On 13 September 2002, with no fanfare and little official recognition, the A-4 Skyhawk will achieve an unbelievable first in the history of U.S. naval aviation. On that date, the A-4, Ed Heinemann's Hot Rod, will mark its 50th year. Not an easy feat for any aircraft, let alone a carrier aircraft, considering the multitude of new aircraft types that were appearing when the contract for the A-4 was first let on 13 September 1952.
The Skyhawk Turns 50
By Lieutenant Commander Roger Pyle, U.S. Navy