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Douglas XA2D Skyshark

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Allison T-40
5,100 shp
12,900 lbs.
22,960 lbs.
41' 3"
50' 0"
4- 20mm
5,500 lbs.
276 mph
500 mph
7,300 fpm
48,000 feet
2,200 miles

Douglas XA2D Skyshark aircraft were the fastest single engine turboprops in the world with a top speed in excess of 500 mph.

Skysharks were intended as fast ground attack and troop support aircraft.

In 1945 Douglas was asked by the Navy to explore the possibility of producing a turboprop powered carrier based attack aircraft. It was to use the 5,100 shp Allison twin axial-flow turbine engine driving two counter rotating propellers through a reduction gearbox. On September 25,1947, two prototype XA2D Skyshark aircraft were ordered.

The XA2D Skyshark first flew on March 26, 1950. Almost immediately, severe engine vibration problems appeared. However the Navy placed orders for a total of 91 Skysharks pending solution of the vibration problems. Unfortunately additional tests revealed problems with bearing failures, reduction gear failures, and overheating of the rear fuselage at the engine exhausts. Then the prototype crashed, killing the pilot.

A second Skyshark prototype flew on April 3, 1952. It was engineered to address the problems found with the first XA2D. However, problems with the Allison turboprop remained.

The first production A2D Skyshark flew on June 10, 1953, but there were still problems with engine and gearbox failures. On Aug. 5, 1954 it crashed, but the pilot ejected safely. With that, the remaining Skyshark aircraft at the plant were scrapped.

Although the Douglas XA2D Skyshark was much faster than the aircraft it was to replace, engine reliability problems could not be overcome and the program was canceled.

1/48 Scale Model Airplane from Dynavector

1/72 Scale Model Airplane from Realplanes.

We don't know of any RC Douglas XA2D Skyshark airplanes and it appears that even Douglas XA2D Skyshark scale model airplanes are rare.

The first picture immediately above is of the Douglas XA2D Skyshark scale plastic model airplane from Dynavector. The model airplane is in 1/48 scale.

The next picture is of a 1/72 scale Douglas XA2D Skyshark scale plastic model airplane from Rareplanes.

If you have built a Douglas XA2D Skyshark radio control airplane or scale model airplane, or know of one that should be on this page, please email us.

Suggested reading for those considering a rc XA2D Skyshark:
Getting Started in Radio Control Airplanes, by Gerry Yarrish
Radio Control Airplane Workshop Secrets by the publishers of MAN
Take Off - All about Radio Control Airplanes by Alex Weiss
Radio Control Airplane Finishing & Detailing by the publishers of MAN
Radio Control Airplane How-To's by Frank Masi
Building Your First Radio Control Airplane by John Carroll
Scale Radio Control Airplanes by David Boddington
Radio Control Airplane Building Techniques by Randy Randolph
Flying radio control airplanes & helicopters by Edward L Safford
Covering Radio Control Airplanes by Faye Stilley and Tom Atwood
Advanced Guide to Radio Control Airplane Sport Flying by Douglas R. Pratt
Everything you should know about radio control airplane flying by Harold Cunningham
Radio Control Airplane Models by Michael E. Goodman
Flying Radio Control Airplane Aerobatics by Charles Allison and Andy Nicholls
Radio Controlled Airplanes by Suzanne Lord
Radio Control Airplane Aerobatics for Everyone by Dave Patrick
Basics of Radio Control Airplane Design by Andy Lennon