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A-5 Vigilante

A-5 Vigilante

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RA-5C Specifications

        Primary Function:
        Weight Empty:
        Max. Weight:
        Cruise Speed:
        Max. Speed:
        Initial Climb:
        First Flight:
        Year Deployed:
GE J79
2 x 17,859 lbs. ea.
76 ft. 6 in.
53 ft.
37,498 lbs.
79,588 lbs.
560 mph
1,290 mph
8,000 fpm
49,000 feet
2,050 miles

The A-5 Vigilante produced by North American was one of the most advanced and largest aircraft to operate from United States Navy carriers at the time of its deployment.

They were quick and maneuverable for a large aircraft. However, they had a relatively fast landing speed due to their high wing loading. This was a problem for some pilots.

The A-5 Vigilante was the first production aircraft to utilize fly-by-wire technology.

The aircraft were the first to be equipped with an automated bombing system using both radar and T.V. imaging for aiming.

It was the first aircraft ever deployed with a Head Up Display (HUD).

The A-5 Vigilante was the first aircraft capable of low altitude navigation using a terrain following radar system.

Although they served as an attack aircraft, some believe that the aircraft had an influence on the design of the Soviet interceptors.

A total of 158 A-5 Vigilante aircraft of all types were produced.

A-5 Vigilante
The A-5 Vigilante built by Harold Ferguson.

Immediately above is a photo of the great looking scratch built A-5 Vigilante by Harold Ferguson. The radio control airplane has a wingspan of 47" and a length of 66". Scale oleo struts and a knee type nose gear strut add to the scale appearance of the rc airplane. Harold's A-5 Vigilante is powered by a Wren MW 54 turbine.

Pictured first below is the A-5 Vigilante by Nitro Planes.  It has a 40" wingspan and is EDF powered.

Pictured second below is the Flying Models A-5 Vigilante. It is designed by Phil Nuckles and features fiberglass and foam construction. Wing span is 63" and length is 87". Suggested power is a single Byro-jet fan powered by an O.S. .91 engine.

Mark Frankel Plans will sell you their plans for a A-5 Vigilant. The plans are no. 902 available from RC Modeler magazine. It has a 66” wing span. Construction materials are balsa, ply, fiberglass and foam core for the wings. We were unable to find any information on how it is powered.

The last picture on this page is of the A-5 Vigilante built by Frank Burke. You can find the build article in RC Groups. It has a wing span of 24" and a length of 28". Frank powers his rc airplane with a park 300 motor pusher prop. It is made from 6 mm Depron foam and weighs 7.2 oz.

Sgt Dudley of RC Groups, aka Mike Dudley started a build thread about his A-5 Vigilante. Its wingspan is 39", and length is 46". Power for the approximately 2 lb. 2 oz. scale model radio control airplane is by a pair of 56 mm EDF's.

Another build thread at RC Groups is by Triple B. His A-5 Vigilante foamy has a brushless motor turning a 6 x 4 pusher prop. It has a 28" wingspan, is 37" long, and weighs about 18 1/2 oz.

There is a posting to RC Groups by ac rite90 about his 33" wingspan A-5 Vigilante with pusher prop power and retractable landing gear.

You will find a post from kemsing of RC Groups regarding his A-5 Vigilante with a 36" wingspan, a 48" length, driven by a geared pusher prop.

A-5 Vigilante
A-5 Vigilante from Nitro Planes.

A-5 Vigilante
A-5 Vigilante from Mark Frankel Plans.

A-5 Vigilante
A-5 Vigilante by Frank Burke.

Please email us with pictures and details if you have built an A-5 Vigilante or one of its variants, or know of any that you can recommend to put on this page.