A-5 Vigilante – Warbird Wednesday Episode #176

Welcome to Warbird Wednesday! Continuing down reconnaissance row, today we are looking at the A-5 Vigilante, specifically the reconnaissance version (RA5C). This aircraft was a private venture by North American Aviation that was intended to replace the A3 but essentially became obsolete as it came off the assembly line when the Navy changed priorities during the Cold War. Only a handful of RA5C planes were used for nuclear strike missions. The aircraft had unique features, including a supersonic bomb bay and fly-by-wire technology. Despite its advanced capabilities, it was retired in the early 1970s due to its limited multi-mission capabilities and inability to serve as a tanker.