Grumman A-6 Intruder
The Grumman A-6 Intruder is an American, twinjet all-weather attack aircraft built by Grumman Aerospace. In service with the United States Navy and Marine Corps between 1963 and 1997, the Intruder was designed as an all-weather medium attack aircraft to replace the piston-engined Douglas A-1 Skyraider; as the A-6E was scheduled for retirement, its precision strike mission was taken over by the Grumman F-14 Tomcat equipped with a LANTIRN pod. From the A-6, a specialized electronic warfare derivative, the EA-6B Prowler, was developed. Following the good performance of the propeller-driven Skyraider in the Korean War, the United States Navy issued preliminary requirements in 1955 for an all-weather carrier-based attack aircraft; the U. S. Navy published an operational requirement document for it in October 1956, it released a request for proposals in February 1957. Proposals were submitted by Bell, Douglas, Lockheed, North American, Vought. Following evaluation of the bids, the U. S. Navy announced the selection of Grumman on 2 January 1958.
The company was awarded a contract for the development of the A2F-1 in February 1958. The A-6's design team was led by Jr.. He played a lead role in the design of the Lunar Excursion Module and the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. In the early 60s, it was rare for a fighter-sized aircraft to have sophisticated avionics that used multiple computers; this design experience was taken into consideration by NASA in their November 1962 decision to choose Grumman over other companies like General Dynamics-Convair to build the Lunar Module, a small-sized spacecraft with two onboard computers. The first prototype YA2F-1, lacking radar and the navigational and attack avionics, made the Intruder's first flight on 19 April 1960, with the second prototype flying on 28 July 1960. In general, development flying went well, with the major problem encountered being handling problems associated with the aircraft's air brakes mounted on the rear fuselage. In an attempt to solve this, the third prototype had its horizontal tailplane moved rearwards by 16 inches, but this did not solve the handling problems, which were resolved by fitting split-hinged speed-brakes on the aircraft's wing-tips.
Early production aircraft were fitted with both the fuselage and wingtip air brakes, although the fuselage-mounted items were soon bolted shut, were removed from aircraft. The jet nozzles were designed to swivel downwards for shorter takeoffs and landings; this feature was included on prototype aircraft, but was removed from the design during flight testing. The cockpit used an unusual double pane windscreen and side-by-side seating arrangement in which the pilot sat in the left seat, while the bombardier/navigator sat to the right and below; the incorporation of a 2nd crew member with separate responsibilities, along with a unique cathode ray tube display that provided a synthetic display of terrain ahead, enabled low-level attack in all weather conditions. The A-6's wing was efficient at subsonic speeds compared to supersonic fighters such as the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, which are limited to subsonic speeds when carrying a payload of bombs; the wing was designed to provide good maneuverability with a sizable bomb load.
A similar wing would be put on pivots on Grumman's supersonic swing-wing Grumman F-14 Tomcat, as well as similar landing gear. The Intruder was equipped with the "Deceleron", a type of airbrake on the wings with two panels that opened in opposite directions. For its day, the Intruder had sophisticated avionics, with a high degree of integration, it was felt that this could lead to extraordinary maintenance requirements, to identify and isolate equipment malfunctions. Hence, the aircraft was provided with automatic diagnostic systems, some of the earliest computer-based analytic equipment developed for aircraft; these were known as Basic Automated Checkout Equipment, or BACE. There were two levels, known as "Line BACE" to identify specific malfunctioning systems in the aircraft, while in the hangar or on the flight line; this equipment was manufactured by Litton Industries. Together, the BACE systems reduced the Maintenance Man-Hours per Flight Hour, a key index of the cost and effort needed to keep military aircraft operating.
