Douglas AD-4W Skyraider

Last revised October 18, 2001

The AD-4W was a three-seat airborne early warning version of the AD-4. 158 were built. The AD-4W carried a crew of three--a pilot underneath a transparent canopy, plus two observers seated side-by-side below and behind the cockpit. The two observers entered the aircraft via doors in either side of the fuselage adjacent to the wing trailing edge.

The radar was the S-band (today's E/F band) AN/APS-20A, which was improved over that which was installed in the AD-3W. Its maximum output was 1 megawatt, and it had an elliptical dish antenna rotating inside a bulbous fiberglass radome located underneath the fuselage. The radome was a source of considerable structural problems and often vibrated severely, affecting the success of the early-warning mission.

Fifty AD-4Ws were transferred to the Royal Navy as Skyraider AEW 1s. Those remaining in service with the US Navy were adapted to the search role in anti-submarine warfare.

Specification of Douglas AD-4W Skyraider

Engine: One Wright R-3350-26WA Duplex Cyclone 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, rated at 2700 hp for takeoff and 2100 hp at 14,500 feet. Performance: Maximum speed 350 mph at 18,300 feet, 26,000 feet service ceiling, Maximum range 1100 nautical miles Weights: 12,600 pounds empty, 17,500 pounds normal loaded, 24,000 pounds maximum. Dimensions: Wingspan 50 feet 0 1/4 inches, length 38 feet 2 inches, height 12 feet, wing area 400.33 square feet. Armament: Two 20-mm cannon in the wing.

Serial Numbers of Douglas AD-4W Skyraider

124076/124127		Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
124761/124777		Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
125765/125782		Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
				c/n 7658/7675
126836/126875		Douglas AD-4W Skyraider 
				c/n 7819/7858
127921/127961		Douglas AD-4W Skyraider
				c/n 7936/7976


  1. Douglas A-1 Skyraider, Robert F. Dorr, Osprey, 1989

  2. McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Since 1920, Vol 1, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1988

  3. American Combat Planes, 3rd Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.