To place an A-3 Skywarrior aircraft on static display at the Naval Air
Station Whidbey Island, as a memorial to those who flew it, those who
perished, and those who provided support for the aircraft and its
missions. The A-3 and its crews shall not be forgotten.
History Of Douglas A3D Skywarrior, Side No. “263”,
Bureau Number 144825
The aircraft on
display here is on loan from the
National Naval Aviation Museum
in Pensacola, Florida.
as an A3D-2P, special Photographic Reconnaissance
version aircraft and was the 206th Skywarrior of 283
built by the Douglas Aircraft Corporation in El
Accepted by US Navy in December
1958 and assigned to Naval Air Test Center (NATC)
Patuxent River, MD in 1959 for carrier suitability
trials although it never trapped aboard an aircraft
Modified by Grumman with a huge
nose radome to house a five-foot Westinghouse radar
antenna as a test bed for the Bendix AAM-N-10 Eagle
missile to be used on a proposed Douglas F6D Missileer.
The aircraft also gained the nickname as “Snoopy” due
to this Radome installation. After termination of
Eagle & F6D programs in 1960 the aircraft was assigned
to the Naval Missile Center/Pacific Missile Test
Center (NMC/PMTC) in Point Mugu, CA..
as an NRA-3B in 1962 based on a common designation
system by the Department of Defense.
In 1990 the
outsized radome was removed and replaced with a normal
size radome from NRA-3B 144833. This aircraft was
retired from the Navy in 1991 then bailed as US
Government property to Hughes Aircraft Corporation.
Used as a radar research & test aircraft at Van Nuys
Airport, California under Civil registration N578HA.
Hughes merged with The Raytheon Company in 1997 and
continued to operate the aircraft under Civil
On 29 April 2011 this aircraft
made its final flight to its permanent home at NAS
Whidbey Island to be display at this site. The
aircraft was on display for the Centennial of Naval
Aviation Celebration in July 2011 at NAS Whidbey
Restoration of the aircraft to
its current configuration began thereafter utilizing
numerous volunteers from the Naval Air Station,
Squadrons, Support Facilities and the A3 Skywarrior
Whidbey Memorial Foundation. This aircraft has been
modified for display to resemble those aircraft
stationed here during the 1950’s, 60’s and early 70’s.
The aircraft was displayed for the VQ-2
Decommissioning Ceremony May 2012.