North American AJ-2 Savage airplane model. The first production version of the Savage was the AJ-1. It differed from the prototype in having a number of structural improvements. The number of crew members was increased to three. The wingtips and the vertical tail folded for storage aboard carriers. Although the earliest examples retained the clear, sliding canopy of the prototype, this was later replaced by a fixed, framed canopy. Entry and exit to the cockpit was via a door located on the right side of the fuselage, although there was an emergency escape window in the canopy itself. Wingtip-mounted fuel tanks were added for increased range.
The first AJ flew for the first time in May of 1949, and initial flight tests were carried out at NAS Patuxent River, MD and at NAS Moffett Field, CA. The first AJ-1 carrier takeoff took place on April 21, 1950, from deck of the USS Coral Sea. The first carrier landing was on August 31.
The first squadron to receive the AJ-1 was composite squadron VC-5, with deliveries beginning in September of 1949. VC-6 and V-7 also later received AJ-1s. A total of 55 AJ-1s were built.
Many AJ-1s were rebuilt as AJ-2s. Surviving AJ-1s were redesignated A-2A in 1962 under the new unified designation system.