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Douglas Skyhawks Which Were Peculiar To Malaysia?

23 February 2021

03º 07′ 01″ N / 101º 42′ 13″ E

Douglas A-4PTM Skyhawk Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum Kuala Lumpur—©2013 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

Eighty-eight Douglas Skyhawks in C and L types were purchased by the Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (Royal Malaysian Air Force) with most to be converted to their particular specifications, or PTM. Commonly PTM is known as “Peculiar To Malaysia” but this is a bit of geographical jest as the acronym was created from the formal Persekutan Tanah Melayu title, which translates to Federation of Malay States (Malaysia has 13 states). The majority of conversion work was accomplished in the early 1980s by Grumman in their St. Augustine FL facility with the ultimate aircraft delivery tally of 34 A-4PTM and 6 TA-4PTM Skyhawks, plus 52 spare Wright J65 turbojet engines (modified Sapphire engines built under license from Armstrong Siddeley).

A brilliant subsonic design small enough to not require folding wings and one which made for an agile, responsive aircraft to fly. An emergency air stream powered turbine electric generator could be lowered in the event of engine failure and the ubiquitous pair of drop tanks were built to be useful in a gear up landing should there be a hydraulic systems failure. Leading edge slats used gravity to deploy at lower airspeeds. The fuselage aft of the cockpit is devoted to the engine with the “dorsal hump” housing avionics.

Particular to the PTM’s specifications are five external stores pylons (each with a 1000 pound capability) with every pylon able to be armed with an AGM-65A Maverick air-to-ground-missile or an AIM-9J Sidewinder air-to-air missile—or a bomb, naturally. A pair of 20 mm Colt Mk 12 autocannon compliment the external stores armament.

Douglas A-4PTM Skyhawk Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum Kuala Lumpur—©2013 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

Douglas A-4PTM Skyhawk Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum Kuala Lumpur (note the deployed leading edge slat which would drop due to gravity at lower airspeeds)—©2013 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

Douglas A-4PTM Skyhawk Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum Kuala Lumpur—©2013 Joseph May/Slipstream Photography

 

 

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