Requiem for the Skyhawk
By Ross Ewing
S u m m a r y
|Contents and Media:
||Hardcover with colour sleeve,
152 pages, colour , black and white pics.
||Price in text.
||Excellent information, history
and reference on the A-4 Skyhawk during its service from acquisition
to disbandment with the Royal New Zealand Airforce.
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Book Review by
Recently I had the pleasure to receive a copy of the above book from a
HyperScale friend in New Zealand.
I've been a fan of the A-4 Skyhawk for quite a while and after the
release in 1/48 scale by Hasegawa of the A-4K version of the 'Scooter', I
was looking around for a good reference source to help build the RNZAF
version of this venerable aircraft to go with my excellent Gekko Graphics
decals I had just purchased. After asking around for any sources on the
A-4 with the RNZAF, this book was suggested by a number of 'HyperScalers'
and after taking delivery of my copy, I've found that it fits the bill
The book comes in a hardcover format with a full colour sleeve showing
an excellent front-on view of a RNZAF A-4 in all its glory, 'bombed up'
and ready to go to work. Covered in the books glossy 152 pages and 13
chapters, is everything from a history of air combat from WW2 with the
RNZAF aircrew in the RAF, selection of the A-4 Skyhawk in the 1970s to
replace the ageing Vampire fighters and Canberra bombers then in service
with the RNZAF, flying the A-4, attrition, aerobatic teams including 'Kiwi
Red', refurbishment and the 'Kahu' update, acquisition of the Royal
Australian Navy A-4G and TA-4G aircraft through to 1990s Defence politics,
deployment of 2 Squadron RNZAF to Nowra, NSW in Australia, replacement
questions and the final political decision of disbandment. Inside the
front cover is a brief specifications table of the A-4K with a rough line
drawing of the same and at the rear of the book are comprehensive
appendices covering things such as a pilot list, Commanding officers of 75
Squadron, RNZAF, and aircraft serials and losses during its service. I
found the book to be a perfect partner to the video 'A-4 Skyhawk' that
celebrated 25 years of Skyhawk Operations by the RNZAF that was produced
in 1995 by Demand Video Productions Ltd. The author of this book was on
the team from the RNZAF that trained and then took delivery of the
aircraft in the US and discusses the A-4 and its purchase in the video. I
believe this video is still available through Aviation Worldwide in NZ.
Check out their website at
www.aviation-worldwide.com for availability. I have purchased a number
of items through them and the service is top rate.
I found the book to be a comfortable, enthralling and easy read. It is
well illustrated in both colour and black and white, and deals with the
subject in most chapters in a non technical fashion. The final chapter is
of special interest as it discusses the political decision to disband the
RNZAF fast jet capability with the ultimate demise of the Skyhawk
squadrons and the Macchi MB-339 training aircraft, and what is at stake to
the New Zealand people because of this decision. If you are after a
technical manual this isn't the book for you, but if you are interested in
the A-4 Skyhawk in general as well as their service history with the RNZAF
this book will make a welcome addition to everyones reference library.
The book is available direct from Old Sausage Publishers Ltd, P.O. Box
20-170, Christchurch, New Zealand. 2002 for NZD 49-95 plus postage and
packing. For information on ordering and payment requirements you can
contact them at
firstname.lastname@example.org . Some enquiries I made to the publishers on
some areas of the book were met with a quick and courteous reply so you
can be assured of prompt service.
This is a great publication, an enjoyable read and well worth the
purchase price for anyone interested in the A-4 Skyhawk.
Many thanks to the publisher for his
assistance with the book and answering my emails.
The book was supplied courtesy of my
wallet, with the assistance of Steve Sharman in NZ. Thanks Steve....
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