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    The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was designed to replace the piston-engined AD Skyraider in the close air support and interdiction role. It was capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear weapons.The prototype flew on 22 June, 1954.The first production model, the A-4A (165 built), entered service in 1956. The A-4B (542 built) entered service in 1957. The A-4C (638 built), entered service in 1960, and introduced a new radar unit which provided limited night and bad weather capability. The A-4E (498 built), was equipped with a more powerful engine and other improvements and entered service in late 1962. The A-4F was a modified version of the "E" model and included an upgraded engine, nose wheel steering, wing spoilers, a zero-zero ejection seat, and an upper avionics pod which gave the aircraft its characteristic "humpback"shape. The A-4G entered service with the Royal Australian Navy in 1967. It was armed with Sidewinder missiles and flew from the carrier Melbourne.


    • 26 unique Skyhawk exterior models.
    • 26 unique Skyhawk cockpit models.
    • 22 unique FDE's (flight dynamics tailored to specific loadout.
    • fully functional APG-53A radar unit, with multiple modes and functions.
    • package centers on A-4E and A-4F variants and sub-variants.
    • multiple texture sets : 3 USN, 3 USMC, 2 Adversaries, 1 Blue Angels, 2 RAAF.
    • very high quality native FSX models.
    • multiple bomb/missile/tank loadouts.
    • accurately modelled and working catapult bridle and holdback assemblies (FSX Acceleration req'd for this).
    • Top Gun Adversaries, Australian A-4G and Blue Angels versions included.
    • sharp, 2048-pixel bump-mapped textures.
    • ultra-high quality 3D cockpit.
    • realistic switch and knob 'click' sounds.
    • super-smooth 'RealGauge' 3D instruments.
    • illustrated user manual in PDF format.
    • high quality soundset.
    • PhotoShop painkit files provided.


