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Douglas A-3 "Skywarrior" ~ Free Shipping

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Print Size 8½” x 11” ----- Unlimited print edition
The Douglas A-3 Skywarrior was originally designed as a strategic bomber for the United States Navy and was among the longest serving carrier-based jet aircraft in history. It entered service in the mid-1950s and was retired in 1991. For many years after its introduction, it was also the heaviest aircraft to enter operational status operating from an aircraft carrier,earning it its unofficial nickname: "The Whale".Its primary function for much of its later service life was as an electronic warfare platform, tactical air reconnaissance platform, and high capacity aerial refueling tanker. A modified derivative also served in the U.S. Air Force until the early 1970s as the B-66 Destroyer, serving as a tactical bomber, electronic warfare aircraft (EB-66C) and RB-66 reconnaissance bomber. The Skywarrior is one of only two U.S. Navy attack aircraft intended as a strategic bomber to enter service. The Martin P6M SeaMaster tested well, but never entered service due to the navy fearing loss of funding for surface ships and submarines if it encroached on the Air Force's strategic bombing mission. The pending elimination of the flying boat platform from the U.S Navy also entered into the decision regarding the P6M. The carrier-based supersonic North American A-5 Vigilante was also originally designed for strategic nuclear strike missions and initially supplanted the A-3 in that role beginning in the early 1960s. However, with the removal of aircraft carriers from the Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) and the transfer of the U.S. Navy's strategic nuclear deterrence mission to the Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) submarine force, the Vigilante also saw its mission changed, in its case to carrier-based tactical air reconnaissance.

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