI525 HSI
  • GPS – Wired for portable
  • ADS/B – Garmin GLD82
  • Intercom – Aircom 55 Audio Panel wired through Military Control Heads

Additional Notes:

  • Last Condition/Inspection: 21JUN2022
  • Additional Equipment:
    • 2 X M3 20mm Cannons (Restored/De-milled) with correct drive motors and feed chutes
    • 12 X Machined 5″ HVAR Rockets with CNC Flight Motor nozzles
    • 2 X 150 Gallon Drop Tanks
    • 2 X 300 Galon Drop Tanks
  • Spares:
    • Brake Calipers, Set of Wheels, Aeroproducts Prop Regulator, Magneto, etc.

For further details on this beautiful piece of aviation history, be sure to contact Platinum Fighter Sales!

 

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