by Tommy H. Thomason

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A3D Skywarrior External Pylons

Rick Morgan provided the following with respect to the A3D-2T Skywarrior external pylons discussed here: (Rick also provided pictures of TA-3Bs with the pylon and practice bomb dispenser that I've added to that post.)

Concerning pylons on A3Ds, as I understand it all of the Versions had hardpoints to attach them.  This is a photo of a VQ-2 EA-3B in the Med refueling from a VA-216 A-4B off Saratoga in 1967 with what I believe is an ALQ-31 pod installed.

An old VQ friend tells me that they actually flew fighter training missions during this period with the equipment due to the lack of other EW assets in 6th fleet, most of the other aircraft being in Vietnam.  This is the only time I’ve found so far where EA-3Bs were actually used for active jamming. (Contrary to a lot of published references, I have yet to find a VQ operator who used the EA-3B for jamming in Vietnam- the stories undoubtedly confuse the EAs for EKAs).

The ERA-3Bs  at VAQ-33/34 carried ALQ-76 pods on their pylons, of course.

For a brief description and a picture of the ERA-3B (and an explanation of A-3 Bombers versus Versions), see


  1. Hello Tommy!

    I read this and your other post ("Mighty Skywarrior") about the A-3 and find them great, with lots of interesting information. What I didn't find, though, is a bit of info I'm looking for. It's for my 1:72 EKA-3B model - could you tell me the colours that should be used for the cockpit of this machine? I especially mean the seat belts, the seat cushions and the colour of the soundproofing in the cabin. Thanks a lot in advance, have a nice day


  2. In general, the interior (seats, soundproofing, floor) was dark gull gray. The seat cushions were probably stained tan. The seat belts could have been just about anything from off-white to blue-gray. Interior canopy framing, individual instruments, the tops of the consoles, the sextant device, avionics, and the like would have been non-specular black. Others may know more.

  3. Thanks a lot for your fast answer!

    On one photo I've seen the seat cushions were blue - how common could something like that be? Could that have something to do with the douglas plant? I think I've once seen a photo or a drawing where, in a skyraider, the headrest had a similar blue colour.

    I started to explore this site just recently, but I already see I will need at least a couple of hours to read it more carefully - great job, keep them articles comin'! Have a nice day


  4. The seat cushions could be blue. I only remember gray for the headrests but a squadron might gussy them up. I'm pretty sure that the backpack parachutes in the seat were gray-green with gray straps. But this will give you a good idea of the options: