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)

Maximum Speed

600 MPH

Service Ceiling

39,000 ft

Range

2,080 miles

Engines

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

Crew

7

Manufacturer
Douglas

Markings
Naval Air Testing Center, Patuxent River NAS, 1969

Serial Number
130361

Designation
YEA-3A

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