Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum
Aircraft on the Flight Deck

The A4-D Skyhawk, Designed by Ed Heinemann of Douglas Aircraft to fulfill a need for a small relatively inexpensive aircraft that was capable of dropping nuclear weapons, exceeded all of the Navy's design requirements. This aircraft is painted to represent the one of VA-163 which Cdr. James Stockdale (VAdm ret.) was shot down in when he was CAG 16 of the USS Oriskany. The Oriskany was recently sunk off the Florida coast as an artificial reef.

A6-E Intruder. The A6 series of aircraft were so good at what they did that they are among a very limited number of post 1940 aircraft that the US Government has refused to allow their sale to any other country. They have recently been replaced in the air-ground environment by the FA-18.

A7-E Corsair II. Often mistaken as an F8U Crusader, at a distance the A-7 does share many of the general design characteristics of those aircraft.

In service with both the USN and the USAF, this is one multi-orginization aircraft that functioned well for both of them because it was fulfilling the same basic mission.

E1-B Tracer known as the Willy Fudd because the original designation was WF-2, these type aircraft logged more hours aloft than any other types of the 1960's-1980's era because one was always required to be aloft 24/7/365 to extend the radar horizon of the carrier battle group or task group.
This particular aircraft was one of the first delivered to the USN in 1959 and had logged 6,750 hours of flight time when retired in 1976. Assigned to VAW-11 at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, this plane served on 7 Pacific Fleet Carriers. They were the USS Ticonderoga, USS Ranger, USS Hancock, USS Coral Sea, USS Bennington, USS Oriskany, USS Midway.

With the poor loss ratio of the Vietnam era fighters, the Navy felt they needed a pure fleet defence fighter to oppose the Warsaw Pact nations for the last quarter of the 20th Century. The Grumman F-14 was chosen to be that aircraft. Though originally underpowered, the Tomcat eventually lived up to the expectations of the Navy and the Grumman iron works team. Some of them were sold to the Shah of Iran with a few being delivered prior to the 1979 change of regime. The Iranians still have a few supposedly flying.

In the post Korean War decision stream, the US Military had gotten to the point of thinking that guns were no longer necessary on fighter aircraft as they would be shooting missiles from distances too far away to engage with strictly guns. The experience in North Vietnam proved that reasoning to be incorrect and with many US aircraft falling to older slower MiG's that were still carrying guns they USAF & USN did some rethinking. It was too late for the early versions of the F-4 series but later versions incorporated a cannon into the design. Though designed as a fighter, the F-4 series did some of their best work in the air-to-mud arena since they could carry a bomb load larger than the WW2 B-17 Flying Fortress and still have the maneuverability of a fighter as soon as the bombs had been released.