Today in History – August 5, 1954 – Skyshark suffers equipment failure, pilot ejects, project is canceled.

5 August 1954 – “As the first pre-production Douglas A2D-1 Skyshark, BuNo 125480, piloted by George Jansen, is flown on a test flight out of Edwards AFB, California, the temperamental gearbox transferring the Allison XT-40A power to counter-rotating propellers fails, and even though the powerplant continues to partially function, the props automatically feather.

Unable to spot a reasonable landing spot, the pilot ejects, suffering back injuries that leave him a plaster cast for several months.” (1)

The Douglas A2D Skyshark evolved from the AD (A-1) Skyraider. “Two prototypes and ten pre-production A-2Ds were built, but the last four were not flown. The first XA2D-1 flight was made at Edwards Air Force Base on May 26, 1950. XA2D-1 BuNo 122987 and A2D-1 BuNo 125480 were lost in crashes.”(2) The Skyshark program was plagued by problems and was canceled one month after the August 5th incident, with only six of ten pre-production A2D-1s completed ever being flown.


Sources: (1) Wikipedia/Portal:Aviation; (2)

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