YouTube – A-7 Corsair
1 – 20 mm
46 ft. 2 in.
38 ft. 9 in.
The A-7 Corsair, produced by Vought, was based on their larger Crusader fighter. At first glance, the two aircraft appear very similar. Upon closer investigation one will notice that the A-7 Corsair is shorter and has less sweep to its wings. The aircraft also flew at subsonic speeds, with a less powerful, non-afterburning engine. Although smaller, the A-7 Corsair could carry a maximum of 15,000 lbs. of ordnance under its fuselage and below its wings.
Flying the A-7 Corsair was often a pleasure due to its good in-flight manners, although its pilots often wished for more power. This was somewhat remedied with an upgraded engine in later models. The new engine dramatically increased fuel economy, while providing more thrust.
The A-7 Corsair was capable of flying missions of far greater range than its predecessor, with less or no mid-air refueling. The aircraft was built strong, and capable of surviving significant battle damage.
Shortcomings of the A-7 Corsair were poor brakes, especially on rain coated runways, and difficulty while landing in strong cross-winds due to its short tail moment. It was also found that the position of the engine air intake made early A-7 Corsair aircraft susceptible to drawing in hot water vapor from aircraft carrier catapults. This resulted in a loss of power. The issue was remedied on later models through engine modifications.
The A-7 Corsair first saw combat over Vietnam in late 1967 when launched from the USS Ranger. The aircraft flew numerous missions through 1973, providing extremely accurate deliveries of their ordnance.
Four A-7 Corsair aircraft attacked the Thanh Hoa bridge on May 13, 1972 and permanently put it out of action. The bridge was an important connection point between areas of North Vietnam, serving as a truck and rail passage for Viet Cong troops and their supplies to enter South Vietnam.
The first U.S.A.F. A-7 Corsair aircraft were deployed to Luke AFB in mid-1970. They were equipped with the newest avionics, including a new radar, a head up display, a Gatling cannon, computerized weapons system, and an engine delivering over 15 percent more power than the first engines in the Navy jets.
United States Air Force A-7 Corsair aircraft were based in Korat, Thailand starting in late 1972. From there they flew combat missions over Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam through the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. In addition to troop ground support and bombing missions, USAF A-7 Corsair aircraft also flew in support of pilots downed behind enemy lines.
On Nov. 18, 1972 USAF A-7 Corsair aircraft flew cover to rescue two downed airmen behind enemy lines in Vietnam in a nine hour long mission. One aircraft was hit a number of times with 12.7 mm shells. The pilot of the A-7 Corsair, Major Colin Clark, received the Air Force Cross for his heroism in the mission while coordinating the operation. His aircraft was put on display at the USAF Museum in Ohio, U.S.A.
The Vietnam war claimed some 98 A-7 Corsair aircraft.
In January of 1973, when the U.S. stopped fighting in Vietnam, A-7 Corsair aircraft began flying combat missions in Cambodia to back the U.S. supported government. These missions continued until August of 1973.
In October of 1983, A-7 Corsair aircraft saw action supporting the invasion of Grenada by providing close air support.
During 1983, A-7 Corsair aircraft flew support missions over Lebanon. One was downed by surface to air missiles over Lebanon on December 4, 1983. Its pilot was able to eject and parachute to safety.
In December of 1989, A-7 Corsair aircraft were deployed to Panama in support of “Operation Just Cause”.
From August of 1990 through April of 1991, U.S. aircraft carrier based A-7 Corsair aircraft flew missions during the First Gulf War. The missions were in support of Kuwait when it was invaded by Iraq. Their missions included the use of both unguided bombs and smart bombs, plus High-Speed Anti Radiation Missiles (HARM) against heavily defended targets in Kuwait and Iraq. Some A-7 Corsair aircraft were fitted with a probe-and-drogue system for aerial refueling missions.
The A-7 Corsair flew for the U.S. military until 1991 and continued to fly for the U.S. Air National Guard through 1993. A small number of the aircraft continued flying for foreign air forces. It appears that the last A-7 Corsair aircraft in the Greek Hellenic Air Force were retired in 2014.
A total of 1,569 A-7 Corsair aircraft of all types were produced.
RC A-7 Corsair
That’s jeteye of RCUniverse with his Fly Eagle RC A-7 Corsair. It is turbine powered with a 76″ wingspan and 90 1/2″ length. Its dry weight is around 33 lbs.
The ARF RC A-7 Corsair from J-Power is a foamy with a 32″ wingspan that is 36″ long. Included is a 2,950 kV motor. You can find an excellent review of the J-Power RC A-7 Corsair by Jon R. Barnes at the RC Groups website.
The ARF RC A-7 Corsair from Jet Hangar Hobbies comes in U.S. Navy or U.S.A.F. color schemes. It has a 47″ wingspan and is 57″ long. The wings are glass coated. Four different ways of powering the A-7 Corsair are suggested: A MW-44 turbine engine that produces 10 lbs. of thrust, or a 5 in. DF system, or 10s or 12s E-Turbax motor systems. Weight should be around 13 lbs. all up.