The Intruder was equipped to carry and launch nuclear weapons and Navy crews planned for assigned nuclear missions. Because the A-6 was a low-flying attack aircraft, a semi-automated toss bombing method was developed. Known as LABS-IP it called for a high-speed low-level approach. Nearing the target point, the pilot would put the aircraft into a steep climb. At a computer-calculated point in the climb, the weapon would be released, with momentum carrying it upwards and forwards; the pilot would continue the climb more steeply, until near a vertical position the aircraft would be rolled and turned, heading back in the direction from which it came. It would depart from the area at maximum acceleration. During this time, the bomb would rise to an apex, still heading in its original direction begin to fall towards the target while traveling further forward. At a pre-programmed height, it would detonate. By that time, the Intruder would be several miles away, traveling at top speed, thus able to stay ahead of the shock wave from the explosion.
This unusual maneuver was known as an "over the shoulde
Grumman F4F Wildcat
The Grumman F4F Wildcat is an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940, where it was known as the Martlet. First used in combat by the British in the North Atlantic, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1941 and 1942. With a top speed of 318 mph, the Wildcat was outperformed by the faster 331 mph, more maneuverable, longer-ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. However, the F4F's ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thach Weave, resulted in a claimed air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war. Lessons learned from the Wildcat were applied to the faster F6F Hellcat. While the Wildcat had better range and maneuverability at low speed, the Hellcat could rely on superior power and high speed performance to outperform the Zero; the Wildcat continued to be built throughout the remainder of the war to serve on escort carriers, where larger and heavier fighters could not be used.
Grumman fighter development began with the two-seat Grumman FF biplane. The FF was the first U. S. naval fighter with a retractable landing gear. The wheels retracted into the fuselage, leaving the tires visibly exposed, flush with the sides of the fuselage. Two single-seat biplane designs followed, the F2F and F3F, which established the general fuselage outlines of what would become the F4F Wildcat. In 1935, while the F3F was still undergoing flight testing, Grumman started work on its next biplane fighter, the G-16. At the time, the U. S. Navy favored a monoplane design, the Brewster F2A-1, ordering production early in 1936. However, an order was placed for Grumman's G-16 as a backup in case the Brewster monoplane proved to be unsatisfactory, it was clear to Grumman that the XF4F-1 would be inferior to the Brewster monoplane, so Grumman abandoned the XF4F-1, designing instead a new monoplane fighter, the XF4F-2. The XF4F-2 would retain the same, fuselage-mounted, hand-cranked main landing gear as the F3F, with its narrow track.
The unusual manually-retractable main landing gear design for all of Grumman's U. S. Navy fighters up to and through the F4F, as well as for the amphibious Grumman J2F utility biplane, was created in the 1920s by Leroy Grumman for Grover Loening. Landing accidents caused by failure of the main gear to lock into place were distressingly common; the overall performance of Grumman's new monoplane was felt to be inferior to that of the Brewster Buffalo. The XF4F-2 was marginally faster, it was chosen for production. After losing out to Brewster, Grumman rebuilt the prototype as the XF4F-3 with new wings and tail and a supercharged version of the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 "Twin Wasp" radial engine. Testing of the new XF4F-3 led to an order for F4F-3 production models, the first of, completed in February 1940. France ordered the type, powered by a Wright R-1820 "Cyclone 9" radial engine, but France fell to the Axis powers before they could be delivered and the aircraft went instead to the British Royal Navy, who christened the new fighter the Martlet.
The U. S. Navy adopted the aircraft type on 1 October 1941 as the Wildcat; the Royal Navy's and U. S. Navy's F4F-3s, armed with four.50 in Browning machine guns, joined active units in 1940. On 16 December 1940, the XF4F-3 prototype, BuNo 0383, c/n 356, modified from XF4F-2, was lost under circumstances that suggested that the pilot may have been confused by the poor layout of fuel valves and flap controls and inadvertently turned the fuel valve to "off" after takeoff rather than selecting flaps "up"; this was the first fatality in the type. Before the Wildcat had been purchased by the U. S. Navy, the French Navy and the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm had ordered the Wildcat, with their own configurations, via the Anglo-French Purchasing Board; the F4F Wildcat was taken on by the FAA as an interim replacement for the Fairey Fulmar. The Fulmar was a two-seat fighter with good range but operated at a performance disadvantage against single-seater fighters. Navalised Supermarine Spitfires were not available because of the greater need of the Royal Air Force.
