Main Menu

North American A3J / A-5 Vigilante



The Vigilante was designed as a Mach 2 carrier-based attack aircraft capable of carrying nuclear or conventional bombs. The airframe has high-set wings sweptback at 37.5 degrees, and sweptback tail surfaces, both horizontal and vertical surfaces consisting of one-piece all-moving surfaces. There are three section spoilers instead of ailerons. Three-section leading-edge flaps are on each wing. There is a flap blowing system for the trailing-edge flaps. The wingtips fold upward, fin-tip sideways and fuselage nose upward for stowage on board ship. The engines are mounted side-by-side in the rear fuselage, with wedge-shape air intakes on each side of the fuselage. A tricycle undercarriage has a single wheel on each unit, the nosewheel retracts inward and mains retract inward. Fuel tanks are in the fuselage and wings, with provision for jettisonable tanks in the bomb-bay and for inflight refuelling. Nuclear or conventional bombs are ejected through a tunnel between the engines and out of the tail.
The first prototype flew on 31 August 1958.


A3J-1 Vigilante no.1


Two YA3J-1 (NA-233, -247 / 145157/145158) were built, powered by 16150 lb GE YJ79-GE-2. First deliveries were made to the US Navy were made in June 1961 for service trials. They became YA5-A in 1962.
57 production A3J-1 (NA-247, -258, -263, -269, -272) attack aircraft were delivered to the US Navy during 1960, becoming operational on board USS Enterprise in February 1962 (146694/146702, 147850/147863, 148924/148933, 149276/149299). These became A-5A.
A-5A 147856
A-5A 147858
In 1962 six A3J-2 (NA-269) were built (149300/149305) with Additional fuel in a humped fuselage-top decking. First flying on 29 April 1962, they became A-5B.
First flying on 30 June 1962, 55 A3J-3P (149306/149317, 150823/150842, 151615/151634, 151726/151728, 156608/156643) were built as a long-range photo-recon version of the A3J-2, plus 59 converted A-5A and A-5B. These became A-5C/RA-5C in 1962.
North American A-5C 156638

North American RA-5C
The other major version of the Vigilante was the RA-5G, a reconnaissance type of which more than 90 were built as new; most of the A-5A were subsequently converted to this standard.




Engines: 2x General Electric J79-GE-2, 10,500 lb (15,000 with reheat)
Wingspan: 53 ft
Length: 73 ft
Height: 20 ft


A3J-1 / A-5A
Engines: 2 x J-79, 17000 lb
Wingspan: 53'0"
Length: 76'6"
Max speed: 1385 mph
Cruise speed: 805 mph
Stall: 156 mph
Range: 985 mi
Ceiling: 43,800'
A3J-3P / A-5C / RA-5C
Engines: 2 x J79, 17860 lb
Length: 76'6"
Useful load: 42,090 lb
Max speed: 1290 mph
Cruise speed: 783 mph
Stall: 154 mph
Range internal fuel: 547 mi
Range max fuel: 944 mi
Ceiling: 48,400'
Combat radius: 1,500 mi
RA‑5C Vigilante
Engines: 2 x GE J-79-8(N) turbo-jet, 75.6kN
Max take-off weight: 27300 kg / 60187 lb
Wingspan: 16.2 m / 53 ft 2 in
Length: 22.3 m / 73 ft 2 in
Height: 5.9 m / 19 ft 4 in
Wing area: 65.0 sq.m / 699.65 sq ft
Max. speed: M2+
Ceiling: 18300 m / 60050 ft
Range: 3700 km / 2299 miles
Crew: 2



North American A3J-1 / A-5 Vigilante



Copyright © 2020 all-aero. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.