Douglas AD-6 A-1 Navy Skyraider airplane model. The Douglas AD-6 Skyraider was designed to be a replacement for the current naval torpedo/dive bombers that were then in use. It was felt that one aircraft could be designed that would be able to fill both of these roles and more, and that reducing the crew to a single pilot would result in weight savings and speed increases, both factors that would enable the aircraft to carry more ordinance more effectively. Though a competing design (the Martin AM-1 Mauler) also attempted to fill the same design spec, the Skyraider was definitely the more successful of the two. However, it was not until the closing months of World War II that the prototype was flown for the first time, on March 18, 1945. Although delivery of production aircraft began in June, the type was not used operationally before VJ-Day. After WWII the Skyraider was to become one of the most valuable weapons available to both U.S. Navy and USAF during the Korean and Vietnam wars (some bearing the designation A-1, and the affectionate nickname "Sandy"). In Korea the Skyraider's contribution was sufficient to win a US Navy accolade of "the best and most effective close support airplane in the world"'. Skyraiders remained in production until February 1957, by which time 3,160 had been built.