In the European theater, the Wildcat scored its first combat victory on Christmas Day 1940, when a land-based Martlet destroyed a Junkers Ju 88 bomber over the Scapa Flow naval base. This was the first combat victory by a US-built fighter in British service in World War II; the type pioneered combat operations from the smaller escort carriers. Six Martlets went to sea aboard the converted former German merchant vessel HMS Audacity in September 1941 and shot down several Luftwaffe Fw 200 Condor bombers during effective convoy escort operations; these were the first of many Wildcats to engage in aerial combat at sea. The British received 300 Eastern Aircraft FM-1s as the Martlet V in 1942–43 and 340 FM-2s as the Wildcat VI. In total, nearly 1,200 Wildcats would serve with the FAA. By January 1944, the Martlet name was dropped and the type was identified as the Wildcat. In March 1945, Wildcats shot down four Messerschmitt Bf 109s over Norway, the FAA's last victory with a Wildcat. I would still assess the Wildcat as the outstanding naval fighter of the early years of World War II...
I can vouch as a matter of personal experience, this Grumman fighter was one of the finest shipboard aeroplanes created. The last air-raid of the war in Europe was carried out by Fleet Air Ar
Bethpage, New York
Bethpage is a hamlet located on Long Island within the Town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, New York, United States, as well as a census-designated place with borders different from those of the hamlet. The CDP's population was 16,429 at the 2010 United States Census; the area is served by the Bethpage Post Office, ZIP code 11714, whose boundaries are different from that of the CDP. The area is served by Bethpage Union Free School District, Island Trees Union Free School District, Plainedge Union Free School District, Hicksville Union Free School District, the boundaries of which include parts of some surrounding hamlets, including parts of Old Bethpage and Plainedge; the Town of Hempstead, on its website, includes a small part of Bethpage hamlet, in the Levittown census-designated place. The name Bethpage comes from the Quaker Thomas Powell, who named the area after the Biblical town Bethphage, between Jericho and Jerusalem in the Holy Land. Present-day Bethpage was part of the 1695 Bethpage Purchase.
An early name for the northern section of present-day Bethpage was Bedelltown, a name that appeared on maps at least as late as 1906. On maps just before the arrival of the Long Island Rail Road, the name Bethpage appears for a community now included in both the post office district and school district of the adjacent community of Farmingdale. In 1841, train service began to Farmingdale station, near a new settlement less than a mile eastward from what had appeared on maps as Bethpage. Schedules at that time do not mention Bethpage as a stop, but have a notation "late Bethpage". On an 1855 map, the location identified as Bethpage has shifted westward to include a nearby area now called Plainedge. Between 1851 and 1854, the LIRR initiated a stop within present-day Bethpage at a station called Jerusalem Station, on January 29, 1857 a local post office opened named Jerusalem Station. LIRR schedules listed the station as Jerusalem. Residents succeeded in changing the name of the post office to Central Park, effective March 1, 1867.
The Central Park Fire Company was organized in April 1910, incorporated in May 1911. In May 1923 the Central Park Water District was created. Following the 1932 opening of nearby Bethpage State Park, the name of the local post office was changed to Bethpage on October 1, 1936; the name Bethpage was, however in use by an adjacent community, which resisted suggestions of a merger and instead renamed itself Old Bethpage. The change from Central Park to Bethpage was one of the last complete name changes of Nassau County's post offices. From 1936 until 1994, Bethpage was home to the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, which made, among other things, the F-14 Tomcat, the Navy version of the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark and the Apollo Lunar Excursion Module for moon landings, for this reason Bethpage is mentioned in the film Apollo 13. In 1994, Grumman was formed Northrop Grumman. Although no longer headquartered in Bethpage, the company still retains operations there. Grumman was made famous by the performance of its F4F Wildcat fighter aircraft and its successor the Grumman F6F Hellcat, which shot down 5,223 enemy aircraft, more than any other naval aircraft.
