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Douglas XA2D-1 Skyshark



While the Navy was planning its turboprop aircraft to replace the Skyraider, Douglas was developing the XA2D-1 Skyshark powered by a 5,332 shp turboprop and the pilot was equipped with an ejection seat.

The A2D was armed with four 20-mm cannon, was fitted with an ejection seat and grossed 22,000 lb (10 000 kg). The first of two prototypes made its maiden flight on 26 May 1950. It demonstrated a climb rate of 7,200 ft/min (36,6 m/sec) and a level speed of up to 435 kt (806 km/h). In 1955, an A2D carried out a speed run from Indianapolis to Florida, covering 1,086 mls (1738 km) in an elapsed time of 2 hr 33 min, which was quite commendable for a turboprop. However, the engine and gearbox gave endless problems. The propeller control mechanism consisted of 25 unreliable vacuum tubes in a black box about the size of a suitcase and gave constant trouble. Other problems included bearing failures and overheated skin around the exhausts.



One prototype crash-landed on 14 December 1950, killing the pilot, while, in June 1953, the second aircraft shed its propellers in flight. Development continued, marred by the loss of gearboxes or props on three of the five Douglas test aircraft. Twelve Skysharks were built, but only eight ever received engines. Meanwhile, jets had overtaken the turboprop and, by 1954 Douglas was testing the XA4D Skyhawk, and the A2D was abandoned.


A2D-1 Skyshark

Engine: 1 x Allison XT-40-A-2 turboprop, 3803kW
Max take-off weight: 10417 kg / 22966 lb
Empty weight: 5871 kg / 12943 lb
Wingspan: 15.24 m / 50 ft 0 in
Length: 12.56 m / 41 ft 2 in
Height: 5.20 m / 17 ft 1 in
Wing area: 37.16 sq.m / 399.99 sq ft
Max. speed: 805 km/h / 500 mph
Cruise speed: 443 km/h / 275 mph
Ceiling: 14660 m / 48100 ft
Range: 1025 km / 637 miles
Armament: 4 x 20mm cannons, 2500kg of bombs
Crew: 1

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