The Royal Australian Navy operated twenty McDonnell Douglas A-4G Skyhawk aircraft including 4 Ta-4G twin seat trainers. Ten of these were lost in service, whilst upon the demise of the type in RAN service in 1984, the remaining 10 aircraft (including 2 of the 2 seater TA-4Gs) were purchased by New Zealand and joined the survivors of 14 A-4K aircraft operated by the RNZAF.
In 2012, eleven of the remaining RNZAF aircraft were sold to USA Company Draken International for use as adversary training services aircraft. Several other aircraft were allocated to Museums and the sole surviving 2 seat aircraft from RAN service N13-154911 TA-4G 880 was returned to Australia for display at the FAAM at HMAS Albatross, Jervis Bay NSW. The RANFAAM also has an A-4B single seater S No 142874 painted representing N13-154906 A-4B 885 on display. These are the only remaining Skyhawk’s left in Australia.
The RNZAF Skyhawk’s frequently operated in Australia, mainly at Nowra and also on occasion at RAAF Williamtown. In 1988, the RNZAF Skyhawk 4 ship display team “Kiwi Red “attended the Bi Centennial airshow at RAAF Base Richmond and for many it was a highlight of the show with a beautiful display of crisp and precise aerobatics and formation teamwork of World Class standard.
Warbirds Online was on hand to view the display and it is one that remains in our collective memory. We have in our collection a range of photos of the Skyhawk’s taken at various locations in New Zealand and Australia over the years, both in service and in Museum collections and are pleased to share the images of these great aircraft.
© John Parker 2015