Tuesday, May 6, 2008
AIRPLANE Leo J. Devlin
The A2D Skyshark was an early postwar attempt by Douglas to produce a turboprop attack aircraft that could operate from CVE escort carriers. The CVEs were available in large numbers and were cheaper to operate than fleet carriers, but could not handle the early jets. Douglas had investigated applying turboprop power to the basic AD Skyraider design, but the A2D was essentially a new aircraft, although it certainly bore a major resemblance to the Spad. A T40 engine was to give the Skyshark a top speed in excess of 400mph.
The A2D prototype first flew in 1950, but the T40 engine proved troublesome, and never did mature into a reliable powerplant. A2D production only amounted to a dozen aircraft, and four of these never even flew before being scrapped.
"Turboprop Power on New A2D" Naval Aviation News July 1950 p.9
Vacuform kits of the Skyshark were produced in 1/72 scale by RarePlanes, and in 1/48 by Dynavector.