Aviation Museum of Kentucky
Lexington, Kentucky
BuNo 147708

Photos courtesy Dennis E. Sparks

This Skyhawk was originally built as an A4D-2N in 1960, was re-designated as an A-4C in 1962, and was converted to an A-4L, with the large avionics hump, in 1970. The aircraft came from NAS Memphis, where it had been on display for about eight years since being retired, and she arrived in Lexington in the autumn of 1988, before the museum as such was even established. The museum acquired its current home in 1995, and the aircraft was basically in storage in a hangar until then, being pulled out for various functions or airshows.)

In March or April of 1989, museum volunteers drove a 15-passenger van to Pensacola and returned with two Navy and two Marine personnel from the Blue Angels paint team, along with a half a ton of equipment. The paint crew stayed in Lexington for eight days prepping and painting the aircraft in Blue Angels colors. The avionics hump was removed to make it more closely resemble an A-4F, but the aircraft retains its straight refueling probe. It has neither the normal 20mm guns nor the tube for the boarding ladder unique to Blue Angels Skyhawks. To reduce maintenance, the areas that were normally brightly polished aluminum are painted silver.

Although it retains its proper BuNo, the aircraft is otherwise painted to represent the #4 aircraft flown by LCDR Mike Nord in 1980. As I understand it, Mike is from Lexington and flew Blue Angels #7 in 1978, #3 in 1979, and #4 in 1980 show seasons.


Dennis E. Sparks


Note: This A4-A was not flown by the Blue Angels. Tom Bispo (Blue Angel '64-'65)

Aviation Museum of Kentucky
The Aviation Museum of Kentucky is located on Hangar Drive
off Airport Road at Lexington's Blue Grass Airport.