A2-D Skyshark




This beautiful aircraft has such a beautiful shape that I used it’s profile as the design basis for most of the Nacelle shapes for the perpetual ships.. one of these babies crashed in a field by my house and I went on an aviation archeological expedition with the X- Hunters ( Two guys from Edwards AFB that have gone out and found most of the X-plane crashes in the Mojave Desert) We found this one and recovered a whole bunch of historical relics from this short lived twin propped airplane.

15 Responses to “A2-D Skyshark”

  1. 1 Eric
    March 20, 2009 at 7:09 am

    Wow, you actually can find equipment in the desert. I would have thought this stuff would have been picked up as scrap at least. As an Air Force vet I find X-Planes interesting. The lineage of aircraft design is fascinating and applies to my starship building hobby. For instance I have always liked the F20 Tigershark.

  2. March 20, 2009 at 7:27 am

    All I had near me growing up was Moffett Field and those guys would chase you off with sticks if you got to close. Not to mention Lockheed then NASA and its huge fence. I was a real jethead as a kid. I don’t think we missed a airshow there, up to when they closed the place down.

    Your last post reminded me of the X29

    I used to constantly draw this jet as a kid.

  3. 3 johneaves
    March 20, 2009 at 7:27 am

    It is amazing how much is out there. I try togo on as many of these trips as possible,, have found pieces from Yeager’s Nf-104A (the Right Stuff Crash) The YB-49 fling wing, the X-2, X-15, XB-70 Valkyrie, X-10, and a whole bunch of others dating back to the 1040’s

  4. 4 johneaves
    March 20, 2009 at 7:27 am

    1940’s sorry!!

  5. 5 Eric
    March 20, 2009 at 7:59 am

    1040, timeship? Kidding.

  6. 6 Freak
    March 20, 2009 at 9:02 am

    You said this plane influences with your Nacelle shapes. What other real world objects heavily influences your designs?

    • 7 johneaves
      March 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm

      I am always looking at things with a (what could you make out of that POV) aviation stuff usually is the basis but a walk thru the Tupperware Isle sometimes holds the perfect shape.

  7. 8 deg
    March 20, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Yeah, cool bird. The Dryden website has all kinds of pics that I use for reference all the time, and there’s lot of other X-planes up there as well. Odd, don’t see the Skyshark though. Maybe they didn’t test it there at all.

    Still great still for ref pics:



  8. 9 Masao
    March 20, 2009 at 6:08 pm

    I’ve always loved planes with contrarotating props. They have a sort of baroque air, representing the last gasp of a soon-to-be outmoded technology.

  9. 10 johneaves
    March 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm

    Me two and I guess all of theses ideas ended horribly to heavy stresse’s!!

  10. March 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Wow I was surprised to see this plane here of all places! I’ve always loved those fantastic planes of the 50’s with the contra-rotating propellers. The SkyShark, the A2J Savage, the Lockheed/Convair V-TOL’s and the big R3Y transport are such cool and unusual designs, and just scream to be built as models. I agree with Masao, it’s the fusion of the then “new” jet/turboprop technology with contemporary designs of the day that reflect a sense of evolution, or metamorphosis in aircraft design. Wonderful stuff.

    • 12 johneaves
      March 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm

      Those planes are all incredible.. there were so many aviation experiments going on back in the day and so little saw the light of day until the now with the internet. the SkyShark is a great fav of mine!!!

  11. 13 Masao
    March 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Let’s not forget the Martin-Baker MB-5, the Fisher P-75, the Douglas XB-42 (a contrarotating pusher), and the Westland Wyvern.

    Since I’m a student of both biology and military history, I’ve always seen weapons design through the lens of evolutionary theory. A particular type of technology (sails, propellers, swords) or body part (horns, teeth, etc) or body plan (bipedalism, armored fish) develops and refines to gain an advantage over rivals until it reaches an physical limit. Then a new type of technology or body part or plan will arise and go through a period of wild experimentation until an optimal configuration is selected. Both these processes repeat endlessly. The period from the end of one technologic era to the start of another is always a lot of fun, both to study and to design for. I particularly like the transition of warships from broadside-firing sailing ships to early steam-driven turret ships and the transition from propeller to jet.

  12. March 23, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Very true, it’s fascinating to see how the contra-rotating propellers have come and gone over the years, I believe Russian aircraft are still using them to this day. An interesting note about the SkyShark and the other aircraft I mentioned is the fact they all used the same engine, the Allison T-40. And that’s the subsequent reason each of these designs failed was due to problems with that powerplant, although in the Lockheed/Convair Pogo VTOL aircraft they proved to be just too difficult to handle on top of the powerplant issues. Still though, these aircraft and the ones you mention Masao are very important stepping stones in the evolution of technology. I will have to say I would have loved to have seen more in the way of Starfleet designs that really pushed the envelope but just didn’t quite work out as planned. The Defiant had some of those qualities originally I believe and it was also touched upon in TNG’s ” The Pegasus”. Still though, would have been neat to just push a design to the extreme with oversize engine nacelles, or some other futuristic exotic powerplant along the same idea as a huge turboprop stuffed into an airframe with a contra-rotating propeller.

  13. 15 Bondoman
    September 14, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Do any of you know what ejection seat the Skyshark was fitted with?

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March 2009

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