Vought (LTV) A-7 Corsair II Projects

fightingirish

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Ron Downey said:
Vought YA-7F Strikefighter Brochure
A copy of the company made brochure for the proposed Vought YA-7F Strikefighter. Credit: usnraptor

From Wikipedia: “The Vought YA-7F "Strikefighter" was a prototype transonic attack aircraft based on the subsonic A-7 Corsair II. Two prototypes were converted from A-7Ds. The YA-7F was not ordered into production, its intended role being filled by the F-16 Fighting Falcon.”
Download here or here or here or here or here (5.9 Megs)
Source/Link: http://aviationarchives.blogspot.com/2020/09/vought-ya-7f-strikefighter-brochure.html
 

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SSgtC

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So, I've got a question kinda-sorta related to this thread. Had McNamara never become SECDEF and unified the USAF and USN aircraft designation systems, what would the Corsair's designation have been? I'm thinking either the AU Corsair (I can't find any specifically designated attack aircraft from Vought) or the A4U Corsair (following in sequence from the XSB3U, the last bomber Vought designed). In curious what others think of this
 

TomS

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So, I've got a question kinda-sorta related to this thread. Had McNamara never become SECDEF and unified the USAF and USN aircraft designation systems, what would the Corsair's designation have been? I'm thinking either the AU Corsair (I can't find any specifically designated attack aircraft from Vought) or the A4U Corsair (following in sequence from the XSB3U, the last bomber Vought designed). In curious what others think of this

The original Corsair F4U had a dedicated attack variant, designated the AU-1, during the Korean War. The Corsair II would have had to be the A2U.
 
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TomS

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The original Corsair F4U had a dedicated attack variant, designated the AU-1, during the Korean War. The Corsair II would have had to be the A2U.

I think A2U was already taken as well? Attack variant of the F7U Cutlass, IIRC.
I see it referenced on Wikipedia, but I can't find a SAC for it.

It was ordered and one airframe maybe completed before it was cancelled. So pretty obscure but I should have checked.


For completeness, there are internet references to an A3U Sea Scorpion as a post-Korea turboprop design, but that's a fictional aircraft.
 

gral_rj

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The original Corsair F4U had a dedicated attack variant, designated the AU-1, during the Korean War. The Corsair II would have had to be the A2U.

I think A2U was already taken as well? Attack variant of the F7U Cutlass, IIRC.
I see it referenced on Wikipedia, but I can't find a SAC for it.
There's at least one book that has it , I think it's Ginter's Naval Fighter Series book on the Cutlass.
 

BLACK_MAMBA

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XB-70 Guy said:
What's out there on the YA-7Fs? V-number, drawings, etc.

You know, one of these days I really am going to post my promised Story of the A-7F (potential alternate title, "We want the best plane for the job as long as it's the F-16").
Reading this thread eleven years later and now I'm still looking forward to this post! Any chance you still have your materials F-14D?
 

allysonca

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Hey All, For some reason this model was not in the thread and I thought I would add it to the conversation. It was on E Bay (these are the listing pictures) and I was fortunate to win it at a s-l1600.jpg s-l1600-2.jpg s-l1600-1.jpg s-l1600-11.jpg good price. It's a composite Verkyll and about 28 inches in length. I've a little touch up and it will be brilliant. Enjoy.
 

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Grey Havoc

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The GAU-8 equipped, stretched, A-7DER is also mentioned by Dennis R. Jenkins in Warbirdtech 20: A-10 Warthog

Pioneer said:
Sorry if this is already common knowledge, but I've just finished reading Modern Battlefield Warplanes by David Donald (AIRtime Publishing). In it, it stated -

"In July 1973, when the Air Force was slow to act on a congressional recommendation that the new aircraft [the Fairchild A-10] be evaluated against the A-7D, funding for four of the YA-10A’s was cut. From 16 April until 10 May 1974, the fly-off was held at McConnell AFB, in Wichita, Kansas. The second YA-10 and an A-7D were flown by four USAF pilots with combat experience in F-100’s and F-4’s.
Because of its design, the YA-10 was found to be more survivable, more lethal because of its yet-to-be-fitted 30mm [GAU-8 Avenger] cannon, and less expensive to operate. Perhaps it’s most remarkable coup over the venerable SLUF was when the [Y]A-10 was able to spend two hours ‘on station’, 299 miles/481 km from base, with 18 500lb (227 kg) bombs. The A-7D was only able to spend 11 minutes. The evaluation finally killed off the proposed A-7DER, a stretched, re-engined, rebuilt Corsair II, incorporating the GAU-8 Avenger cannon."

Does anyone have anything more on this competitive fly-off evaluation?

