North American A-5 Vigilante PDF eBook & Aircraft Flight Manuals

Price: $14.95

  • 3 magazines, 4 manuals, & photos
  • PDF contains 1,701 pages
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  • International orders welcome!
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January 1981

  • Wild Weasel Thuds in Vietnam
  • DC-3 Goes To War
  • Vigilante, The Navy’s Last Heavyweight

April 1985

  • Great Brewster Monoplane Blunders
  • Dive Bombers, Scout Bombers, and the Rise of Carrier Aviation
  • Flying the Vigilante over Vietnam – Memoirs of a Radar Attack Officer
  • Why the Italian Air Force Collapsed in WWII

March 2001

  • North American Vigilante: Supersonic Spymaster
  • Curtiss vs. Boeing Fighter Fly-Off
  • Exotic Twin Engined Floatplane Patrol Bombers

Manuals & Photos

  • A-5A Flight Manual 1964
  • A3J-1 Inspection 1959
  • RA-5C Flight Manual 1964
  • RA-5C Flight Manual 1977
  • Over 130 A-5 Valkyrie photos

North American A-5 Vigilante

  • A-5A Specs
  • Variants
  • On Display
  • Cutaway
  • Videos

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 76 ft 6 in (23.32 m)
  • Wingspan: 53 ft 0 in (16.16 m)
  • Height: 19 ft 5 in (5.91 m)
  • Wing area: 701 sq ft (65.1 m2)
  • Empty weight: 32,783 lb (14,870 kg)
  • Gross weight: 47,631 lb (21,605 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 63,085 lb (28,615 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × General Electric J79-GE-8 after-burning turbojet engines, 10,900 lbf (48 kN) thrust each dry dry, 17,000 lbf (76 kN) with afterburner


  • Maximum speed: 1,149 kn (1,322 mph; 2,128 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,000 m)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 2
  • Combat range: 974 nmi (1,121 mi; 1,804 km) (to target and return)
  • Ferry range: 1,571 nmi (1,808 mi; 2,909 km)
  • Service ceiling: 52,100 ft (15,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 8,000 ft/min (41 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 80.4 lb/sq ft (393 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.72 lbf/lb (0.007 kN/kg)


  • Bombs:
    • 1× Mark 27 nuclear bomb, B28 or B43 freefall nuclear bomb in internal weapons bay
    • 2× B43, Mark 83, or Mark 84 bombs on two external hardpoints


Systems carried by A-5 or RA-5C

  • AN/ASB-12 Bombing & Navigation Radar (A-5, RA-5C)
  • Westinghouse AN/APD-7 SLAR (RA-5C)
  • Sanders AN/ALQ-100 E/F/G/H-Band Radar Jammer (RA-5C)
  • Sanders AN/ALQ-41 X-Band Radar Jammer (A-5, RA-5C)
  • AIL AN/ALQ-61 Radio/Radar/IR ECM Receiver (RA-5C)
  • Litton ALR-45 “COMPASS TIE” 2-18 GHz Radar Warning Receiver (RA-5C)
  • Magnavox AN/APR-27 SAM Radar Warning Receiver (RA-5C)
  • Itek AN/APR-25 S/X/C-Band Radar Detection and Homing Set (RA-5C)
  • Motorola AN/APR-18 Electronic Reconnaissance System (A-5, RA-5C)
  • AN/AAS-21 IR Reconnaissance Camera (RA-5C)
Prototypes, two built, one converted to RA-5C.
A-5A (A3J-1)
Production nuclear bomber variant; 57 built, 42 converted to RA-5C.
A-5B (A3J-2)
Nuclear bomber with greater range. Two prototypes, both converted to RA-5C.
YA-5C (XA3J-3P)
Four completed from A-5B order without reconnaissance systems and assigned to pilot familiarization, later converted to RA-5C.
RA-5C (A3J-3P)
Reconnaissance version; 91 new-build plus conversions of 43 A-5As and the first six A-5Bs.
Proposed Improved Manned Interceptor (IMI) for U.S. Air Force with three J79 engines and an armament of six AIM-54 Phoenix missiles.


