Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk

Last revised November 16, 2001


The TA-4J was a two-seat trainer version of the Skyhawk that was intended as a replacement for the Grumman TF-9J Cougar. The TA-4J was ordered in 1968 to provide advanced training for Navy and Marine Corps pilots.

The TA-4J was basically identical in structure to the earlier TA-4F, but differed in having a lot of the tactical weapons systems removed.  The ability to use the inflight buddy refuelling pod was deleted, but the midair refueling probe was retained. The outer underwing pylons were removed, reducing the number of pylons to three. The deletion of the offensive weapons capability resulted in a reduction in the empty weight of 230 pounds. A lower-rated J52-P-6 engine was installed, rated at 8500 lb.s.t. The twin 20-mm cannon were retained, but one or both of these guns were usually removed in the field.

The TA-4Js were painted in a white with red trim painting scheme, which replaced the grey and white scheme of fleet Skyhawks.

The TA-4J flew for the first time on December 17, 1968. It entered service with VT-21 in mid 1969. The primary role of the TA-4J was to train carrier pilots. A total of 226 TA-4Js were built. Many TA-4F airframes were converted to TA-4J configuration by removal of their offensive weapons systems. Several TA-4Js were used in support roles, including that of adversary aircraft.

Serial Numbers of Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk


155070/155071		Douglas TA-4F Skyhawk
					155070 converted to TA-4J
155072/155119		Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
156891/156950		Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
158073/158147		Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
158453/158527		Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
158712/158723		Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk
159099/159104		Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk 

Sources:


  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.

  3. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  4. Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Variant Briefing: Part 1, Harry S. Gann, Wings of Fame, Vol 4, 1996.