The A-4 Skyhawk is one of the most successful attack aircraft ever built. This smallest jet aircraft ever deployed on a carrier was the product of Douglas's Chief Engineer Ed Heinnemann in 1952. This was the time when more lightweight aircraft were in demand to fit into post-war vintage carriers.
The Skyhawk was extensively used during the Cold War period and the Vietnam War by the Navy and the Marines. Because of its small size and powerful performance, the A-4 was also known as the “Heinnemann's Hot Rod”. A total of 2,960 Skyhawks were built and many of them were exported to other countries.
During WWII the no.75 Squadron was an RAF Bomber Squadron mostly manned by New Zealanders. When the war ended the 75 Squadron title was gifted to New Zealand for all their achievements during WWII. Post WWII the No. 75 Squadron reformed at RNZAF Base Ohakea. In 1970 ten A-4 Skyhawks were purchased and allocated to No. 75 Squadron making it the RNZAF primary attack squadron. Aircraft NZ-6201 was given the USN BuNo. 157904 for administrative purposes and assigned an RNZAF serial of NZ-201. NZ-201 was the first New Zealand A-4K produced. The A-4s were removed from service in 2001 when No. 75 Squadron was disbanded.
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