What-if 1/48 Hobbycraft A-4CN Sea Eagle

Gallery Article by Serge Dompierre on Nov 14 2017



At the end of the sixties, the Government of Canada considered the replacement of the F2H-3 Banshees of the Royal Canadian Navy that became obsolete due to more modern aircraft.  Try outs had been made with many types of planes and the American Douglas A4 SKYHAWK won the contest. Negotiations between the American and Canadian governments and the constructor ended up with an agreement of 40 Skyhawks built under license by De Havilland Canada in Downsview Ontario near Toronto. The begining of the construction had been delayed by complications on the cell for the installation of the powerful Orenda motors and the electronics devices.  Once the problems have been solved, the production started in November 1978. 

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Those planes were supposed to satisfy the Navy's exigencies for a double use: aerial defense and anti-ship combat. DeHavilland engineers chose the A4-M without the avionics hump and made many modifications to the plane: a new Orenda 20 superior to the American engine with 40% more thrust. Two new hardpoints for two Sidewinder missiles under each wing and two other hardpoints for Harpoon missiles along with a central pylon for an auxilliary fuel tank with a capacity of 800 liters. A new jet engine exhaust, many detection antennas and infrared visor under the nose. Missile detectors under the rear fuselage and flare launchers and finally two 20mm Colt MK-12 cannons at the wings roots. 

The first three planes were received by Douglas and modified at DeHavilland but they kept their original motorization. The thirty-seven others were built at DeHavilland but with so many modifications inside and out, that it justified the change of the aircraft's name, from Skyhawk to Sea Eagle. The serial numbers were 1430 to 1470, the last one was delivered in 1982. 

The model is a A4 CN Sea Eagle of Royal Canadian Navy 881 squadron based at HMCS Shearwater Prince Edward's Island in 1984. 

A-4 CN for Canadian Navy. Sea Eagle 
Motorization: Turbojet Orenda 20 of 45 kN thrust 
Speed at 15000m: 1180km/h 
with full armament : 995 Km/h 


  • 2 20mm Colt MK 12 cannons (200 rounds per gun)) 

  • 4 AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles 

  • 2 AGM-9 Harpoon missiles 

The model represent an A-4CN Sea Eagle of Royal Canadian Navy 881 squadron based at HMCS Sheawater Prince Edward's Island in 1984. 

The donor model was an Hobbycraft IAF A-4E/N Skyhawk in 1/48 scale 

Serge Dompierre

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Photos and text by Serge Dompierre