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Designation: A3D-1

Douglas YEA-3A

Douglas YEA-3A (A3D-1) Skywarrior

A picture of the Douglas YEA-3A Skywarrior

Nicknamed “The Whale” by its crews the A-3 Skywarrior is the largest and heaviest aircraft ever designed for regular operation from an aircraft carrier.  Originally designed as a strategic nuclear bomber the A-3 proved itself to be very adaptable to other uses and remained in service long after the Navy had lost its role in strategic bombing.  Design work for the Skywarrior began in 1948 and the first prototype flew in 1952.  In addition to the bomber version the Navy used electronic warfare and aerial tanker versions of the Skywarrior into the 1970s and a few remained in test programs as late as the 1990s.  A total of six A3D-1 bombers were converted to YA3D-1Q (YEA-3A) electronic counter measures aircraft with a pressurized crew compartment replacing the bomb bay.

Wingspan 72 ft 6 in.


Length 74ft 5 in.


Height 22 ft 8 in.


Weight 70,000 lbs (loaded)


Max. Speed 600 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 39,000 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 2,080 miles


Engines Two Pratt & Whitney J57-P-10 turbojets with 10,000 pounds of thrust each


Crew 7



Naval Air Testing Center, Patuxent River NAS, 1969

Serial Number


Pima Air & Space Museum

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