Douglas Aircraft's AD5Q "Skyraider"

Douglas AD5Q Skyraider

I was surprised to discover that I am not the only AD5Q in the world. There have been many others with my callsign, which is the model number of one of the last propeller driven aircraft used in the US military.

The "Skyraider" series was manufactured by Douglas Aircraft beginning in World War II, and continued to distinguished itself in service later in the Korean War. Thus, the Skyraider was kept in production longer and underwent further design enhancements. The most substantial redesign was the AD-5 series, which incorporated many lessons learned in five years of operations with earlier versions of the aircraft (AD-1. AD-2. AD-3. AD-4).

The ADís were mostly two-seaters with a wide cockpit which sat two side-by-side. With the AD5's, a rear compartment was added which contained the electronic warfare equipment plus two operators. The forward fuselage was also lengthened by two feet with a corresponding increase in the vertical fin. A number of equipment changes were made, but the armament of four 20 mm cannon was retained. This aircraft could carry its weight in bombs. The AD5 series came with a conversion kit which permitted the basic production versions to be quickly modified to serve in a variety of missions: electronic warfare, night attack, airborne early -warning, ambulance, freighter, target-tug and transport (with up to twelve seats).

The AD-5 series was first flown in 1951. The electronic warfare versions were initially designated as AD5Qs and then as EA-1Fs in 1962. The aircraft was widely used in Korea and Vietnam. Itís length was 40í1" with wingspan of 50í9". It weighed 24,000 lbs and flew at a maximum speed of 311 mph. The engine was a Wright R-3350-26W, and the bird had a range of 1200 miles.

Further information on the "Skyraider" series (A1) of aircraft, with many photos, can be found at If your callsign begins with the prefix "AD" (Attack Douglas), you might find a model number with your ham callsign - especially if you have a 2x1 call.

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