TA-4F Skyhawk II arriving at NAS San Diego for US Navy Centennial Celebration February 2011.
Skyhawks played key roles in the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War, and the Falklands War. Fifty years after the aircraft's first flight, some of the nearly 3,000 produced remain in service with several air arms around the world, including with the Brazilian Navy's aircraft carrier, São Paulo.
In 1974 the Blue Angels received the status of official flight demonstration squadron of US NAVY and started to fly on McDonnell Douglas A-4F Skyhawk II. The plane #7 was TA-4 Skyhawk.
The establishment of the Navy Fighter Weapons School (TOPGUN) in 1969, and the availability of A-4 Skyhawks in both the Instrument RAGs and Composite Squadrons at the master jet bases presented a ready resource of the nimble Skyhawks that had become the TOPGUN preferred surrogate for the MiG-17. At the time, the F-4 Phantom was just beginning to be exploited to its full potential as a fighter and had not performed as well as expected against the smaller North Vietnamese MiG-17 and MiG-21 opponents.
The U.S. Navy Aviation celebrated its 100-year anniversary in San Diego, where its aviation program began, in "Parade of Flight" above San Diego Bay Saturday February 12, 189 aircraft, ranging from slow-flying vintage planes to modern supersonic jets, took off from North Island Naval Air Station and paraded along the San Diego Bay Area.
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