Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II

Last revised July 4, 2003


The US Army was not permitted to operate fixed-wing combat aircraft, but it nevertheless required close support for its troops in the field. To meet this need, the Army pressured the USAF for a specialized subsonic close-support aircraft that would suit its needs better than the general-purpose supersonic aircraft that the USAF preferred. The Vought A-7 seemed to be a relatively quick and inexpensive way to satisfy this need. However, the USAF was initially reluctant to take on yet another Navy-designed aircraft, but Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was insistent, and On November 5, 1965, Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown and USAF Chief of Staff General John McDonnell announced that they had decided to order a version of the Corsair II, designated A-7D, for the Tactical Air Command.

The A-7D differed from the Navy's Corsair II in several ways. For one, the Air Force insisted on significantly more power for its Corsair II version, and they selected the Allison TF41-A-1 turbofan engine, which was a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Spey. It offered a thrust of 14,500 pounds, over 2000 pounds greater than that of the TF30 that powered the Navy's Corsair IIs. Other changes included a heads-up display, a new avionics package, and an M61 rotary cannon in place of the two single-barreled 20-mm cannon. Also included was a computerized navigation/weapons delivery system with AN/APQ-126 radar and a heads-up display.

Two YA-7D prototypes were completed with TF30-P-6 engines, and the first of these flew on April 6, 1968., The first Spey-powered A-7D (67-14854) flew for the first time on September 26, 1968. The seventeenth production aircraft introduced a provision for boom flight refueling in place of the Navy's probe/drogue system, with the boom receptacle being on the top of the fuselage behind the cockpit and offset to port.

The A-7D first entered service with in 1970 with the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing at Luke AFB, and with the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Myrtle Beach AFB in South Carolina. The 354th TFW had previously been flying A-1 Skyraiders. The A-17Ds began to appear in Southeast Asia in October of 1972 in the close support role as well as in search and rescue operations. In October of 1972, the 354th TFW began flying its A-7Ds out of Korat, Thailand into Cambodia, Laos, and North Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, 12,928 combat sorties were flown, with only 4 losses. The last US air strike into Cambodia was made by an A-7D on August 15, 1973.

A total of 459 A-7Ds were built, equipping three TAC wings and two Air National Guard squadrons. During the early 1980s, most A-7Ds were replaced by A-10 Thunderbolt IIs in USAF front-line service, but it remained in the Air National Guard squadrons for a while longer, equipping an eventual total of 14 ANG squadrons.

Specification of Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II

Engine: One Allison TF41-A-1 non-afterburning turbofan, 14,500 lb.s.t. Performance: Maximum speed 663 mph at 7000 feet, 654 mph at sea level. Cruising speed 507 mph. Landing speed 139 mph. Service ceiling 38,800 feet, combat ceiling 36,700 feet. Initial climb rate 10,900 feet per minute. Combat radius 560 miles with 6560 pound load and 2 300 gallon drop tanks. Maximum ferry range 3000 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 38 feet 9 inches, 46 feet 1.5. inches long, 16 feet 1 inches, wingspan 375 square feet. Weights: 19,700 pounds empty, 38,000 pounds gross, 42,000 pounds maximum. Armament: One 20-mm M61 cannon with 1000 rounds. Up to 15,000 pounds of ordnance could be carried on 8 hardpoints.

Serial Numbers of Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II

67-14582/14584	Ling-Temco-Vought YA-7D-1-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.001/003
67-14585/14586	Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II
				c/n D.004/005.
67-14587/14601	Cancelled contract for Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II
68-8220		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-1-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.006.  
68-8221/8224		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-2-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.007/010.
68-8225/8231		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-3-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.011/017
68-8232/8281		Cancelled contract for Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II
69-6188/6244		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II
69-6188/6196		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-3-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.018/074.
69-6197/6207		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-4-CV Corsair II
69-6208/6220		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-5-CV Corsair II
69-6221-6244		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-6-CV Corsair II
69-6245/6333		Cancelled contract for LTV A-7D Corsair II
70-0929/0968		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-7-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.075/D.114
70-0969/1012		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-8-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.115/D.158
70-1013/1056		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-9-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.159/D.202
71-0292/0335		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-10-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.203/246
71-0336/0379		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-11-CV Corsair II
				c/n D-247/290
72-0169/0217		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-12-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.291/D.339
72-0218/0265		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-13-CV Corsair II 
				c/n D.340/D.387
73-0992/1003		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-14-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.388/D.399.
73-1004/1015		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-15-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.400/D.411
74-1737/1760		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-16-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.412/435.
75-0386/0409		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D-17-CV Corsair II
				c/n D.436/459.

Sources:


  1. American Combat Planes, 3rd Edition, Ray Wagner, Doubleday, 1982.

  2. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, GordonSwanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian Institute Press, 1989.

  3. E-mail from Robert Manley on production blocks for A-7s

  4. E-mail from Jesse Emerson.