The Naval Weapons Industrial Reserve Plant, Bethpage started operations in 1942, west of the Grumman site. Altice USA, is headquartered in Grumman's former main office. In August 2015, a small airplane with engine trouble failed to reach Farmingdale airport, was redirected to "Bethpage Airport" by the air traffic controller. However, the pilot could not find that airport because it was closed and had buildings on it, the plane crashed on LIRR tracks. According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP, or Census Designated Place, has a total area of 3.6 square miles, all land. For the 2000 Census, the boundaries of the CDP were adjusted compared to those of the 1990 census, with some territory gained and some lost. Bethpage is surrounded by the hamlets of Farmingdale, Levittown, Old Bethpage and Plainedge; as of the census of 2010, there were 16,429 people, 5,710 households, 4,516 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 4,564.5 per square mile. There were 5,788 housing units at an average density of 1,597.0/sq mi.
The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.8% White 85.8% Non-Hispanic White, 0.6% African American, 0.1% Native American, 5.5% Asian, 1.5% from other races, 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7% of the population. There were 5,710 households out of which 32% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 20.9% were non-families. Of all households 17.9% were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.27. In the CDP, the population was spread out with 22.7% under the age of 18, 6.4% from 18 to 24, 29.0% from 25 to 44, 23.2% from 45 to 64, 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males. The median income for a household in the CDP was $70,173, the median income for a family was $78,573.
Males had a median income of $53,404 versus $36,708 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $27,850. About 2.1% of families and 3.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over. As of the census of 2000, there were 16,543 people, 5,71
Apollo Lunar Module
The Apollo Lunar Module, or lunar module designated the lunar excursion module, was the spacecraft, flown to and landed on the Moon. The lander spacecraft were built for the US Apollo program by Grumman Aircraft; the lunar module, consisting of a descent stage and an ascent stage, was ferried from the Earth to the Moon attached to the Apollo spacecraft command and service module twice its mass. The ascent stage carried a crew of two who flew the spacecraft from lunar orbit to the surface and back to the command module. Designed for lunar orbit rendezvous, the Apollo Lunar Module was discarded after completing its mission, it was capable of operation only in outer space. The lunar module was the first manned spacecraft to operate in the airless vacuum of space, it was the first, to date only, crewed vehicle to land anywhere beyond Earth. The LM's development was plagued with problems which delayed its first unmanned flight by about ten months, its first manned flight by about three months. Despite this, the LM became the most reliable component of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle, the only component never to suffer a failure that could not be corrected in time to prevent abort of a landing mission.
Ten lunar modules were launched into space. Of these, six landed humans on the Moon between 1969 and 1972; the first two launched were test flights in low Earth orbit—the first without a crew, the second with one. Another was used by Apollo 10 without landing. One lunar module functioned as a "lifeboat" for the crew of Apollo 13, providing life support and propulsion when their CSM was disabled by an oxygen tank explosion en route to the Moon, forcing the crew to abandon their landing; the total cost of the LM for development and the units produced was $21.3B in 2016 dollars, adjusting from a nominal total of $2.2B using the NASA New Start Inflation Indices. The six landed descent stages remain intact where they landed and one ascent stage is in heliocentric orbit. All the other LMs that flew either burned up in the Earth's atmosphere. At launch, the lunar module sat directly beneath the command and service module with legs folded, inside the Spacecraft-to-LM adapter attached to the S-IVB third stage of the Saturn V rocket.
