Douglas A-1 Skyraider
Unforgettable Douglas A-1 Skyraider’s history
Let’s talk about the Douglas A-1 Skyraider, the famous “Spad”. This famous piston aircraft, designed by the genius of embarked aviation, Ed Heinemann, made its operational debut during the Korean War in 1950. Powerful and heavily armed, it was made famous in the Vietnam War, almost 20 years later. Its low speed, comparatively speaking with the jets of the time, made it especially ideal for the support of the troops and for the escort of combat rescue helicopters.
The Skyraider was equipped with four 20 mm M2 cannons, versions of the famous Hispano-Suiza Hs404 manufactured in the USA. In addition to the cannons, it could carry up to 3,600kg of weapons on its fifteen external supports. It could carry any combination of bombs, rockets, mines, and even minigun pods for aditional firepower.
During the Vietnam War, both the US Navy and the USAF flew the Douglas A-1 Skyraider. The USAF version, the subject of this article, called A-1J, is virtually the same as its navy counterpart. By 1972, the USAF handed over its A-1Js to the South Vietnamese Air Force, operating the A-7s instead.
Tamiya’s kit was released in 2000, following the H version of the US Navy of the same company. The Douglas A-1 Skyraider has six parts in gray plastic, plus one for the transparent pieces. It is known, as indeed for many other kits of this brand, for its high quality; the main assembly, in fact, is quite smooth and does not present any particular difficulties.
Model construction process: