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AD-5/A1-E Belly and Fuselage Armor?


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As indicated in the title I need some help determining if the AD-5 or A1-E normally had armor on the forward fuselage and/or belly.  I scoured all images and references I could find. None of those aircraft seem to have armored panels that I could see.  My eyesight might not be the best.  The reason I ask is that the Paul Fisher instructions show the belly armor in one image but I don't see it on the other.  I don't see armor on the fat face kits' fuselage either. I know how thorough Mr. Fisher's excellent work is so I'm questioning the accuracy of what I think I see in reference books and on the internet.  I would appreciate if someone could please point me in the right direction or provide definitive information.   Thank you for your interest.

:help:

Pete

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I just googled up several pix of camoed Vietnam era A-1Es and it looks to me like they all have belly armor installed.  I don’t think they carried as much as the single seaters but it looks like there is a conformal piece just in front of the wing that wraps underneath a bit.  Doesn’t look like there is any at all on the sides.  You know how this stuff goes - you could have three airplanes parked side by side and no two would have the same stuff on them.

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Thank you for your fast reply.  What confuses me is that I can't see any evidence of the heavy bolts used to attach  belly armor plates on any of the pictures showing the underside of fat face airframes.  I don't know if they could be welded.  Of course you're right that many variations between the same version aircraft are likely even within the same unit.  I shouldn't be so focused on details like this.  Lesson learned.  Thanks again.

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1 hour ago, rock1947a said:

I shouldn't be so focused on details like this.

Why not? They say ‘the devil is in the details’. Especially so when you’re a modeller :P

 

As for the armor plates on the fat-faced Skyraider, it could be that the AD-5 originally designed for anti-submarine and various other tasks like to target-tugging or carrier onboard delivery (COD) ,… would’nt need armor.

It wasn’t until later, with the introduction of the combat-capable A-1E that armor plates made their appearance.

Edited by quang
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Hi quang.  Thanks for pointing out the original purpose of the AD-5 and development of the A-1E.  I get lost in the "seeing is believing" mindset.  Your logical explanation is very helpful and appreciated.  I have some time before tackling the Fisher A-1E conversion so the more information and research acquired the better.  I'm still toying with the idea of modifying it to an AD-5.  The exchange of ideas and information provided by the members and visitors to these forums is an invaluable resource.  Many thanks to everyone.

Best regards, 

Pete

:thumbsup:

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1 hour ago, rock1947a said:

The exchange of ideas and information provided by the members and visitors to these forums is an invaluable resource. 

You’ll find lots info on the Skyraider and other USN planes on Tommy Thomason’s Tailhook Topics site. HERE

HTH

Quang

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I'll second Quang's comment. Depends on the mission set. The SPAD was a workhorse and flew all sorts of missions. The USN variants doing EW and ASW likely wouldn't have it, especially as they were already at the upper end of their weight limit with all the extra gear. Once the AF took ownership, they were stripped, so highly likely they could have the armor plating installed.

 

But totally agree that Tommy Thomason is likely your best bet to find everything you wanted to know and more!

HTH 

Peter

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3 hours ago, rock1947a said:

Hi quang.  Thanks for pointing out the original purpose of the AD-5 and development of the A-1E.  I get lost in the "seeing is believing" mindset.  Your logical explanation is very helpful and appreciated.  I have some time before tackling the Fisher A-1E conversion so the more information and research acquired the better.  I'm still toying with the idea of modifying it to an AD-5.  The exchange of ideas and information provided by the members and visitors to these forums is an invaluable resource.  Many thanks to everyone.

Best regards, 

Pete

:thumbsup:

AD-5 is an A-1E and vice versa - they are not two different airplanes.  The Navy called it AD-1,2,3,4,5,6,7 until the SECDEF required a common designating system among all the services back in the 60s, at which time all Spads became A-1E, A-1J, or A-1H or a similar variation like EA-1E.  I don’t think there were any AD-4s left in the inventory by the time the new system came into being so there wasn’t an A-1D, but don’t quote me on that.  All USAF A-1s were originally Navy airplanes.  USAF modified theirs slightly when they got them: different landing lights, different radios, different wheels, extractions seats in some, but it was still a Skyraider originally built for the Navy.  The Navy used their Spads for just about everything they could think of while the Air Force focused on air to mud.  I don’t know if the Navy ever used the E model in combat but their single-seaters saw yeoman service early in the war.  Ref the body armor on the E model:  some of the photos I looked at briefly show what appears to be bolt on armor just ahead of the wing root with what looks like big bolts in each corner, but don’t quote me on that, either.  This sounds like a good research project for you, but you’ll need to be careful because, before you know it, you’ll have spent more time researching than building.  

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Thanks very much for everyone's informative and interesting contributions on this subject.  I learned a lot and will pursue more research as suggested.  I find learning the historical and technical aspects of each aircraft just as rewarding as trying to build a representative model.  I admire and respect those with the skills to fly them.  Your time and interest in responding to my questions is greatly appreciated. Any and all comments are welcome.

Pete

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