The next version of the Corsair II was the A-7B. The A-7B differed from the A primarily in having the 12,200 lb.s.t. TF30-P-8 engine in place of the -6 version in the A. In addition, the aircraft had improved flaps.
The first A-7B (Bu No 154363) took off on its maiden flight on February 6, 1968, test pilot Joe Engle at the controls.
The first operational A-7Bs went to VA-146 and VA-215 in the autumn of 1968. They deployed aboard the USS Enterprise on January 6, 1969, bound for the Gulf of Tonkin. Because of a major fire of Hawaii, the carrier only spent 35 days on combat duty. No A-7Bs were lost in combat during this tour, although one was lost in an accident. While the Enterprise was being repaired, VA-25 and VA-86 received A-7Bs and deployed aboard the USS Ticonderoga in March of 1969.
The last of 196 A-7B was delivered in May of 1969. In all, A-7Bs underwent 15 war cruises, losing 11 aircraft in combat and 12 due to accidents. Seven of the combat losses were to AAA, one to a SAM, and 3 to unknown causes. Altogether, A-7B squadrons made 45 cruises, the last being aboard the USS John F. Kennedy in 1977. After that, the A-7Bs were relegated to Naval reserve units until January of 1987.
Engine: One Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-8 non-afterburning turbofan, 12,200 lb.s.t. Performance: Maximum speed 683 mph at sea level, 625 mph at 11,500 feet, cruising speed 580 mph, landing speed 139 mph. Combat ceiling 43,900 feet, initial climb rate 7920 feet per minute, maximum ferry range 3100 miles. Dimensions: Wingspan 38 feet 9 inches, 46 feet 1.5. inches long, 16 feet 2 inches, wingspan 375 square feet. Weights: 16,100 pounds empty, 29,800 pounds gross, 37,000 pounds maximum. Armament: Two 20-mm Mk 12 cannon with 600 rpg. Up to 15,000 pounds of ordnance could be carried on 8 hardpoints.
154361/154417 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7B-1-CV Corsair II (57) 154418/154474 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7B-2-CV Corsair II (57) 154475/154522 Ling Temco-Vought A-7B-3-CV Corsair II (48) 154523/154556 Ling-Temco-Vought A-7B-4-CV Corsair II (34) 154557/154573 Cancelled contract for LTV A-7B Corsair II.