Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II

Last revised January 9, 2005


In FY 1967, the USAF had ordered a version of the Corsair II, designated A-7D. It differed from the Navy's Corsair II in several ways. For one, it was powered by 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 for the pilot, a new avionics package, upgraded hydraulic systems and brakes, and an M61 rotary cannon with 1000 rounds in place of the two single-barreled guns.

The Navy was sufficiently impressed with the increased power offered by the Spey, and decided to use this engine for its own version of the Corsair II. The designation A-7E was assigned, and this version was to succeed the A-7A in production. However, there were delays in the deliveries of the TF41-A-2 engine specified for the A-7E, so the first 67 aircraft of the order were delivered with the TF30-P-5 engine. These aircraft had all of the other improvements planned for the A-7E, including the improved avionics and the M61 rotary cannon, and were redesignated A-7C after delivery.

The first Spey-powered A-7E flew for the first time on March 9, 1969. The A-7E differed from the USAF A-7D in retaining the probe-and-drogue midair refueling system of the earlier A-7A/B. It entered service in Southeast Asia in May of 1970 with VA-146 and VA-147 aboard the USS America. The A-7E participated in numerous close-air support missions over both North and South Vietnam, the A-7E's state-of-the-art bombing and navigation system being particularly reliable and accurate. Most air wings operating A-4 Skyhawks and early A-7s were re-equipped with A-7Es. The A-7E participated in the mining of Haiphong harbor in 1972, and played a vital role in the Linebacker I and Linebacker II operations that led up to the formal end of the Vietnam war on January 24, 1973.

A total of 535 A-7Es were built, the last one being delivered in 1983. At its peak in the mid 1980s, some 22 Navy attack squadrons were using the A-7E. The last of the A-7A squadrons were disestablished and the last of the A-7Bs were transferred to reserve squadrons by 1977.

There were several upgrades made to the A-7E during its career. One of these was the addition of the ability to use the Texas Instruments AN/AAR-45 FLIR pod for night and bad-weather operations. The first FLIR-modified aircraft was flown on September 15, 1978, with the first squadron to receive the FLIR-modified aircraft being VA-81 in Julu of 1979.

Transition from the A-7E to the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet began in 1987.  The last A-7Es were retired to storage at AMARC in the mid 1990s. The last A-7Es were withdrawn in November 1994 by the Weapons Test Squadron in November 1994.

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

Engine: One Allison TF41-A-1 non-afterburning turbofan, 14,500 lb.s.t. Performance: Maximum speed 690 mph at sea level, cruising speed 580 mph, landing speed 139 mph. Service ceiling 49,200 feet. Dimensions: Wingspan 38 feet 9 inches, 46 feet 1.5. inches long, 16 feet 0 3/4 inches, wingspan 375 square feet. Weights: 19,100 pounds empty, 42,000 pounds maximum takeoff 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-7E Corsair II

156801/156840		Ling Temco Vought A-7E-4-CV Corsair II
156841/156890		Ling Temco Vought A-7E-5-CV Corsair II
157435/157481		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-6-CV Corsair II
157482/157537		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-7-CV Corsair II
157538/157594		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-8-CV Corsair II
157595/157648		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
					contract cancelled
158002/158028		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-9-CV Corsair II
158652/158666		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-10-CV Corsair II
158667/158681		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-11-CV Corsair II
158819/158830		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-12-CV Corsair II
158831/158842		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-13-CV Corsair II
159261/159272		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-14-CV Corsair II
159273/159284		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-15-CV Corsair II
159285/159308		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E-16-CV Corsair II
159638/159661		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
159668/159679		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
159967/160006		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
160537/160566		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
160613/160618		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
160710/160739		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
160857/160886		Ling-Temco-Vought A-7E Corsair II
				delivery of 160881/160886 cancelled.

Sources:


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

  2. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, GordonSwanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1990.

  3. Corsair--Sterling Ending To a Glorious Naval Career, Stephane Nocolaou, Air Fan International, Vol 1, No. 6, September 1996.

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

  5. E-mail from Jonathan Alexander on FLIR installation on A-7E.