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Ultimate Bomb Truck: Vought's A-7 Corsair II

Three A-7E Corsair IIs from Attack Squadron 72 en route to targets during Desert Storm on 10 February 1991. (USN/CMDR John Leenhouts)

Vought's A-7 is one of the world's most cost/effective and capable attack aircraft ever flown. Although derived from Vought's legendary F-8 Crusader, the A-7 is a completely different aircraft. Limiting speed to below Mach 1 and eliminating other features of the F-8 dramatically reduced structural weight and cost, allowing the A-7 to carry three times the Crusader's weapon load and deliver it extremely efficiently and with unprecedented accuracy. The A-7 has seen service in numerous conflicts and performed very well in the attack role - in US service in Vietnam it achieved one of the lowest aircraft loss rates. Today A-7s are still in service with two countries.

Contents of the article:

  • The US Navy competition that led to the A-7's conception
  • A technical description of the A-7, including its main features, flying controls, landing gear, power plant, avionics and weapons
  • All the different variants which were produced, including the A-7B, A-7C, A-7D, A-7E, YA-7E, TA-7C, YA-7F and A-7K
  • Exports of the A-7 to Greece, Thailand and Portugal
  • A-7s in service with the US Navy and Air Force in combat over Vietnam
  • Corsair II action during the invasion of Grenada in 1983
  • Details of the A-7's part in operations over Lebanon in 1983
  • Operations over Libya between 1981 and 1986
  • The A-7's part in the invasion of Panama in 1989
  • Corsair II operations in the Persian Gulf, including the 'Tanker War' and Desert Storm
  • The Retirement of the A-7 from US service.