Designed to replace the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider the Skyhawk first flew in 1954. Its small size was a radical departure from the normal “Big” thinking of the time. The USN first took delivery in late 1956 with the USMC receiving theirs 3 months later. Over the years many nicknames were used, “Tinker Toy”, “Heinemann’s Hotrod” (the designer was Ed Heinemann), with the E and F models labeled the “Camel” because of the electronics hump along the dorsal. Probably the most well known nickname used for the 2,960 A-4’s that were produced is “Scooter”.
In October 1965 the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) decided to purchase 10 A-4 Skyhawks 8 single-seat and 2 dual-seats. A-4G Skyhawk 883/N13-154904 was delivered to the RAN in November 1967. In January 1968 the aircraft was assigned to VF-805 and spent time onboard HMAS Melbourne. In 1982 HMAS Melbourne was decommissioned so aircraft from VF-805 were assigned to VF-724. In July 1984 883 was sold to the RNZAF as NZ6212 and upgraded to an A-4K variant. The aircraft was stored in 2001 and in 2012 sold to Draken International as N142EM