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USN McDonnell-Westland A2H-1 Wyvern, c.1964

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First model in a few months...finally got my Mojo back and tackled Trumpeter's lovely 1/48 Wyvern S.4.  Six days total on this one. 

A combination of fatigue cracking across the A1D Skyraider fleet and delays in the A4D program left the US Navy in need of an interim carrier-based attack aircraft in the mid 1950s.  A high ranking office in the procurement chain had flown an exchange tour with the Royal Navy several years earlier and had flown the Westland Wyvern.  While the aircraft had its problems he felt that it could be developed into a capable platform with a few changes.  His influence led to McDonnell Aircraft Company approaching Westland to propose a joint development of the Wyvern for the US Navy.

Westland leapt at the chance to supply the US Navy, and thanks the the magic of the Pentagon budget the McDonnell-Westland A2H-1 made its maiden flight in June 1956.  Changes to the S.4 included a strengthened wing with six hardpoints, increased engine power giving a maximum speed of 350kts, an increase of 20kts over the S.4.  A more comprehensive US avionics suite was also fitted, and the S.4'c cameras were also removed, making way for an additional fuselage fuel tank. 

The new weapons stations were capable of carrying 1000lb on the four inboard stations and 500lb on the two outer pylons. Combined with the centerline pylon this gave the A2H a potential bomb load of 5,000lb, though in practice it was standard to carry a fuel tank on the centerline.   

The US Navy ordered 220 Wyverns, with the type entering service in early 1957, the same year the Royal Navy began phasing hte type out.   There was much speculation of secret handshakes and political dealings leading to the Royal Navy ordering the A-4 Skyhawk in 1959 as a Quid Pro Quo for the Wyvern order.

The Wyvern served with the US Navy until 1971.  Though the delays to the Skyhawk were resolved and the Wyvern was replaced in the primary ground attack role by the A-4 by 1959, the type lived on in the CAS role and saw extensive combat in this role in Vietnam. 

This model depicts an A2H-1 (redesignated A-7A in 1962) in the colors of VA-146, "The Blue Diamonds" in 1964 when it was flying from the USS Ticonderoga in the Vietnam Theater.  It carries a common CAS load of two BLU-1 Napalm tanks, two LAU-3 19-round rocket launchers, and two Mk82 Snakeye bombs. 

Sweet! :smiley:

Awesome!  8) Looks like your mojo returned with a bang.  :smiley:

Hmmm. Now wondering whether or not the Air Force's Skyraiders suffered from similar fatigue issues and needed replacing... :P

Looking sooo classy.  8)    Envision them on angel deck Essex class.  :smiley:
Interesting background story.

That scheme suits the aircraft so well.
Nice work


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