Vought
A-7
Corsair II
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Photo: Robert Deering 6/28/2010
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The Ling-Temco-Vought A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-capable subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. The A-7 airframe design was based on the successful supersonic Vought F-8 Crusader. It was one of the first combat aircraft to feature a head-up display (HUD), an inertial navigation system (INS), and a turbofan engine.

The Corsair II initially entered service with the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. It was later adopted by the United States Air Force, including the Air National Guard, to replace the Douglas A-1 Skyraider, North American F-100 Super Sabre and Republic F-105 Thunderchief. The aircraft was also exported to Greece in the 1970s, and Portugal in the late 1980s.

Initial operational basing/homeporting for U.S. Navy A-7 squadrons was at NAS Cecil Field, Florida for Atlantic Fleet units and NAS Lemoore, California for Pacific Fleet units. This was in keeping with the role of these bases in already hosting the A-4 Skyhawk attack squadrons that would eventually transition to the A-7. From 1967 – 1971 a total of 27 Navy squadrons took delivery of four different A-7A/B/C/E models. The Vought plant in Dallas, TX employed up to 35,000 workers turned out one aircraft a day for several years to support the Navy carrier-based needs for Vietnam and SE Asia and commitments to NATO in Europe. In 1974, when the USS Midway (CV 41) became the first Forward Deployed Naval Force (FDNF) aircraft carrier to be homeported in Yokosuka, Japan, two A-7B squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing FIVE (CVW-5) were concurrently homeported at NAF Atsugi, Japan. In 1978, these squadrons (VA-93 and VA-56) finally transitioned to the much more advanced A-7E model. Six Naval Reserve squadrons would also eventually transition to the A-7, operating from NAS Cecil Field, Florida; NAS Atlanta/Dobbins ARB, Georgia; NAS New Orleans, Louisiana; NAS Alameda, California and NAS Point Mugu, California. An additional active duty squadron stood up in the 1980s, Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 34 (VAQ-34) at NAS Point Mugu, which would operate twin-seat TA-7C and EA-7L aircraft with both a pilot and a Naval Flight Officer in an adversary electronic warfare role.

Initial USAF basing of the A-7D was at Edwards AFB, California and Eglin AFB, Florida in 1968 for prototype testing. Initial lead-in pilot training squadrons were established at Luke AFB, Arizona, and Nellis AFB, Nevada in 1969. The first operational USAF basing was at Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina (354 TFW) in 1970, with subsequent basing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona (355 TFW) in 1971 and England AFB, Louisiana (23 TFW) in 1972. The Luke-based A-7Ds were reassigned to Davis-Monthan in 1971 along with the lead-in pilot training mission. A fourth operational A-7D wing was assigned to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (388 TFW) in early 1973 derived from deployed Myrtle Beach aircraft. 

By 1981, with the exception of the A-7Ds used in the F-117A program, the last active-duty USAF Corsairs were reassigned to ANG squadrons.  F-16s began replacing the Air National Guard Corsairs beginning in the late 1980s and the last were retired in 1993

U.S. Navy A-7 Corsairs began being phased out of the fleet during the mid-1980s with the arrival of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The last Navy A-7s were retired in May 1991 shortly after their return from Operation Desert Storm.

General characteristics (A-7E)

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 46 ft 1.5 in (14.06 m)
  • Wingspan: 38 ft 9 in (11.81 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 0.75 in (4.90 m)
  • Wing area: 375 ft (34.8 m)
  • Airfoil: NACA 65A007 root and tip
  • Empty weight: 19,490 lb (8,840 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 42,000 lb (19,050 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 Allison TF41-A-2 turbofan, 14,500 lbf (64.5 kN)
   

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 600 knots (698 mph, 1,123 km/h) at sea level
  • Combat radius: 621 nmi (700 mi, 1,127 km)
  • Ferry range: 2,485 nmi (2,860 mi, 4,600 km) with external fuel tanks
  • Wing loading: 77.4 lb/ft (379 kg/m)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.50

Armament

  • Guns: 1 20 mm (0.787 in) M61 Vulcan 6-barreled gatling cannon with 1,030 rounds
  • Hardpoints: 6 under-wing and 2 fuselage pylon stations (for mounting AIM-9 Sidewinder AAMs only) with a capacity of 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) and provisions to carry combinations of:
    • Rockets: 4 LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4 127 mm Mk 32 Zuni rockets)
    • Missiles:
      • 2 AIM-9 Sidewinder AAM
      • 2 AGM-45 Shrike Anti-radiation missile (ARM)
      • 2 AGM-62 Walleye TV-guided Glide bomb
      • 2 AGM-65 Maverick
      • 2 AGM-88 HARM
      • 2 GBU-8 electro-optically guided Glide bomb
    • Bombs:
      • Up to 30 500 lb (227 kg) Mark 82 bombs or Mark 80 series of unguided bombs (including 3 kg and 14 kg practice bombs)
      • Paveway series of laser-guided bombs
      • Up to 4 B28 nuclear bomb/B57 nuclear bomb/B61 nuclear bombs
    • Other: up to 4 300/330/370 US gallon drop tanks

Avionics

  • Texas Instruments AN/APQ-126 terrain following radar

Source: Wikipedia 


A-7D USAF
Fact Sheet

A-7K USAF
Fact Sheet