Skyhawk TA4G N13-154911 (880)
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(Image by John Bartels)
Brief History (courtesy ADF Serials):
- First flight July 21, 1967 piloted by Douglas Aircraft test pilot Jim Stegman at Long Beach California.
- Accepted July 26, 1967 in a ceremony at the Douglas plant.
- Delivered to RAN 11/67.
- Unloaded from HMAS Melbourne onto Navy barge in Jervis Bay 23/11/67 then by road to Nowra.
- With VF805 10/01/68.
- Displayed at QANTAS open day 1982.
- One of the last four A-4s flying – 30/06/83 to 30/06/84 with VC 724.
- Withdrawn from RAN service 30/06/84.
- To RNZAF 07/84 as NZ6255,
- Converted to TA4K specification. Later upgraded under Project Kahu
- Donated by RNZAF to RAN Fleet Air Arm Museum, Nowra.
- Transported from New Zealand by RAAF C-17A A41-206 arriving at Nowra 23/04/2012
- Repainted in RAN 724 Squadron colours and returned to (visually) TA4G spec and currently on display in the Fleet Air Arm Museum in Nowra. Only surviving TA4G.
In 1984, following their withdrawal from service, the Skyhawks were sold to the Royal New Zealand Air Force who undertook to return one aircraft to Australia for heritage purposes on their decommissioning.
The NZ Government honoured this promise and the last Skyhawk was returned to Albatross in April 2012 in RNZAF livery. The pictures below show its arrival, the initial welcoming ceremony and how the aircraft looked once it had been repainted in its original RAN colours. The aircraft now has pride of place in the FAA Museum. (All Images courtesy of Defence)
Retired Skyhawk Pilots, Current serving Australian and New Zealand Defence Force members and Civilian staff involved in the A4 Skyhawk outside J Hanger HMAS Albatross at the hand over ceremony of the A4 Skyhawk to the Fleet Air Arm Museum.
Below. From South Coast Register 23Sept13