    FSX Acceleration or Gold


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    Review of Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Produced by Virtavia. The Douglas A-4 Skyhawk is a single seated, one engine ground attack, fighter and adversary aircraft built by Douglas Aircraft Company (later McDonnell Douglas). Designed for the US Navy with capability to land and take-off on carriers, and with the possibility to deliver nuclear weapons on enemy targets. It was the replacement of the Douglas AD (A-1) Skyraider. The original A-4 flew its first flight back in 1954 and started service in 1956. The Skyhawks played key roles in wars as the Vietnam War, the Yom Kippur War and the Falklands War, and now after more than 50 years, the aircraft is still in active service of non-US users but has been retired from the US Navy since 2003. I received this add-on aircraft directly from Virtavia and after the download had completed I started the installation process which is very user friendly. All that needs to be done is to activate the installation wizard and that will take care of the rest. The installation did not take more than half a minute or so, and when completed I opened up my FSX folders to verify that the installation process had completed successfully. Of course it had and I found the A-4 files perfectly placed in my FSX SimObjects Aircraft library. Hereafter I opened up my FSX and went into my virtual hangar. I found the Skyhawk perfectly placed together with other add-on aircrafts that I have from Virtavia. I quickly discovered that this add-on actually consists of several versions as the E and F model and also included are various liveries to make it perfect. One thing was a superb surprise and that was the liveries of the Skyhawk used in the movie Top Gun as the adversary aircraft flown by Tom Skerritt – nick name Jester. This was a very nice surprise because I often link this aircraft to that specific movie and now I suddenly had the opportunity to actually fly the aggressor aircraft – Cool! The base models used are the A-4E and A-4F together with sub-variants and in regards to liveries you have both USN, USMC, two versions of the adversary, a Blue Angel and the RAN. The package also includes several different loadouts as bomb, missile and tank versions and to spice this all up to the next level, Virtavia have actually created tailored flight dynamics for 22 specific loadouts. The various loadouts can be toggled off using the “Jettison” switch in the cockpit to simulate weapons used when returning back to base. E.g. the rocket pods will still appear but with the nose cone gone and the rocket absent. This is really impressive and now the simmer has the opportunity to actually feel the difference of flying a clean aircraft compared to e.g. a fully loaded aircraft with heavy bombs and fuel tanks. Together with this add-on aircraft is also included a 44-page manual which is very well written and to get the most out flying and understanding the Skyhawk, I would of course suggest to read or skim the manual. There are quite a few tips and descriptions that I found useful as e.g. how to get the APG-53A Radar to work. Virtavia have created a fully working APG-53A Radar with multiple modes and functions which is a really good feature. I started my test with a tour around the aircraft just to get a feeling of the model. The model is indeed very well made with a huge number of details. The textures used are high quality textures of 2048 pixel bump-mapped and the finish of the aircraft was really stunning. Complete clean, sharp and very realistic modeling. I compared the model to pictures that I could find on the internet of the real Skyhawks and the resemblance was remarkable. Virtavia has nailed this aircraft spot-on and it is really very impressively made. Very realistic looking with various characteristically features as e.g. the very tall nose wheel gear. The model features furthermore several animations such as nose wheel steering, suspension, wheels turning, flaps, control surfaces, gear, canopy, speed brake and much more. Together with all this the model also features some effects as a really nice lighting with clean, clear and bright lights placed very accurately in accordance with the real Skyhawks and also a good smoke effect which I find to be very important in such an old military jet – that just contributes to create the best realism. The Skyhawk also features an accurate paint-chipped Skyhawk access ladder that appears on shutdown and wingfold keypress, with a custom aluminium ladder for the Blue Angels model. As extra Virtavia has also created a fully working auto-spoiler on the later variants, which would be used when landing on a runway, but not on a carrier and also a fuel dump feature which causes a faint fuel trail to emit from the fuel dump vent. Going from the outside to the inside of the Skyhawk I now found a stunning virtual cockpit. The virtual cockpit is completely made with all details, clickable switches and buttons that actually are linked to the various systems as e.g. a switchable gunsight. Virtavia has also included a high quality sound set for these switches and buttons that are very realistic. Multiple animations as e.g. the controls, very impressive and smooth 3D gauges and instruments that are super realistic and again very high quality textures are used to create a perfect looking virtual cockpit. A superb depth is created in the virtual cockpit and I am very impressed by the quality of the details that Virtavia has included here. The finish is absolutely awesome and the feeling that I got when sitting in this virtual cockpit was truly very realistic. The atmosphere was very realistic both when preparing the aircraft for flight, when starting up the aircraft and also when flying the aircraft. I was very curious about one specific thing that I find very important when using a virtual cockpit and that was the view of the wings from the cockpit. This was of course also created to a high perfection. I could easily see the wings when turning my head towards them and this really increases the overall realism greatly in my opinion. A 2D panel is not included but I don’t think that simmers would need it anyway since this virtual cockpit is so very well made. As extra the Skyhawk also features a fully working catapult bridle and hold back assemblies, but to use this you will need the FSX Acceleration Pack. The sound set included is very realistic and I of course compared it to various sound files that I could find on the internet. I actually also discovered that Virtavia has included a sound file for the wheel brakes which are very well made and really gives the simmer that extra experience of being in a real Skyhawk. I tested the sound set in both stereo, 2.1 and 7.1 surround sound and it all worked perfectly. The flight dynamics are all very realistic as far as what I could imagine, this even though that I haven’t flown this aircraft in real life, but in accordance with standard aerodynamics and the specs on the datasheet for this aircraft, I would say that they are very realistic. Overall this is an aircraft add-on of very high quality that features a huge number of details, a very realistic and accurate model(s) and a superb virtual cockpit with an awesome finish. Great depth and super smooth 3D gauges and instruments just to spice it all up. Virtavia has with this add-on really focused on the details and provides the simmer with a monster of an aircraft that are made with the eye for the details and to a high level of perfection. I rate this add-on aircraft with 5/5-stars and awards it with the Rays Aviation Gold Award. I thank Virtavia for contributing to the flightsim community with this excellent old classic bird that they have created to this high level of perfection. Rays Aviation www.RaysAviation.Mono.Net


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