Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
I flew the A-4M on exchange with the USN at NWC China Lake in the late 70's/early 80's.
Obsolescent it might have been then - but what a great machine and what a delight to fly. And very capable. Flew it on a RED FLAG, and certainly caught the attention of the trendy Tom Cruise F-14 brigade, and the F-15 mob!!
I loved the Hunter - but the A-4 was a step more capable, even though smaller.
So anything that can be done to save the memory of that great little machine deserves support.
My A-4 FOREVERFOREVERFOREVER t-shirt has been lost in the mists of time.
I have heard the same about the A4. It was held in high regard by the USMC. However, it was toast to any Sea Harrier that came across it in 82 and had an ejector seat that was more likely to kill you than save you.
The A-4M had a P408 engine which was much more powerful than the P6 or P8 which powered earlier models. Different as chalk and cheese.
Plus, the SeaJets and Argentinian A-4s were flying very different missions, and were armed in very different ways, so comparing SeaJet air-to-air success over early model A-4s in an air-to-ground fit in that conflict is not a good comparison.
In peacetime training, an AIM-9L equipped A-4M and and AIM-9L equipped AV-8A were a good match, with the winner usually the better air combat pilot of the two.
So declaring all A-4s to be toast against Sea Harriers is somewhat misleading - IMHO.
Any evidence for your contention 'navaleye'? Anyway being the first rocket zero zero seat the Escapac was often used outside the envelope. Served the RAN FAA well as shown in these dire strait instances.
I think a couple of sinkings can attest to the strike power of the A-4 given that they operated at the max of their range. The A-4 worked well in its day in Vietnam too as well as Israeli war of attrition. I watched them in Beersheba recently doing training and the pilots love them.
Can those in the know enlighten me? That second photo appears to show the pilot leaning forward in the seat. Is that an optical illusion, or is that about right in that situation? I always imagined that the G forces would put the head down, but I thought the shoulder restraints would have worked a little better than that.
The pilot has pulled the secondary handle between legs. When pulling primary handle over the head the face blind acts as a restraint to head movement and protect head from wind blast. Primary handle used in other non-urgent situations. This A4G has just arrested with the 'wire breaking' during pull out leaving the aircraft to 'trickle' off the deck edge fairly fast. It is impossible to prevent the head with helmet weight from being pulled down by the rocket upwards acceleration in this situation. Apparently the pilot suffered no ill effects in this ejection. Cold cat shot pilot had some minor injuries AFAIK. Shoulder restraints have no effect on head movement.
888 A-4G Pilot Ejects - Arrestor Wire Break HMAS Melbourne
"23 May 1979 A-4G 888 is lost after the wire breaks during arrest on HMAS Melbourne. Pilot was a USN exchange pilot on VF-805 who ejects succesfully as shown in this video with many camera angles and slow motion replays...."
Last edited by SpazSinbad; 16th Aug 2012 at 11:07.
If you view the slow motion part of the video on Youtube you will see the wire actually fall away from the hook because it 'broke' under the deck. Meanwhile here is part of the 888 pilot report.([Later tonight Friday an upload will start & within 24 hours a new version of the 4.4GB PDF will be online at https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=cbcd6...6&sa=822839791 [SpazSinbad's Page at Microsoft SkyDrive] with a complete report on all fings A4G plus bonus extras.) Have been attempting to upload elsewhere but cannot do so due to server overload. Maybe later the new version of the PDF can be uploaded. Dunno.
Last edited by SpazSinbad; 17th Aug 2012 at 11:22.
The pilot controls the speedbrakes. As soon as the aircraft hits the deck the throttle goes to full power and speedbrakes IN. If a bolter or touch and go then speedbrakes extended during downwind subsequently. If successful arrest then pilot will retard the throttle and bring the speedbrakes in. Speedbrake thumb switch is on the throttle so easy to control.
Last edited by SpazSinbad; 16th Aug 2012 at 12:27.
'rjtjrt' this is what 'Stubbsy' [lead hookman] had to say via e-mail about 888 and the arrest wire (wire breaks and is pulled through or drops away from unbroken hook):
"STUBBSY: "I was the lead hook-man on that day, I jumped the wire when it recoiled back, my partner Hughy Fraser copped it in the shins; it was like a car crash in slow motion. Lucky to be here, the wire parted under the deck in the sheaves. If it happened on deck I reckon we were history."
Click thumbnail for an earlier e-mail account by same 'Stubbsy':
I'm always happy to be corrected and thank you. I thought the ARG A4s had a system called Escapac (sp?) which gained a bad reputatation and survivability rate with thye USMC. The Daggers and Mirages which had MB bang seats compared to the old A4s in 82.
The Arg A-4s had the early ESCAPAC seat, while the A-4s in USN/USMC service past the mid-1970s (retirement of the 100 USN/USMC Reserve A-4Ls [upgraded A-4B/C]) and all A-4s manufactured after 1962 had significantly improved versions of the ESCAPAC seat.