Talk:North American AJ Savage

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Good articleNorth American AJ Savage has been listed as one of the Warfare good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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October 25, 2013Good article nomineeListed
Did You Know
A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on November 3, 2013.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that Composite Squadron 6 of the United States Navy deployed two North American AJ Savage (pictured) bombers to K-3 Air Base in Korea in July 1953 to act as a nuclear deterrent?
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The North American AJ-1/2 and AJ-1/2P Savage aircraft were in a number of USN Heavy Attack Composite squadrons from 1948-1956, as well as in several Photographic Reconnaissance squadrons. The Heavy Attack versions were the first nuclear bomb carrying bombers able to be launched from and recovered on aircraft carriers. The date of its inception was a time where the US Navy was faced with procuring the nacent jet engine, while still having to rely upon the simple yet well proven reciprocating engine. Jets at this time were unreliabe and used large quantities of fuel, however, once they were developed, they produced performance that no piston engine could ever provide. A compromise was made to include in the Savage, both twin-engine propellers, and for extra dash speed over the target, a turbojet engine in the tail.

For the history of the squadrons, aircraft and crew go to

For specific information about each of the 140 AJ-1/2 aircraft and the 3 XAJ-1 aircraft, including what happened to many of them go to which is Kenneth Wooster's Hatwing One and AJ website.

Submitted by Chuck Huber, website manager - US Navy Heavy Attack Composite Squadrons: VC-5,6,7,8 and 9.


I tried to add the following information in the specifications section:

  • |max landing weight main=41,300 lb)
  • |max landing weight alt=18,773 kg)

But apparently I don't understand how this template works (I thought I did). Perhaps someone can add this for me. Information verified at Erzahler 21:54, 1 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Updated specs and references, see USN History reference. I believe Global Security is a mirror of, I avoid using it.LanceBarber (talk) 05:06, 31 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Broken Link[edit]

The link is broken. At least I could not get it to work. My Firefox browser came back with an error stating it could not find the website. I also tried the site's home page and still got the same result. Someone might want to check on this. Erzahler (talk) 06:05, 10 November 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bogus Production Numbers[edit]

I make a rule not to tweak Wikipedia pages except for blatant spelling errors, but I should point that the PDF referenced at the bottom of the article gives AJ serial numbers, and the variant counts don't match the article -- counting through the serials gives me XAJ-1 == 3, AJ-1 == 57, AJ-2 == 55, AJ-2P == 27 ... for a total of 142. Now it's possible serials assigned to one variant were aircraft actually completed as another, but otherwise I haven't been able to make out consistent sense of production numbers between sources -- MrG (talk) 22:40, 13 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

OK, I went through that detailed list of individual aircraft referenced above and it gives AJ-1 == 55, AJ-2 == 55, AJ-2P == 30 ... considering the detail I would think that list would be definitive. The discrepancy with the serials listed in the PDF appears to be due to the fact that two AJ-1s ordered were cancelled and one contract for three AJ-2Ps was not mentioned in the PDF. Incidentally, the PDF also says the AJ-2P's cameras were in the nose, but the shot of one from the belly gives cameras over much of the belly. MrG (talk) 11:51, 14 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The same list also hints that some AJ-1s were updated to AJ-2 spec ("retrofitted tail"); if 15 were updated, that would give 70 AJ-2s overall, which would explain the discrepancy between sources. MrG (talk) 13:27, 14 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Joe Baugher's page says that the 42 surviving AJ-1s were all updated to AJ-2 spec. 42 survivors of 55 aircraft? 24% attrition in less than five years of service, ouch. MrG (talk) 17:00, 14 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The bogus? part was that original source for the variant bit of the article had 124850/124864 as AJ-2s which gave 3/40/70/30(=143). Current sources and the USN site give that batch as AJ-1s which gives the 3/55/55/30(=143). None of the sources give any information on AJ-1s being converted to AJ-2s apart from a one liner on Baughers website. His list by serial number and Wooster's list have no mention of conversions. I think we need something more concrete to prove it. MilborneOne (talk) 18:47, 14 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Wooster list gives "retrofitted tail" for images of some AJ-1s -- the AJ-2 had a flat instead of dihedral tailplane and a foot taller tailfin, immediately different at a glance. It doesn't come right out and say they were upgrades but it's hard to figure out what other tail retrofit might be visible on a photo, and Wooster comments that one of these "retrofitted" machines was misidentified as an AJ-2. I sent an email to Wooster to ask for clarification, we'll see what he says. He mentions his own flight logs as documentation so it seems a good bet he was Savage aircrew, and he's collecting information from his cadre, so I would think he is a very good source of data.

Besides, from all comments the AJ-1 was a handful on carrier takeoff and there would have been good reason to upgrade to more powerful engines. Possibly a better comment would be "some sources claim that surviving AJ-1s were upgraded to AJ-2" spec ... note that this does not say ALL AJ-1s. Incidentally, sources are also very confused on J33 variants -- some give the initial variant on the Savage as "J33-A-19" and later variant as "J33-A-10", which doesn't sound right.

Not like it's a big deal one way or another, but I'll pick up Ginter's book one of these coming months and see what it says. The AJ is very obscure and getting reliable information on it is a pain. MrG (talk) 22:21, 16 April 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just got Ginter's book. It claims that a contract was issued on 14 August 1952 to upgrade 42 AJ-1s to "near AJ-2" spec. I emailed Wooster and he said that there were AJ-1s refitted with AJ-2 tails; I asked about engine upgrades and got no answer. I think it would be a reasonable assumption that if they modified the tails they also updated the engines. Ginter confirms 55 AJ-1s and 55 AJ-2s; he only mentions an order for 23 AJ-2Ps but then lists serials for 30, so I think he forgot to mention a follow-up batch.

Ginter also mentions Savage pilots playing pranks on accompanying Air Force fighters. The Savage pilot would engage the J33, feather one prop, then feather the other. Apparently the trick occasionally caused some consternation among USAF pilots. MrG (talk) 20:25, 6 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

See Also[edit]

Aircraft of equivalent etc[edit]

What sort of person added the Ryan FR Fireball to this list? Single engined, a third of the weight and so on. The only similarities are they are both carrier-capable and each has a single gas turbine engine. What is the rational in this aircraft's equivalence? If no one can say I will remove the entry before the end of August 2012. Lin (talk) 08:37, 8 August 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I concur, the connection at best, is tenuous. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 13:53, 8 August 2012 (UTC).Reply[reply]


What does the AJ stand for? Thanks, Maikel (talk) 08:17, 12 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Maikel: "AJ" means "Attack aircraft, North American Aviation, First design. See 1922 United States Navy aircraft designation system for a complete explanation. - BilCat (talk) 08:38, 12 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]