Virtual Museum - Ordnance
Ref. No. 800. RNZAF MCDONNELL DOUGLAS A-4
SKYHAWK CANNON BARREL AND MUZZLE BREAK. Barrel has
mark “PAV 195” stamped on it. Muzzle break measures 153mm long
and 50mm in diameter. Made of stainless steel (?) and stamped
with number “28”, as well as inspection mark “U 197”. Has minor dents
and has been used. Probably from a crashed aircraft. A
muzzle break is an attachment on the end of the gun barrel that has
ports (or holes in the sides, top and bottom) in order to deflect the
propellant gasses behind the bullet out to the side or top of the
rifle. This deflection of gasses stabilises the barrel of the gun.
Photo: RNZAF Official. Although
the RNZAF Skyhawks were never used for air-to-air
combat, they were used on one occasion in the air-to-ground role.
On 30 March 1976, two RNZAF Skyhawks, flown by F/Lt Jim Jennings and
F/Lt John Herron, were required to head off a Taiwanese squid boat (Kin Nan - see above), which had
fishing inside New Zealand’s territorial waters. After the
offending boat failed to stop for the naval patrol vessel HMNZS Taupo, Jennings fired warning shots
into the sea in front of it. The Taiwanese captain had no problem
in understanding the message the Skyhawks delivered and stopped his
vessel immediately. This incident received world-wide media
coverage and sent out a clear message that New Zealand was serious
about protecting its borders and would use force if necessary.
Despite the majority of New Zealanders seeing a need to retain strike
aircraft into the 21st Century, the New Zealand Labour government, in
coalition with the Alliance Party, decided to scrap New Zealand’s air
combat force in 2001. As a result, Nos. 2, 14 and 75 Squadrons
were disbanded on 13 December 2001. The squadrons’ A-4 Skyhawk
and Aermacchi MB339 aircraft were placed in storage and advertised for
sale. It was the end of an era for New Zealand's air combat
In 2005, four years after being advertised for sale, the Skyhawks
Aermacchis were sold to a private company in the USA, which will train
US and selected foreign pilots. Given the excellent condition of the
aircraft, and the fact that the A-4 was re-equipped to an F-16
standard, the purchaser was more than happy with the deal. Their
gain, New Zealand's loss. The only aircraft now flying with the
RNZAF that was
originally designed with forward-firing guns is an Historic Flight
Harvard based at Ohakea - a WWII training aircraft!
Ref. No. 762.
RNZAF 20 MM A-4K SKYHAWK CARTRIDGE. Case measures 110 mm,
indicating this 20x110 case is United States Navy. Case headstamp
reads “20 MM – MK5. MOD.O RNO 8 65”. Projectile reads “20 MM MK 11 MOD
1 C 1-22 ZDP 10 72.” Cartridge has no charge or fuse.
Projectile (not in case) measures 73 mm in length.
Ref. No. 799. RNZAF MCDONNELL DOUGLAS A-4
SKYHAWK 20 MM CANNON DRILL ROUNDS.
Ref. No. 758. 8 LB PRACTICE BOMB.
Circa 1930s. Complete with brass primer and pin, this practice
bomb has been chromed for display. The pin below the nose would
probably have been a "safety". This would be removed prior to
flight. A smaller pin (not present and not sure what this
would be made of) would then hold the brass nose rod in place.
When released from an aircraft and hitting the ground, the impact would
break the retaining pin and the brass nose piece and attached rod would
then be forced inward, which would then presumeable puncture some sort
of smoke cannister in the rear section, the smoke from which would come
out the hollow tail section. Anyway - that's my theory! The
Canterbury Aero Club have a similar practice bomb incorporated into
their bombing trophy.
Ref. No. 820. NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMM. BOMB,
PRACTICE, MK 106-5. Markings on outside as follows: NAVAL
AIR SYSTEMS COMM. BOMB, PRACTICE, MK 106-5, DTF 150568 WT: 4.75 LBS.
DNMN09-80-C-0068/5N24 NSN: 1325-01-088-1055 ABBI-K-101-004 DODIC/NALC:
E961. Painted blue with white lettering 550 mm. Used on Skyhawks by the
RNZAF. Apparently also known as a BDU 48 (10 lb High Drag
Practice Bomb). Item is inert.
Ref. No. 940.
SKYHAWK LABS (LOW ALTITUDE
RELEASE SYSTEM) CONTROL UNIT. Face plate has “LABS” and “CORC”.
on instrument reads “Douglas Control Assy Corc & Labs 5824353-1
Serial No. DAC035.” Main switch allows for “loft” selection or O/S
(over the shoulder) bombing. Two knobs allow selection of min and set
range in feet. This unit was developed by Douglas for the dropping of
nuclear bombs. The “AJB-3 LABS allowed for loft bombing and was
designed to automatically release the nuclear ‘Shape’, tossing it high
enough to permit the A-4 to escape the bomb’s blast.”
Ref. No. 420. MKI BOMB
1940’s. Type used on Spitfires (shown in Airfix book). Engraved on side
is IIIA/N2545 MKI* Ser. No. RDII. Electrical junction box on rack reads
“Ref No. 5D/579. Plug has “5D/515”.
No. 1153. BRASS AIR MINISTRY CHART DIVIDERS WITH BOMBING ERROR AND WIND
SPEED SCALE AND TIME OF FALL SCALE. Circa 1940s. Air Ministry
Stores Reference No. 9/360. Made by Stanley, London. Has scale on one
side with words “Bombing Error And Wind Speed Scale” with “Height in
Thousands of Ft” on one side and “Conversion to 10,000 feet” and “Time
of Fall Scale” on other with two scales with heights in thousands of
Ref. No. 1115. MK I LOW LEVEL
BOMB SIGHT. Air Ministry. Ref. No. 9/1392. Bombsight Low Level Mk.
1. Serial No. 7111/40