The Grumman A2F (A-6) Intruder was the result of a February 1957 Navy request for proposals for a replacement for the Douglas AD Skyraider in both the Navy and the Marine Corps. The request was accompanied by Type Specification 149, which asked for a two-seat aircraft capable of performing in all-weather conditions. An ability to take off and land in short distances was required, as was a top speed of at least 500 knots and a mission radius of at least 300 nautical miles.
Since supersonic performance was not called for, the aircraft was powered by a pair of non-afterburning Pratt & Whitney J52 turbojets mounted on the lower corners of the central part of the fuselage, fed by large intakes mounted on the lower sides of the forward fuselage. Since the aircraft was strictly subsonic, complex variable-geometry intakes were not required, and the intakes were simple D-shaped inlets with a small, fixed splitter plate to separate out the fuselage boundary layer air. The first example (BuNo 147864), powered by a pair of YJ52-P-6 engines, was rolled out at Bethpage on April 14, 1960. It carried no radar, and was equipped with only enough electronic equipment to allow for safe flight.
The fourth aircraft (BuNo 147867) was the first airplane to be fitted with the full set of avionics. It began flying in December of 1960. As expected for such a complex system, the DIANE system had lots of teething troubles and was initially quite unreliable. Initial assignment to the fleet was delayed by almost a year while the problems with the DIANE system were identified and fixed. While the problems with the DIANE system were being worked on, carrier trials began aboard the USS Enterprise in December of 1962. Initial deliveries to the training squadron VA-42 at NAS Oceana in Virginia began in February of 1963. On September 18, 1962, the A2F-1 was redesignated A-6A. Most A-6As were fitted with a non-retractable refuelling probe, mounted immediately in front of the cockpit. A total of 488 A-6As (including the prototypes) were built before production switched over to the A-6E version in December of 1970. 19 A-6As were converted to A-6Bs, 12 were converted to A-6Cs, 90 became KA-6D tankers, and 13 were converted to EA-6As. About half of the A-6As (240 in all) were later upgraded to A-6E format.
RAZBAM Grumman A-6 Intruder for Microsoft Flight Simulator series:
Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight:
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