Monday, August 12, 2013

Thunder Over Michigan - Flight Of The Skyraiders

Thunder over Michigan had the largest gathering of flying Douglas A-1 Skyraiders of any Air Show and six were present and ready to perform.

Here's the Skyraiders on the flight line:

The Skyraider, brainchild of awesome airplane designer Ed Heinemann,was a workhorse of the US Air Force and Navy in the Korean and Vietnam Wars.  Designed to be a  replacement for the Navy's torpedo and dive bombers, it was able to carry up to 8.000 lbs of ordnance - More or equal to the carrying capacity of the B-17 Bomber.

Here's AD-1 Skyraider "Bad News" - take a look at all  that exhaust residue from running the Wright R-3350 radial engine on the cowling, and the (inert) ordnance on the wings.

The US Navy Skyraiders had folding wings for carrier operations

and variants had 4 seats.

 How do they stay so shiny? A lot of constant work:

This is a serious beast of a plane. It served the US Armed Forces very well indeed.  Skyraiders even shot down MIG-17s during the Vietnam war in addition to bombing and close air support missions and in its most famous role as "Sandys"- close air support during pilot rescues featured in many a movie.

They first had all the Skyraiders up in formation and then we were able to watch one of them make passes during the Vietnam reenactment, which was awesome as it came in low and fast:


The sound that engine made was magic.

The Skyraiders at Thunder Over Michigan were worth the price of admission alone, but there was lots more to see and do than just the Skyraiders.


Keads said...

Very nice!

Aaron said...

Thanks! Lots more pics and write-ups to come.

Old NFO said...

The multi-seat one was known as the 'queer' Spad... Elint bird!

Aaron said...

Old NFO: Interesting, I had not heard that appellation for it before.

I suspect the 4 seater would be quite the awesome step up from Murphy's Law's Cessna 172.