Aircraft Data Sheet

for RA-5C Bu. No. 156641


With the exception of the Douglas A-3 Skywarrior, the North American A-5 Vigilante was the heaviest aircraft accepted for use aboard US Navy aircraft carriers. The design originated to meet a Navy requirement in 1955 and was intended as a high performance attack aircraft with all-weather capability. The first prototype flew in 1958, and the first operational unit began to receive their Vigilantes in June 1961. The RA-5C was an unarmed reconnaissance version of the A-5 with a large array of electronic and visual reconnaissance equipment in the space previously occupied by the bomb bay. This equipment  included side-looking airborne radar, vertical, oblique and split-image cameras, and active and passive ECM equipment. The prototype RA-5C flew in June 1962, with operational RA-5Cs being first received in June 1964.  (source: United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 by Gordon Swanborough and Peter Bowers)

Click on a picture to see larger version.

(Photos provided by Frank Warren)









Photo by Toney Herlevic.

Photo by Toney Herlevic.

Photo by Jim Compagnon


Photo by David Hanson.


Photo by Toney Herlevic.


Remarks: This aircraft became a USS Midway Museum exhibit on 19 July 2005.  This aircraft is sponsored.

Nickname: Viggie


Assignment history not available.


Photo of this aircraft in a previous paint scheme and assignment.

Click to enlarge.

Photo provided by



This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation. 

View their web site's RA-5C page.















Page updated on 19 December 2007