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Skyraiders at VMHM

1 July 2013

Skyraiders at VMHM

21º 01′ 58″ N / 105º 50′ 24″ E

The Vietnam Military History Museum (Bảo tàng Lịch sử Quân sự Việt Na) in Hanoi Vietnam has two Douglas Skyraiders on exhibit in their courtyard — a single seat A-1H attack aircraft (famed for flying as Sandys in search and rescue missions) as well as the multi seat A-1E (AD5) attack aircraft — though I suspect it may be an EA-1 (AD5W) carrier early warning aircraft in which case it may have up to six seats.

Catherine Dowman captured these images on an extremely humid and hot day of 104º F (40º C) temperature.

Douglas A-1E and Douglas A-1H Skyraiders at the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi  — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1E (EA-1E?) and Douglas A-1H Skyraiders at the Vietnam Military History Museum in Hanoi — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1E Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1E (EA-1E?) Skyraider is displayed so that it can be walked around as well as under — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1E Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1E (EA-1E?) Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1E Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas EA-1E (A-1E?) Skyraider (note the numerous hard points along the wing) — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

The Douglas A-1E (even if it indeed is an EA-1E) substantially departs from the A-1 design by standing taller on the main gear, having a slab sided fuselage with no dive brakes, having multiple seats in side-by-side pairings, 40% greater rudder and a wider fuselage by as much as 3 feet (0.9m). The multiseat Echo variant retained the 4 x 20mm cannon in the wings as well as multitudinous hard points for fuel tanks and ordnance. No matter the model the Skyraider was a massive machine able to carry a great variety of weapons a long way or for a long time — actually outperforming World War II heavy bombers.

Douglas A-1H Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

The Douglas A-1H Skyraider is also displayed so that so that it can be seen from every horizontal angle as well as from beneath — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1H Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1H Skyraider from the rear aspect view (note the pilot had good all round visibility with the bubble canopy) — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1H Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1H Skyraider showing one of the massive dive brakes (the Skyraider was an excellent dive bomber with its stout construction and plentiful dive brake area) — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1H Skyraider — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

Douglas A-1H Skyraider ventral area showing the hard point on the left wing’s root inboard of the main landing gear (typically carrying a 1000 pound bomb or large external fuel tank) — photo by Catherine Dowman ©2013

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Gerald J. Scott permalink
    2 September 2013 18:40

    I flew an A1 H Skyraider in 1970. It’s ironic that only our enemy respected what my aircraft did enough to give it a place in their museum. The USAF didn’t bring any home.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      2 September 2013 20:53

      Yes, that was odd not returning any to the States. A few are around in museums and a few are flying which proves it’s hard to keep a good aircraft down I suppose. They must have had a complicated path to get back to the USA though.

    • Mike Wolfe permalink
      29 December 2013 13:38

      While there may not be a A-1H in the USAF Museum, there is the A-1E flown by Maj. Bernard Fisher on the 1966 mission that resulted in him being awarded the Medal of Honor. In addition, the Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola has a nice A-1J in their collection. I had the honor of seeing both when visiting both museums.

      • travelforaircraft permalink*
        29 December 2013 14:04

        Yes, we agree with you. The Skyraider at the Naval Aviation Museum also has a propeller blade from a combat mission which has a large caliber bullet hole through it.

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