A-7E Corsair II
The A-7 Corsair II, built by LTV Aerospace Corporation (the same company that produced the venerable F-8 Crusader), was the aircraft that replaced the A-4 Skyhawk as Naval Aviation's front line light attack aircraft. First flying in September of 1965, A-7s served over Vietnam and into the Gulf War. The aircraft on display flew with one of the last two A-7 squadrons, and was delivered to the Museum following its final combat cruise by then-Commander (later Admiral) Mark Fitzgerald, leader of the first Navy strike on Baghdad during Operation Desert Storm.
The aircraft that replaced the venerable A-4 Skyhawk as Naval Aviation's front line light attack aircraft, the A-7 Corsair II took to the air for the first time in September 1965. Manufactured by the same company that produced the successful F-8 Crusader, the A-7 bore a family resemblance to its cousin, especially in the single jet intake gaping beneath the nose. The short and stubby silhouette of the Corsair II, however, embodied ruggedness and left little question that it was designed to carry bombs. The A-7's operational career began and ended under fire, the first squadron equipped with the aircraft logging missions over Vietnam in 1967 and the final two A-7-equipped units ending the aircraft's flying days in the skies over Iraq. All told, seven production versions of the aircraft operated with the Navy, including the two-seat TA-7C and the EA-7L for electronic countermeasures work. Another version of the Corsair II flew operationally with the U.S. Air Force.
A-7E Corsair II (Bureau Number 160714) was delivered to the fleet on 24 March 1978 and first assigned to Attack Squadron (VA) 174. After serving in that squadron for a brief period, the aircraft joined VA-81, embarking in the carrier Forrestal (CV-59) for three cruises during the period 1979-1981. In the latter year, the squadron operated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea following Israeli retaliatory attacks against Syrian missile batteries in Lebanon. During the cruise lasting from March to September 1981, the squadron also flew reconnaissance missions over Libyan ships in the Gulf of Sidra during a Freedom of Navigation exercise. Transferring to VA-83 in 1981, BuNo 160714 served with the "Rampagers" into the mid-1980s, deploying in Forrestal and Saratoga (CV-60). Transferred to VA-46, one of the last two A-7 squadrons in the Navy, the aircraft deployed to the Arabian Gulf on board John F. Kennedy (CV-67) in 1990 and logged 37 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm, including the first combat strike over Baghdad on 17 January 1991. The aircraft was flight delivered to the Museum by the last commanding officer of VA-46, then-Commander (later Admiral) Mark P. Fitzgerald.
|Manufacturer:||LTV Aerospace Corporation|
|Type:||Light attack aircraft|
|Powerplant:||One 14,250 lb. static thrust Allison TF41-A-2 turbofan|
Length: 46 ft.,1.5 in.
Empty: 19,490 lb.
Max Speed: 693 mph
One 20mm M61-A1 Gatling gun; AIM-9 Sidewinders; 10,000 lb. ordinance