Douglas A3D-2Q/EA-3B Skywarrior

Last revised October 24, 2001

The A3D-2Q was a version of the A3D-2 that was intended specifically for the electronic warfare mission. 

It differed from the A3D-2 mainly in having the bomb bay replaced with a pressurized compartment. This compartment had accommodations for three electronic countermeasures operators and an evaluator, all sitting in port-facing seats. A set of square windows were cut into the fuselage sides. These extra crew members operated numerous receivers, signal analyzers, recorders and direction finders. A radome was fitted to the tip of the vertical tail. There was a long ventral canoe-shaped fairing housing some of the electronic sensors and equipment.  Additional antenna and sensors were attached to the sides of the fuselage. The cockpit was reinforced and was pressurized to 7.5 psi differential over flight pressure versus 3.3 psi for the A3D-2.

The YA3D-2Q (Bu No 142670) was first flown on December 10, 1958. The prototype and the first 11 A3D-2Qs (BuNos 142671/142673 and 144848/144855) were fitted with standard wings and were delivered with a tail turret fitted. However, the next twelve were delivered with the cambered leading edge wings and with the dovetailed rear fuselage with no tail turret as were fitted at the factory to late-production A3D-2s.  Later, all of the earlier A3D-2Qs were retrofitted with these features. All of the aircraft with the exception of the YA3D-2Q were equipped with a midair refuelling probe. In addition, most of the A3D-2Qs had their original pointed nose radome replaced by the flat panel radome that was fitted to late production A3D-2s.

A3D-2Q 142672 was modified in 1958-59 as a VIP transport. It was to have been redesignated A3D-2Z, but it kept its original designation until after the September 1962 unified designation system came into effect. After that time, it became VA-3B. Only one VA-3B was built.

In September of 1962, the A3D-2Q was redesignated EA-3B.

142257/142258	Douglas A3D-2Q Skywarrior
				142257 c/n 11583.  
				142258 cancelled
142670			Douglas YA3D-2Q Skywarrior 
				c/n 11733.  
142671/142673	Douglas A3D-2Q Skywarrior 
				c/n 11734/11736.  Redesignated EA-3B in 1962.
144848/144855	Douglas A3D-2Q Skywarrior 
				C/n 12094/12101.  Redesignated EA-3B in 1962.
146448/146459	Douglas A3D-2Q Skywarrior 
				c/n 12400/12411.  Redesignated EA-3B in 1962.


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

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