There it remained through Earth parking orbit and the Trans Lunar Injection rocket burn to send the craft toward the Moon. Soon after TLI, the SLA opened and the CSM separated, turned around, came back to dock with the lunar module, extracted it from the S-IVB. During the flight to the Moon, the docking hatches were opened and the lunar module pilot entered the LM to temporarily power up and test its systems. Throughout the flight, he performed the role of an engineering officer, responsible for monitoring the systems of both spacecraft. After achieving a lunar parking orbit, the Commander and LM Pilot entered and powered up the LM, replaced the hatches and docking equipment and locked its landing legs, separated from the CSM, flying independently; the Commander operated the flight controls and engine throttle, while the lunar module pilot operated other spacecraft systems and kept the Commander informed on systems status and navigational information. After visual inspection of the landing gear by the Command Module Pilot, the LM was withdrawn to a safe distance the descent engine was pointed forward into the direction of travel to perform the 30 second descent orbit insertion burn to reduce speed and drop the LM's perilune to within 50,000 feet of the surface, about 260 nautical miles uprange of the landing site.
At this point, the engine was started again for powered descent initiation. During this time the crew flew on their backs, depending on the computer to slow the craft's forward and vertical velocity to near zero. Control was exercised with a combination of engine throttling and attitude thrusters, guided by the computer with the aid of landing radar. During the braking phase altitude decreased to 10,000 feet the final approach phase went to 700 feet. During final approach, the vehicle pitched over to a near-vertical position, allowing the crew to look forward and down to see the lunar surface for the first time. Astronauts only flew Apollo spacecraft manually during the lunar approach; the final landing phase began 2,000 feet uprange of the targeted landing site. At this point manual control was enabled for the Commander, enough propellant reserve was allocated to allow two minutes of hover time to survey where the computer was taking the craft and make any necessary corrections. If necessary, landing could have been aborted at any time by jettisoning the descent stage and firing the ascent engine to climb back into orbit for an emergency return to the CSM.
One or more of three 67.2-inch long probes extending from footpads on the legs of the lander touched the surface, activating the contact indicator light which signaled the commander to manually shut off the descent engine, allowing the LM to settle onto the surface. On touchdown, the probes would be bent as much as 180 degrees, or break off; the original design used the probes on all four legs, but starting with the first landing, the one at the ladder was removed out of concern that the bent probe after landing could puncture an astronaut's suit while he descended or stepped off the ladder. The original Extra-Vehicular Activity plan, up through at least
A torpedo bomber is a military aircraft designed to attack ships with aerial torpedoes. Torpedo bombers came into existence just before the First World War as soon as aircraft were built that were capable of carrying the weight of a torpedo, remained an important aircraft type until they were rendered obsolete by anti-ship missiles, they were an important element in many famous Second World War battles, notably the British attack at Taranto and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Torpedo bombers first appeared prior to the First World War, they carried torpedoes designed for air launch, which were smaller and lighter than those used by submarines and surface warships. Nonetheless, as an airborne torpedo could weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, more than twice the bomb load of contemporary single-engined bombers, the aircraft carrying it needed to be specially designed for the purpose. Many early torpedo bombers were floatplanes, such as the Short 184, the undercarriage had to be redesigned so that the torpedo could be dropped from the aircraft's centerline.
While many torpedo bombers were single-engine aircraft, some multi-engined aircraft have been used as torpedo bombers, with the Mitsubishi G3M Nell and Mitsubishi G4M Betty being used in the sinking of Prince of Wales and Repulse. Other twin-engine or three-engined aircraft designed or used as torpedo bombers include the Mitsubishi Ki-67, the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 "Sparviero", the CANT Z.1007, the Bristol Beaufort and Bristol Beaufighter, the Junkers Ju 88, the Heinkel He 111, the B-25 Mitchell and many others. Some postwar jet aircraft were adapted as torpedo bombers in the late 1950s; the last known torpedo bomber attack was made by US Navy Skyraiders against the Hwacheon Dam during the Korean War. The North Korean Air Force retired the world's last operational torpedo bombers in the 1980s. In a parallel development, many maritime strike aircraft and helicopters have been capable of launching guided torpedoes. Many naval staffs began to appreciate the possibility of using aircraft to launch torpedoes against moored ships in the period before the First World War.