  • BuNo 146697 – Patuxent River NAS, Lexington Park, Maryland. It is the oldest Vigilante on display and the only one still in its original A3J/A-5A nuclear attack bomber configuration. An additional example of an A-5A destined for restoration as a museum aircraft, BuNo 146698, was destroyed when it was being relocated by Army helicopter from Naval Air Engineering Station Lakehurst, New Jersey to a new location. When the A-5A became unstable in flight, the helicopter crew was forced to jettison the aircraft from altitude.


  • BuNo 149289 – Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona. It was transferred from long-term storage at nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and it carries the markings of RVAH-3.
  • BuNo 151629 – Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum(formerly the Fred E. Weisbrod Museum/International B-24 Museum) in Pueblo, Colorado. It has been restored and currently displays the markings of RVAH-7 while assigned to Carrier Air Wing 9 aboard Enterprise.
  • BuNo 156608 – Naval Support Activity Mid-South, formerly Naval Air Station Memphis, Tennessee. It was the last operational RA-5C aircraft and it carries the markings of its last squadron, RVAH-7, during its final deployment with Carrier Air Wing 2 aboard Ranger in 1979.
  • BuNo 156612 – Naval Air Station Key West, Florida. “Gate guard” aircraft located just inside the main gate. It carries the markings of RVAH-3.
  • BuNo 156615 – Castle Air Museum at the former Castle Air Force Base, California in 2012. This aircraft was formerly located on the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake Range. This particular RA-5C was the last Vigilante to land aboard the USS Ranger (CV-61) while assigned to RVAH-7 in August 1979 during the last Vigilante overseas carrier deployment.
  • BuNo 156621 – New York State Aerosciences Museum (ESAM) in Glenville, New York. It was initially on display at the former US Naval Photographic School at NAS Pensacola, Florida. In 1986, it was shipped up the East Coast by barge and placed on display aboard the USS Intrepid Museum in New York City. In 2005, this RA-5C was acquired by ESAM. The aircraft suffered minor damage to its fuselage aft of the wing root while being moved from the aircraft carrier Intrepid to a barge while supported by slings. It is currently (as of 2010) undergoing restoration for display. It carries the markings of the RA-5C Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS), RVAH-3.
  • BuNo 156624 – National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, Florida. It is displayed in the markings of RVAH-6 per that squadron’s final cruise with Carrier Air Wing 8 aboard Nimitz in 1978.
  • BuNo 156632 – Orlando Sanford International Airport (formerly Naval Air Station Sanford) in Sanford, Florida. It was placed there on 30 May 2003 as a memorial to A-5A and RA-5C aircrewmen and support personnel who served at NAS Sanford. On loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation, the aircraft was transferred from the Naval Air Systems Command(NAVAIR) Weapons Division at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California and is marked as an RVAH-3 aircraft.
  • BuNo 156638 – Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada. It was transferred from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California and was previously marked as an RVAH-6 aircraft in a Vietnam-era jungle camouflage paint scheme, as an RVAH-12 aircraft in traditional Cold War gray/white paint scheme, and currently as an RVAH-7 aircraft in traditional gray/white paint scheme.
  • BuNo 156641 – USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California. It carries the markings of RVAH-12 and RVAH-7 Both squadrons represented on the tail of the aircraft.
  • BuNo 156643 – Patuxent River Naval Air Museum, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. It was transferred from NAS Key West, Florida, and is displayed as a test aircraft operated by the Patuxent River Flight Test Division in the 1970s. It was the last RA-5C built.
  • As of 2004, all RA-5C airframes previously stored with the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, have either been scrapped or relocated, with some of these aircraft expended as ground targets in aerial bomb and guided missile tests. A small number of RA-5C airframes in various states of condition are currently stored at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California. A number of previous examples were expended as ground targets on weapon ranges at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California and Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.