Douglas A-3D Skywarrior & B-66 Destroyer

A-3D Skywarrior

B-66 Destroyer

The Douglas A-3 Skywarrior is a jet-powered strategic bomber that was developed and produced by the Douglas Aircraft Company. It was designed by Douglas on behalf of the United States Navy, which sought a carrier-capable strategic bomber.

On 31 March 1956, the Skywarrior entered squadron service with the Navy. Initially used in the nuclear-armed strategic bomber role, the emergence of effective ballistic missiles led to this mission being deprioritised by the early 1960s. Throughout the majority of its later service life, the Skywarrior was tasked with various secondary missions, which included use as an electronic warfare platform, tactical reconnaissance aircraft, and high capacity aerial refueling tanker.[1] It was among the longest serving carrier-based aircraft in history, having entered service during the mid-1950s and withdrawn from use in 1991. Throughout its service, the Skywarrior was the heaviest operational aircraft to operate from an aircraft carrier,[2] which contributed to its nickname of "Whale".


The B-66 was developed for the United States Air Force (USAF) and is heavily based upon the United States Navy's A-3 Skywarrior,

Originally, officials intended for the aircraft to be a simple development of the earlier A-3, taking advantage of being strictly land-based to dispense with unnecessary naval features. However, due to the USAF producing extensive and substantially divergent requirements, it became necessary to make considerable alterations to the design, leading to a substantial proportion of the B-66 being original rather than derived from the A-3. The B-66 retained the three-man crew arrangement of the US Navy's A-3; differences included the incorporation of ejection seats, which the A-3 had lacked.

The standard model, designated B-66, was a bomber model that was procured to replace the aging Douglas A-26 Invader.