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Dirk Derks
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Douglas Skyraider AEW Mk.1 RN

December 16, 2019 · in Aviation · · 15 Comments

Under the MDAP (Mutual Defence Assistance Program) the Royal Navy received , from 1951 onwards, a total of fifty Douglas Skyraiders AD-4W. The Royal Navy changed their designation into AEW. Mk1. (Air Early Warning mark one.) Tasking was mainly providing over the horizon radar coverage to protect the British fleet from attack. By doing so they became the first dedicated frontline AEW system. The AN-APS 20 radar was placed in the dome and weighed about one ton. If working properly, it had a range of more than 100 nautical miles. Although , they provided sterling service, they actually saw only combat service during the Suez Crisis in 1956. Normally a "flight" of four Skyraiders were assigned to one carrier.
Crew: Pilot, in the Back Office radio/radar assistant and the LT. Observer.

The model represents A-Flight, on board HMS Eagle during the Suez Crisis November 1956. "Operation Musketeer"

Link with actual footage:

7 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Very nice. Going to have to get one to go with my Wyvern

  2. Real nice work.

  3. Well done Dirk!

  4. Dirk, @orion
    This is an amazing build... and I have never seen another one like it. Did you scratch build all of the "extra" bits like the vertical fins on the stabilizers and the radar housing ? The open engine panels are another very nice touch.


  5. Hello All,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Louis, the kit was build OOB. The wings were halved and closed with Evergreen.
    I think, the box itself is from the late eighties.
    Regards, Dirk

  6. That's a real beauty Dirk! Those Suez stripes really set off the mono-blue scheme.

  7. Another great one, Dirk! It doesn't look like the radar operator had too much room.

    • Agree, this is a very nice model. However, the operators in the back had PLENTY of room. Sweden bought a few former RN SKyraiders for tug use. Been crawling inside and out in a couple of them and there is plenty of space for two operators sitting side by side. Plan to upload some photos of the Swedish Skyraiders later on.

      • Hello Stellan,
        Thanks for your reply. Looking forward to the detail pictures regarding the OPS center in the rear.
        For the Gannet AEW I have the complete OPS center in scale 1/72. So the door can be left open.

    • Hello Robert,
      I think the crew in the rear was glad when the pilot brought the airplane back to the deck and not in the drink. Not a lot of change of getting yourself out of this office.
      Regards, Dirk

  8. Which kit is this, Dirk? Is it the ESCI/Italerei 1/48 kit? If so you have done some remarkable work.

    Very nice result!

  9. Hello Tom,

    Yes it is the old number 4046 Esci kit. I just checked my box art on "Scalemates". It was brought on the market in 1979. Just lumbering on the shelf. Dusted it off and gave it some live.

    History 1/48 model Skyraider AD-4W*


  10. Nice one Dirk, never seen one built. Thanks for sharing.

  11. love your stuff

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