Captain Alessandro Guidoni, an Italian naval captain, experimented with dropping weights from Farman MF.7 in 1912. Which led to Raúl Pateras Pescara and Guidoni developing a purpose-built torpedo bomber from which a 375 lb dummy torpedo was dropped in February 1914 but they abandoned their work shortly afterwards when the aircraft's performance proved inadequate. Admiral Bradley A. Fiske of the United States Navy took out a patent in 1912 for a torpedo carrying aircraft entitled "Method of and apparatus for delivering submarine torpedoes from airships." He suggested. Winston Churchill, as First Lord of the Admiralty from October 1911 to May 1915, was a strong proponent of naval air power, he established the Royal Naval Air Service in April 1912 and took flying lessons to foster aviation development. Churchill ordered the RNAS to torpedo bombers for the Fleet; the British Admiralty ordered the Short Admiralty Type 81 biplane floatplane as a reconnaissance aircraft. It first flew in July 1913 and was loaded aboard the cruiser HMS Hermes, converted to become the Royal Navy's first seaplane tender.
When the rival Sopwith Special, designed from the outset as a torpedo bomber, failed to lift its payload off the water, Shorts converted the Type 81 to carry torpedoes in July 1914, just before the outbreak of the First World War. On 28 July 1914, Arthur Longmore dropped the first aerial torpedo, a 14-inch 810 lb torpedo, from a Type 81 at the Royal Naval Air Station Calshot; the support wires of the floats were moved to allow the torpedo to be carried above the water and a specially designed quick-release mechanism was used. The first plane designed from the outset as a torpedo bomber was the five-seat floatplane biplane AD Seaplane Type 1000 or AD1. However, it proved to be a failure; when the prototype built by J. Samuel White from the Isle of Wight first flew in June 1916, it was found to be too heavy and its float struts too weak for operations. Remaining orders were cancelled. On 12 August 1915, a Royal Naval Air Service Short 184 floatplane torpedo bomber sank a Turkish merchantman in the Sea of Marmara.
It was operating from a seaplane carrier converted from a ferry. Fitted with an aircraft hangar, Ben-my-Chree was used to carry up to six biplanes with their wings folded back to reduce carrying space; this was the first ship sunk by air-launched torpedo. Five days another ship supplying Turkish forces in the Gallipoli campaign against British and New Zealand troops was sunk. Production of the Short 184 continued until after the Armistice of 11 November 1918, with a total of 936 built by several manufacturers, it served including the Imperial Japanese Navy, which built them under licence. The first torpedo bomber designed for operation from aircraft carriers was the Sopwith Cuckoo. First flown in June 1917, it was designed to take off from the Royal Navy's new aircraft carriers, but had to land on an airfield as arrester wires, needed to stop an aircraft during landing on a ship, had not yet been perfected; the Admiralty planned to use five carriers and 100-120 Cuckoos to attack the German High Seas Fleet, sheltering in Kiel since the Battle of Jutland in 1916 but when the war ended only 90 Cuckoos had been compl
Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler
The Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler is a twin-engine, four-seat, mid-wing electronic-warfare aircraft derived from the A-6 Intruder airframe. The EA-6A was the initial electronic warfare version of the A-6 used by the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy. Development on the more advanced EA-6B began in 1966. An EA-6B aircrew consists of one pilot and three Electronic Countermeasures Officers, though it is not uncommon for only two ECMOs to be used on missions, it is capable of firing anti-radiation missiles, such as the AGM-88 HARM missile. The Prowler was in service with the U. S. Armed Forces from 1971 until 2019, it has carried out numerous missions for jamming enemy radar systems, in gathering radio intelligence on those and other enemy air defense systems. From the 1998 retirement of the United States Air Force EF-111 Raven electronic warfare aircraft, the EA-6B was the only dedicated electronic warfare plane available for missions by the U. S. Navy, the U. S. Marine Corps, the U.
