Monday, September 26, 2011

A-7 Corsair II

The A-7 Corsair II is a carrier-based subsonic light attack aircraft introduced to replace the United States Navy's Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, initially entering service during the Vietnam War. The Corsair II was later adopted by the United States Air Force, to include 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 and Thailand in the late 1980s. 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 engineIn 1962, the United States Navy began preliminary work on VAX (Heavier-than-air, Attack, Experimental), a replacement for the A-4 Skyhawk with greater range and payload. A particular emphasis was placed on accurate delivery of weapons to reduce the cost per target. The requirements were finalized in 1963, announcing the VAL (Heavier-than-air, Attack, Light) competition.[1] The USAF philosophy was to employ only supersonic fighter-bombers such as the F-105 Thunderchief and F-100 Super Sabre. However, the Navy felt that a subsonic design could carry the more payload the farthest distance, due to the lower fuel burn rate from avoiding supersonic flight.
The first A-7 mock-up in 1964.

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