Regards
Pioneer

Once the AH-56 died, AF had to figure how the A-10 was going to fit into its inventory anyway. At first, the A-10 was going to be a complement to the A-7 as their performance didn't really overlap that much. However, at about the time of contract award AF announced a different strategy, the A-7D would be taken out of USAF service and given to the ANG. I wonder if the fact that the A-7 was a Navy plane (albeit significantlyy improved by USAF into the A-7D--so much so that Navy bought the AF version as A-7E) had something to do with it.

Congress mandated a flyoff between the A-10 and the A-7. USAF objected loudly, but faced with a cutoff of A-10 funds, reluctantly went along. For the flyoff, the A-7D would substitute for the A-7DER. The ER would incorporate a fuselage stretch (based on some work done for the A-7X) to accomdate more fuel to increase loiter. It would also have increased thrust, most likely from an uprated TF41 to maintain or increase performance in light of the higher weight. The proposed ER was proposed with the GAU-8A internally mounted (550 rounds vs. A-10's 1,350), podded (rejected early because of performance considerations or not carried at all with Mavericks to be used, something A-10 itself adopted.

Flyoff was held in early 1974. USAF being USAF, the aircraft apparently weren't evaluated for the CAS role as much as they were evaluated for the A-10 role, which, looking strictly at that, the A-10 won handily. Combing that with other flight tests and available data, an interesting picture emerged.

Flying at its normal attack speed and using high drag bombs in a visual attack, A-10 was more accurate than A-7 flying at its normal attack speed. Couldn't compare the other way because A-10 couldn't fly that fast. However, if A-7 slowed down to A-10 speeds, it was just as accurate, and once the A-7 turned its avionics on.... A-10 was more maneuverable at its "down low" speed and altitude than A-7 was down there. It had better loiter. Facing up to 23mm, A-10 was better able to withstand hits. Above 23mm, the advantage faded away (it's not that A-7 suddenly got stronger, it's just that at larger calibers, A-10 could be hurt just as bad). A-7 would get hit less because it was a smaller target and faster (in joint exercises, A-7' s attack speed tended to be 59% faster). A-7 was better in poorer weather. Depending on the distance away when the call came in, A-10 could hang around longer, but A-7 could get there significantly sooner. A-10 could get into more airfields. On very low altitude and anti-tank missions, A-10 was clearly better. On strike missions, you' d be better using an A-7. A further consideration was that historically, A-7 had a phenomenally low loss rate.

The competition produced no clear "winner". The opinion of the crews involved was that the A-10 had a place in the Air Force inventory, but that the A-7 should be retained for its capabilities. In light of this, AF announced its revised policy: The A-7D would be taken out of the USAF service and given to the ANG.


I guess I really question the author, but then I don't know the politics that were going on at the time. I was a crew chief on the A-7D at Davis-Monthan AFB at the time of the introduction of the A-10A. The A-7Ds we had were pigs. Hard to work on, and their maintenance to flying time ratio was very poor. All the systems were old technology at the time, and they were constantly breaking down. And as crew chiefs we hatted working on the A-7 because so many of the panels we had to remove to work on the plane had armor plates added to them to help protect the engine and other vital systems (Thus they were heavy and cumbersome). Not counting the AIM-9 pylons the A-7D only had 6 pylons and quite often two of them were used for external fuel (as I said the plane was a pig) and one was used for an ECM pod, leaving three usable pylons for ordinance. And I seriously doubt that the A-7 could ever use the GAU-8. First there just wasn't the internal room for such a large gun and the necessary supporting equipment and ammo. Secondly upon firing the GAU-8, the engine would most likely immediately flame out from the exhaust gasses because the gun muzzle would be so close to the engine intake - not a great thing for a single engined aircraft flying low to use terrain masking. The A-10 even had a few teathing problems with this and look how far away the engines are from the gun muzzle.

The A-10 on the other hand was designed to be worked on in the field (original design was for an aircraft that could use any flat surface as a staging base). That is also one of the reasons why the aircraft sits so high off the ground, plus the wings shield the engine intakes to reduce any FOD ingestion. Panels we had to open to do inspections and serviceing were all quick finger latches that opened quickly and most were hinged so you didn't have a full panel to support when opening/closing them. And the aircraft could handle a ton of ordinance on all those pylons. Because it had a large amount of internal fuel, we never flew with external tanks except for cross country or ferry flights. Then we mounted two tanks under the fuselage, still leaving all those wing pylons free. The A-10 was only limited by weight in what it could carry, never by running out of places to hang it. And the A-10 was designed around the GAU-8, and had a huge ammo drum since that was viewed as its primary weapon.