S. Air Force until the fielding of the Navy's EA-18G Growler in 2009. Following its last deployment in late 2014, the EA-6B was withdrawn from U. S. Navy service in June 2015, followed by the USMC in March 2019; the EA-6A "Electric Intruder" was developed for the U. S. Marine Corps during the 1960s to replace its EF-10B Skyknights; the EA-6A was a direct conversion of the standard A-6 Intruder airframe, with two seats, equipped with electronic warfare equipment. The EA-6A was used by three Marine Corps squadrons during the Vietnam War. A total of 27 EA-6As were produced, with 15 of these being newly manufactured ones. Most of these EA-6As were retired from service in the 1970s with the last few being used by the Navy with two electronic attack "aggressor" squadrons, with all examples retired in the 1990s; the EA-6A was an interim warplane until the more-advanced EA-6B could be designed and built. The redesigned and more advanced EA-6B was developed beginning in 1966 as a replacement for EKA-3B Skywarriors for the U.
S. Navy; the forward fuselage was lengthened to create a rear area for a larger four-seat cockpit, an antenna fairing was added to the tip of its vertical stabilizer. Grumman was awarded a $12.7 million contract to develop an EA-6B prototype on 14 November 1966. The Prowler first flew on 25 May 1968, it entered service on aircraft carriers in July 1971. Three prototype EA-6Bs were converted from A-6As, five EA-6Bs were developmental airplanes. A total of 170 EA-6B production aircraft were manufactured from 1966 through 1991; the EA-6B Prowler is powered by two Pratt & Whitney J52 turbojet engines, it is capable of high subsonic speeds. Due to its extensive electronic warfare operations, the aircraft's age, the EA-6B is a high-maintenance aircraft, has undergone many frequent equipment upgrades. Although designed as an electronic warfare and command-and-control aircraft for air strike missions, the EA-6B is capable of attacking some surface targets on its own, in particular enemy radar sites and surface-to-air missile launchers.
In addition, the EA-6B is capable of gathering electronic signals intelligence. The EA-6B Prowler has been continually upgraded over the years; the first such upgrade was named "expanded capability" beginning in 1973. Came "improved capability" in 1976 and ICAP II in 1980; the ICAP II upgrade provided the EA-6B with the capability of firing Shrike missiles and AGM-88 HARM missiles. The Advanced Capability EA-6B Prowler was a development program initiated to improve the flying qualities of the EA-6B and to upgrade the avionics and electronic warfare systems; the intention was to modify all EA-6Bs into the ADVCAP configuration, however the program was removed from the Fiscal Year 1995 budget due to financial pressure from competing Department of Defense acquisition programs. The ADVCAP development program was initiated in the late 1980s and was broken into three distinct phases: Full-Scale Development, Vehicle Enhancement Program and the Avionics Improvement Program. FSD served to evaluate the new AN/ALQ-149 Electronic Warfare System.
The program utilized a modified EA-6B to house the new system. The VEP added numerous changes to the aircraft to address deficiencies with the original EA-6B flying qualities lateral-directional problems that hampered recovery from out-of-control flight. Bureau Number 158542 was used. Changes included: Leading edge strakes Fin pod extension Ailerons Re-contoured leading edge slats and trailing edge flaps Two additional wing stations on the outer wing panel New J52-P-409 engines New digital Standard Automatic Flight Control System The added modifications increased the aircraft gross weight 2,000 lb and shifted the center of gravity 3% MAC aft of the baseline EA-6B. In previous models, when operating at sustained high angles of attack, fuel migration would cause additional shifts in CG with the result that the aircraft had negative longitudinal static stability. Results of flight tests of the new configuration showed improved flying qualities and the rearward shift of the CG had minimal impact.
The AIP prototype represented the final ADVCAP configuration, incorporating all of the FSD and VEP modifications plus a new avionics suite which added multi-function displays to all crew positions, a head-up display for the pilot, dual Global Positioning/Inertial navigation systems. The initial joint test phase between the c