Global Aircraft -- A-5 Vigilante
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A-5 Vigilante Specifications
Primary Function: Tactical reconnaissance, carrier-based attack aircraft
Contractor: North American / Rockwell
Crew: Two (pilot, navigator)
Unit Cost: N/A
  Two turbojet General Electric J79-GE-8 engines (10,800 lb each)
Length: 76 ft 6 in (23.32 m)
Wingspan: 53 ft (16.15 m)
Height: 19 ft (5.79 m)
Empty: 37,500 lb (17,009 kg)
Maximum Takeoff: 79,588 lb (36,094 kg)
Speed: 1,385 mph (2,230 km/h)
Ceiling: 48,400 ft (14,752 m)
Range: 1,500 miles (2,415 km)
  1 nuclear weapon, and conventional weapons on two hard points
Service Life
First Flight: August 31, 1958 (prototype)
1960 (A3J-1)
April 1962 (A-5B)
End of Service: November 20, 1979
Number Built: [156 total]

A-5 Vigilante Achievements
  • One of the biggest aircraft that ever operated from a carrier
  • The first US production aircraft to have variable geometry engine intakes

A-5 Vigilante Features

  The A-5 was a long-sleek aircraft with all-moving horizontal and vertical tailplanes and relatively small wings. It was originally powered by two General Electric YJ79-GE-2 engines and had a huge fuel capacity for long range missions. The A-5B variant featured longer and wider flaps than the A-5A, and an even larger fuel supply. The RA-5C was capable of all-weather long-range carrier-based or land-based reconnaissance missions at supersonic high-altitudes or low-altitude penetrations.

Summary Copyright © Charles M (JetWhiz)

A-5 Vigilante Background

  The A-5 Vigilante was a truly magnificent aircraft of its time. It was optimized for low-level attacks at high speeds and was one of the biggest aircraft that ever operated from a carrier. Out of the 63 bomber variants built, all but ten were converted to RA-5C reconn. variants in the end.

  The first prototype, the YA3J-1 Vigilante, was first rolled out on May 16, 1958, with its first flight on August 31, 1958. It was powered by two General Electric YJ79-GE-2 engines. The first production A3J-1 Vigilante aircraft flew later in 1960. These aircraft were fitted with the more powerful J-79 engines, leading to the J-79-GE-8 engines which had 16,500 pounds (7,480 kilograms) thrust.

  The A3J-2 attack variant, later dubbed the A-5B, and the RA-5C reconn. variant were built later on. In all, 156 Vigilantes were built including the prototypes, one of which still survives on display at the Naval Aviation Museum (Pensacola, Florida).

Summary Copyright © Charles M (JetWhiz)

A-5 Vigilante Photos
A-5 VigilanteA-5 Vigilante
A-5 VigilanteA-5 Vigilante

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