Because the A-10 didn't have all the fancy electronic gizmos that the fast-movers used to drop their bombs, it rarely broke down. I worked on them when our squadron finally turned our A-7Ds over to the Arizona and Michigan Air National Guard units and got our A-10s. It was a joy to work on. I never once had a mission abort for a malfunction (some of this could be becasue they were new and not worn out like the A-7s we had) whereas it was a weekly occurance on the A-7Ds.

I just don't see how their missions were ever considered in the same breath. (But like I say, I was a crew chief, not chief of staff dealing with the polictics in Washington). The A-10 had to be slow to use its great manuverability to use the terrain to mask its movements from anti-aircraft weapons. We were always told that the A-10 was intended for Eastern Europe, to give our troops a fighting chance when the Soviets rolled across the border with thousands of armored vehicles. It is something to behold to see an A-10 open up armor like a can opener when it fires it's cannon with depleted uranium shells. Up until that point the only alternative was a nuclear one. When I was stationed at RAF Woodbridge/Bentwaters with the F-4D, we had alert birds armed with Tactical Nucs waiting for the day when the Soviets crossed the border. Even when they had their war games, both bases would often go on alert and be put into quick response state.

The A-7D used its speed and great electronics to deliver bombs accurately on target. It could have never done the job the A-10 did in busting tanks, and loitering in the area to provide close air support to the troops on the ground. Sorry this got so long, it is late, and this old man is just rambling.
 
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alejandrogrossi

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MIRAGE 4000 said:
Vought proposed an A-7E "French Navy" (A-7E Export) with French carrier suitability (catapult, nose gear tow)

It was proposed with Aerospatiale in 1972.

To help win the contract, Vought put some of these models on the desks of Marine Nationale procurement officers. I'm sure there were some Super-Etendard models right behind them, trying to shoot them down ...
circle-5
One question
The AGAVE radar (for use the AM-39) can fixed on the nose of the A-7E for the French?
 

Bill S

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Just to add this to all the possibilities for A-7 marketing. This one almost looks like a "Hurry the IDF/AF Representative will be at the show we need a model!" :)
 

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alejandrogrossi

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Vough proposed an A-7E "French Navy" (A-7E Export) with French carrier suitability (catapult, nose gear tow)

It was proposed with Aerospatiale in 1972.

I have some details, if you want.
Hi MIRAGE 4000
I appreciate if you put.
Most interesting
They ´ll fix in the Foch class CV (specialy lifts)?
Thanks
 

Archibald

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No need. They were stubby enough for the lifts; and provided they stuck under 18 mt fuel and bombs included, the BS-5A catapults could handle them.
(although they were the heaviest and most expensive among the whole lot - Skyhawk, Harrier, S.E, naval F1... and Jaguar M)
 
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alejandrogrossi

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No need. They were stubby enough for the lifts; and provided they stuck under 18 mt fuel and bombs included, the BS-5A catapults could handle them.
(although they were the heaviest and most expensive among the whole lot - Skyhawk, Harrier, S.E, naval F1... and Jaguar M)
Archibald
I was reading that articule: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...ikefighter-was-really-a-jet-recycling-program
The YA-7F was for the Air National Guard.
My question.
The upgrades ot he YA-7F, could apply to the naval A-7?
With a better perfomace an Air to Air radar, it would have been like a F/A-18A (strike and AA role -modest- I think)
 

Archibald

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No reason it should not work. And yes, it would make the Hornet look even more pathetic range-wise. As if the basic A-7 didn't already had 10% more range than early Hornets...

Vought certainly missed opportunities with the last Crusaders and a supersonic A-7, somewhere in the mid-60's... and with an afterburning TF41.

(note: there is a thread in the alt-history section if interested).
 
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alejandrogrossi

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No reason it should not work. And yes, it would make the Hornet look even more pathetic range-wise. As if the basic A-7 didn't already had 10% more range than early Hornets...

Vought certainly missed opportunities with the last Crusaders and a supersonic A-7, somewhere in the mid-60's... and with an afterburning TF41.
Thanks a lot
Last questions
The aft strech of the fuselaje and the new tail cone (extended), do not afect the carrier operation? (specialy the tailhook)
1642265217852.png
I think not, looking that image.
Correct me if i´m worng
The thing below the air intake is a laser designator o something similar?

1642265355660.png

Thanks in advance, again
 

alejandrogrossi

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The thing below the air intake is a laser designator o something similar?
Close, it's a Pave Penny pod.
Isayyo2
Thanks
I see. you can not designate targets , only see what targer designated and attacked
The AN/AAR-45 FLIR, its a navigation pod/ improve night capabilities attack
So, the A-7 only could launch LGB with a ground laser designator or other aircraft wit a designator pod.?
It never had the A-7 integrated a designator pod? Could be posible to do it?
 

isayyo2

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So, the A-7 only could launch LGB with a ground laser designator or other aircraft wit a designator pod.?
It never had the A-7 integrated a designator pod? Could be posible to do it?
Yep, you are entirely correct! That’s why adopting LANTIRN was such a huge leap in capability for newer tactical aircraft.
 

