Few aircraft capture the imagination like the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Designed for a carrier-based one-way nuclear strike–a mission it mercifully never performed–the diminutive plane instead established a solid reputation as a capable conventional attack aircraft during the Vietnam conflict. The jet went on to serve as the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron’s aircraft and is still in service today, in various capacities, nearly six decades later.
On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Steven Briggs joins us to discuss the venerable Skyhawk, also known as the “Scooter” or “Heinemann’s Hot Rod” after the plane’s legendary developer. The Admiral answers our usual ‘aircraft series’ questions leveraging his extensive experience in the jet, which includes 229 combat missions over Vietnam.