(photo courtesy of Uwe Glaser)
The Tennessee Museum of Aviation is proud to welcome our latest Warbird. After undergoing months of restoration, the Vietnam Veteran Douglas A-1H Skyraider has finally arrived in Sevierville. The four and a half hour flight from Colorado Springs, CO., to Sevierville took place on August 31, 2009, covering over 1,100 miles. The Skyraider cruised around 230 miles per hour over Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Tennessee.
BuNo. 139665 preparing to taxi onto the ramp
at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation on August 31, 2009.
August 31, 2009 wings folded on the ramp
Tennessee Museum of Aviation Volunteers
Grant, Lana, Dick, Ken, Daphne, Steve, Ray, Ronnie, Greg, Tom, Neal, Ron
Rhonda, Robert, Wilma, Jeff, Clif, Michelle, Doug, Mitchell, Tony
Rollng off the Tennessee Museum of Aviation ramp
for the first flight out of GKT - September 3, 2009.
(photo taken in 1975 by John Waresh, provided via skyraider.org)
The Douglas A-1H (BuNo. 139665) was one of four Skyraiders "rescued" from Thailand by VNAF pilots during the final days of the Vietnam conflict, ending with the fall of Saigon to the North Vietnamese on April 29, 1975. (information obtained via skyraider.org)
BuNo 139665 -- Loaded for transport from Torrance, CA to Rialto, CA
Sanding on the nose cowl revealed
two different versions of nose art;
Lieutenant America, flown by 1st Lt Randy Scott,
and Sharon's Satyr.
BuNo. 139665 tail section exposed the markings
of the USAF 1st SOS and VNAF 518th FS.
The triangular cobra insignia was applied after
the aircraft arrived in Thailand.
The restoration of BuNo. 139665 has been a detailed process accomplished by WestPac Restoration. The project started with moving the A-1H from Torrance to Rialto, CA., then onto WestPac's new facility in Colorado. The images below reveal the final results.
Restoration project underway
Original Wright R-3350-26WD New Wright R-3350-26WD installed
BuNo 139665 -- Test Flight
(photo taken at Spy-Corner, CO. courtesy of Laurie Stephenson)
Douglas A-1H Skyraider
Wingspan: 50 feet 1/4 inches
Length: 39 feet 2 inches
Height: 15 feet 8 inches
Empty Weight: 11,902 pounds
Maximum Weight: 18,106 pounds
Powerplant: One 2700 hp Wright R-3350-26WD
18-cylinder air-cooled radial engine
Maximum Speed: 322 mph
Service Ceiling: 28,500 feet
Range: 1315 miles
Four 20mm M3 cannons in the wings with 200 rounds per gun
Maximum of 8000 pounds of ordnance on 15 stations
BuNo 139665 -- Navy Colors
(photo taken in 1972 by then 1Lt Michael Cahill, provided via skyraider.org)
(photo taken in 1970 by then 1Lt Ed Homan, provided via skyraider.org)
1st Lt Jon Goldenbaum
1st Special Operations Squadron, NKP, Thailand
Sept. 9-10, 1971 aquired 6 hours in BuNo 139665
Da Nang, Vietnam
(photos provided by Jon Goldenbaum)
1st Lt Randy Scott
Standing next to Lieutenant America ...
which will remain the paint scheme for BuNo 139665
(photo provided by Randy Scott)
The Douglas Skyraider was a versatile single engine prop driven aircraft, making its first flight in 1945. A total of seven major models and twenty-eight different versions of the Skyraider were created and produced, more than any other aircraft in history. The Skyraider performed many roles throughout the 35 years of service; Attack Dive Bomber, All-Weather Attack Bomber, Radar Counter-Measures, Troop Carrier, Airborne Early Warning, Anti-Submarine, Air Ambulance, Photo Reconnaissance, and Airborne Tanker.
The Skyraider was powered by a Wright R-3350 "Cyclone" engine, one of the most powerful radial aircraft engines ever produced in the United States. The R-3350 is a twin row, supercharged, air-cooled, radial engine with 18 cylinders. Depending on the model, the horsepower ranged from 2,200 to over 2,800.
The Douglas Skyraider served as a Navy aircraft for two decades. When the United States became involved in the Vietnam Conflict, the Air Force acquired Skyraiders for its own use and for the Republic of Vietnam.
The rugged airframe and dependability of the aircraft allowed it to keep flying even after receiving substantial damage. The Skyraider's proven reliability earned it nicknames such as Spad, Flying Dump Truck, Sandy, Hobo, and Able Dog.
The Skyraider arrived in Sevierville at approx. 3:30pm on Aug. 31, 2009.
The arrival information was not posted on our web site nor did anyone in the general public have access to the arrival date and time. This knowledge was kept quiet due to the fact that the Skyraider had over a thousand miles to travel. The weather conditions had to be favorable for departure and arrival. We were working with a 72 hour window of opportunity. Instead of having disappointed visitors and museum members waiting for hours and possibly days ... only our Volunteers were informed. They were given just three hours advance notice. Our apologizes to anyone who may have felt slighted.
Some photos on this page were previously shown without proper credit to the photographer. This error of omission is now corrected and proper credit is rightly given to these combat Skyraider pilots and American Heroes.
Our thanks to Byron Hukee via skyraider.org