T. A. Gardner

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alejandrogrossi

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So, the A-7 only could launch LGB with a ground laser designator or other aircraft wit a designator pod.?
It never had the A-7 integrated a designator pod? Could be posible to do it?
Yep, you are entirely correct! That’s why adopting LANTIRN was such a huge leap in capability for newer tactical aircraft.
I known that is not in service, neither the Hellenica AF o Portuguese AF (last users), but Could have been possible to integrate a moder designator pod like LANTIRN or Litening?
thanks
 

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So, the A-7 only could launch LGB with a ground laser designator or other aircraft wit a designator pod.?
It never had the A-7 integrated a designator pod? Could be posible to do it?
Yep, you are entirely correct! That’s why adopting LANTIRN was such a huge leap in capability for newer tactical aircraft.
I known that is not in service, neither the Hellenica AF o Portuguese AF (last users), but Could have been possible to integrate a moder designator pod like LANTIRN or Litening?
thanks
If you're willing to spend the money on it, and the onboard generator can handle the increased electrical demands, sure
 

RLBH

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Looking at the A-7 designations, I think that there's something missing. Namely, the A-7F and A-7J

'But', I hear you say, 'that was the transonic version tested in the late 1980s.' Yes, it was. But that was out of sequence.

You see, after the US Navy's A-7E, the next available designation was A-7F. But instead, we got:
  • No A-7F until 1985
  • The abortive A-7G for Switzerland in 1972
  • The TA-7H prototype two-seater, later redesignated TA-7E
  • The A-7E for Greece
  • No A-7J
  • The USAF two-seat A-7K
  • The USN electronic aggressor EA-7L
Yes, the 'A-7H' for Greece is claimed to come from 'Hellas'. But I don't believe any such equivalent (or precedent) exists for Switzerland to receive the 'G' suffix. And, moreover, the A-7K and EA-7L form part of this sequence. Which means the A-7F and A-7J were either skipped for some reason, or assigned to a project that never materialised.

It's a distinct possibility that the A-7J was skipped to avoid confusion with the use of 'J' for Japan. But 'K' wasn't skipped for the United Kingdom, and there have been plenty of other J-suffix aircraft, so that's not conclusive. Skipping 'F', though, doesn't have any obvious explanation.

Looking at the timelines, any abandoned A-7F would likely date between about 1969 and 1972, while the A-7J would date between 1975 and 1979.
 

Hood

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According to the Jos Heyman listing, the original 'F' was probably the proposed refuelling pod-equipped tanker version of the A-7B, given the (presumably speculative) designation KA-7F.
There was an A-7J, one A-7E that was modified for test purposes.
 

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Cjc

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Dose anybody know how many a-7 F the usaf were thinking of getting before the program was canceled? Or at lest how many a-7 were still in the ang in 1990 that could be remainufaftured into a-7f unfortunately my Google fu has failed me on this and I can only find how many were in the usaf in like the early 70's.
 

Archibald

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I've just red Alexis Rocher Le Fana article, November 2010 (it was high time !). Related to public companies failed efforts against Dassault combat aircraft monopoly.
Very interesting.
Confirms that post 1960 they pinned their hopes on
a) ECAT, with indigenous designs and also a N-156 licence from Northrop
b) Vautour massive upgrade (to Israel and South Africa)
c) Alpha Jet competition
d) Jaguar M replacement when it failed (A-7E licence from Vought)
Also makes clear
- the French Government fully and entirely disapproved their efforts
- there was a tacit agreement (nothing formal or written) between Dassault, public companies and French Government for Combat aircraft = Dassault and "everything else but the kitchen sink" to public companies
- although there were violations of that agreement that (btw) led to commercial disasters
a) SNIAS Corvette against Falcon, Dassault win over bizjets
b) Mercure versus early Airbus, Dassault lose big

I had long thought (early 2000s) that Upgraded Vautour, Sud's F-5As and Aerospatiale A-7E were atempts at countering Dassault - that intuition was correct. Plus ECAT vs Alphajet, and trainers as "jumpstart" toward a return to combat aircraft.

Bottom line: post-1960 public companies tried every single trick to return to combat aircraft
- upgrading the Vautour, their one and only success post-1945
- ECAT, Breguet did it only to be eaten by Dassault
- US licences: F-5s and A-7s.
Nothing worked.
 

kaiserbill

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Is there any further info on the (b) massively upgraded Vatour?
I assume for the pitch to the South Africans this was aimed at strike requirement that led to the Buccaneer purchase in the early 60's?
Or was it a competitor to the Mirage III purchase, which I personally cannot see..
 

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