by Tommy H. Thomason

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Corogard on the A4D (A-4)

Corogard was a protective treatment on the leading edges of U.S. Navy airplanes at one time. For background, see

I was recently asked a question about its applicability to the A4D (A-4) Skyhawk. There's no question that it was initially part of the production paint scheme as shown on this early A4D-1.

It's pretty obvious on this reserve A4D-1. Note that the vertical fin application is narrow and doesn't appear to extend onto the dorsal fin.

However, this YA4D-1, circa 1956, doesn't appear to have any Corogard on any leading edges although the gull gray appears to have been wrapped around to the lower surface of the horizontal tail for a short distance (and probably to the aft edge of the bottom of the wing slat as well).

In some cases, the squadron trim color was applied to the leading edge of the vertical tail with no Corogard evident and even the wing leading edge in lieu of Corogard.
(Yes, this is a non-standard blue.)

However, the benefit of the Corogard revealed itself as on this A-4C's vertical fin.

The A4D-2 on the left clearly has Corogard on the wing leading edges and the vertical fin leading edge. The one on the right (from a different squadron) may or may not have Corogard on the wing leading edges (in addition to not having the slat wells painted red) and the leading edge of the vertical fin is mostly yellow, the trim color of the second squadron.

As time goes on, Corogard is increasingly not obvious, if present at all, on the wing and horizontal tails but there is always a wraparound of the top color onto the bottom of the leading edges. But then there are these two A-4Fs from different squadrons on Bon Homme Richard...

I await comments.


  1. The original A4G RAN FAA Skyhawk colour scheme upon delivery in 1967 to about 1970 was the dull dove grey/white. However this dull paint stripped off very easily during high speed flight and was marked easily by all the dripping fluids from various overflow outlets. Then over several years various fixes were tried such as the Corogard (I guess) especially on the spine as it went vertical on the tail. The second batch of A4Gs arrived in late 1971, having a high gloss similar colour paint finish that did not strip nor discolour. Eventually all the A4Gs had this high gloss paint finish with variations due squadron markings over the years.

    1. Coincidentally the date of this Tailhook Topic, "Corogard on the A4D (A-4)", January 10, was that on which 49 years earlier in '68, the original RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk squadron [VF805] was commissioned. I joined VF805 on that day and was allocated A4G, Bu.No. [N13]154906 as 'plane captain' and, in another coincidence, SpazSinbad [author of the above comment] drove her into the 'ramp' attempting his 2nd night trap 1 September '71 [both survived].That was not to be her greatest indignity as in October '80 she was dragged from the flight deck, subsequent to premature 'hold back' failure, to the bottom of the Indian Ocean near Colombo, Sri Lanka where she sits to this day. A4G '885' was my first contact with a fixed wing aircraft, my previous [and first] posting was to 723 rotary wing squadron where I began as a rawboned airframes and engines mechanic on the Bell UH1B Iroquois in March '66