[Daily article] July 19: McDonnell Douglas A-4G Skyhawk

The McDonnell Douglas A-4G Skyhawk, a variant of the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
attack aircraft, was developed for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and
first flown on 19 July 1967. Ten were delivered in 1967 and another ten
in 1971, and the type was in service with the RAN until 1984. They
joined the air group of the aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne, and were
primarily used to provide air defence for the fleet and take part in
exercises throughout the Pacific region. They did not see combat. Ten
A-4Gs were destroyed as a result of equipment failures and non-combat
crashes during the type’s service with the Navy, causing the deaths of
two pilots. The RAN had no need for most of its fixed-wing aircraft
after Melbourne was decommissioned in 1982, and the ten remaining A-4Gs
were sold to the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1984; they were
initially used for training purposes, and were retired in 2001. Eight
A-4Ks, including six former A-4Gs, were sold to Draken International in
2012, and are in service supporting United States military training
exercises.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:

1817:

Having been unsuccessful in his attempt to seize the Kingdom of
Hawaii for Russia, Georg Anton Schäffer was forced to depart for China.

1845:

The last major fire to affect Manhattan destroyed 345 buildings
and caused at least $5 million in damage.

1916:

First World War: “The worst 24 hours in Australia’s entire
history” occurred when Australian forces suffered heavy losses in their
unsuccessful assault on the Germans at the Battle of Fromelles in
France.

1992:

A car bomb killed anti-Mafia judge Paolo Borsellino and five
policemen in Palermo, Italy, less than two months after the murder of
his friend and colleague Giovanni Falcone.

1997:

The Provisional Irish Republican Army permanently resumed its
ceasefire to end its 25-year campaign against British rule in Northern
Ireland.

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Wiktionary’s word of the day:

flerd:
A mixed group of ruminants, such as sheep and cattle.

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Wikiquote quote of the day:

  It seems to me that today, if the artist wishes to be serious —
to cut out a little original niche for himself, or at least preserve his
own innocence of personality — he must once more sink himself in
solitude. There is too much talk and gossip; pictures are apparently
made, like stock-market prices, by competition of people eager for
profit; in order to do anything at all we need (so to speak) the wit and
ideas of our neighbors as much as the businessmen need the funds of
others to win on the market. All this traffic sharpens our intelligence
and falsifies our judgment.  
–Edgar Degas

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