View Full Version : Vought A-7 Corsair II
February 8th, 2008, 11:55
1935 Vought Corsair
As applied to an aircraft, the name Corsair has its origins in a series of famous biplanes built for the Navy by the Vought Corporation between World Wars I and II. Later, the name was applied to the famous Vought F4U series of fighters flown by Navy and Marine pilots during World War II.
The Corsair II was developed in response to a Navy requirement for a single-place, fair-weather subsonic attack aircraft capable of carrying a much heavier weapons load than the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. First flight of the new aircraft (Vought A-7D) took place on September 27, 1965. In addition to the Navy and Marine Corps, the USAF as well as air forces of two other nations operated the A-7. The definitive versions of the aircraft are the USAF A-7D and the closely related Navy A-7E.
The lineage of the A-7 can be traced directly to the Vought F-8 Crusader fighter. Like the F-8, the configuration of the A-7 is characterized by a high wing, low horizontal tail, chin inlet, and short landing-gear legs that retract into the fuselage. Since the A-7 is a
subsonic aircraft, however, no area ruling is incorporated in the fuselage, which is also shorter and deeper than that of the supersonic F-8. Because of the larger mass flow of the turbofan engine employed in the A-7, the size of the chin inlet is somewhat larger than that of the turbojet-powered F-8. These differences make the A-7 appear shorter and more stubby than the earlier fighter. The A-7 is sometimes unofficially called the SLUF (Sort Ugly Fat Fella) by USAF crews.
Original power plant of the A-7 was a nonafterburning version of the Pratt & Whitney TF30 turbofan. This is the same engine that, equipped with an afterburner, powers both the F-111 and the F-14. Beginning with the A-7D, however, the more powerful Allison TF41-A-1 turbofan, an American version of the British Rolls-Royce Spey engine, was installed.
A wide assortment of external stores can be accommodated on the A-7. Eight store-mounting positions are provided. There are three pylons under each wing, and a single mounting station is located on each side of the fuselage. Two of the underwing pylons and one of the fuselage mounting stations are visible in above figure. A total of 15,000 pounds of stores can be carried. A six-barrel 20-mm Vulcan cannon is located on the left side of the fuselage near the bottom of the aircraft. A portion of the muzzle of the gun is visible below the word "intake" in the above figure. Although the A-7 was originally intended as a fair-weather aircraft, later versions (beginning with the A-7D) were equipped with extensive electronic gear for all-weather operations.
The A-7 is one of those aircraft with a demonstrated capability of performing well in a wide variety of missions. Other aircraft are faster or have a greater range-payload capability or have a faster rate of climb; sometimes, certain of these characteristics are deemed so important that it dominates the entire design. What results is a "point design" aircraft that can perform one mission extremely well but is relatively much less effective in any other mission. The design parameters of the A-7 were chosen so that the aircraft has great mission versatility. It was successfully employed in just about every conceivable attack role during the Vietnam conflict where it first saw action in 1967.
February 8th, 2008, 11:58
The bent wing planes that Pappy Boyington flew were called Corsairs, too.
February 8th, 2008, 12:02
Yep got that right ole buddy have to research that plane also
February 8th, 2008, 12:04
Yep got that right ole buddy have to research that plane also
I used to watch Baa Baa Blacksheep with Robert Conrad as Boyington. I loved the planes, and the Marines. My brother had some good models of this one.
February 8th, 2008, 12:06
Same here that was one great show.
February 8th, 2008, 12:26
Pappy Boyington's Corsair
F4U-1A, Bureau Number 18086
Modeller's love it: Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington's F4U-1A Corsair, decorated with 20 little Japanese flags, adorned with the nickname Lulubelle, and just below the canopy stencilled "Gregory Boyington, Major - USMC." There's even a contemporary photograph of Pappy in the famous plane.The only problem is that it was really nothing more than a "photoop."Boyington never flew #883 in combat.
In fact, the Marine fliers during the Solomons campaign flew any plane they could get. It wasn't like the Eighth Air Force in Europe, where each pilot had a personal plane and supporting crew. At the end of a thin supply line, largely dependent on Navy logistics, dedicating specific planes to specific pilots was a luxury the Marines just didn't have. that the Marines, as a "Naval" service, followed the habits and customs of the senior service. The Navy pilots, operating from cramped carriers, always shared planes.
F4U Corsair Development
Originating in a 1938 Navy spec, when the need to replace the F2A and F4F could already be foreseen, the Vought Corsair was designed around an engine that also didn't exist yet: the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp, a monster 18 cylinder double radial, eventually capable of 2250 horsepower. (During the Corsair's development, corporate reorganizations brought the Vought company into Vought-Sikorsky and then Chance Vought, all part of United Aircraft, along with Pratt & Whitney and Hamilton Standard.) The huge engine dictated much of the plane's design. Such a powerplant needed a comparably big propeller to absorb all that horsepower. Thus the 13' 4" diameter Hamilton Standard prop, the largest fittest to a fighter at that time. The Corsair's fuselage had to be high in the air, to give the prop clearance, But ordinary, straight wings at that height would have implied long (and weak) landing gear. The distinctive bent wings were developed to permit a reasonably short undercarriage.
The XF4U first flew in May 1940, and in October flew faster than 400 MPH, a record for a production fighter. A major re-design pushed the cockpit back 32 inches, which resulted in poor forward vision for the pilot, at least on take-off and landing. Development continued into 1942, when Vought delivered the first production F4U-1 to the Navy, which didn't like what it saw, especially when compared to the easier-handling, and very capable F6F Hellcat. The F4U had dangerous stall behavior, had tendency to yaw suddenly when landing, and, worst off all, bounced when it hit the deck. For use on carriers, these problems caused the Navy to insist that they be fixed, while it went ahead equipping with the Hellcat.
But the Marines, operating from land bases in the Solomons, needed capable new fighters to replace their aging F4F Wildcats. By late 1942, the first USMC squadron, VMF-124, took delivery of the Corsair F4U-1. In early 1943, they began to see combat, and were a huge success - with speed, maneuverability, firepower, and ability to absorb battle damage. By the summer of 1943, most of the Marine fighting squadrons had transitioned to the F4U-1, the first operational model, fitted with a distinctive "birdcage" canopy, as shown in the detail of a plane flown by Ed Olander (number 576). Boyington's squadron, VMF-214, switched over to Corsairs before they started their September 1943 combat tour.Based on combat experience, Vought improved the next version, the F4U-1A:
a better visibility bubble-top canopy. The different canopy tops show clearly in the illustrations.
a more powerful engine, the R-2800-8W. Equipped with water-injection, this engine could achieve 2,250 horsepower for brief periods.
a spoiler on outside edge of right wing
a longer tailwheel legThis list of changes is typical for the modifications made in WWII aircraft, as the manufacturers absorbed the lessons of the battlefield and adapted the airplanes in response. The F4U Corsair went on through many different models. It saw service in Korea, where Guy Boyington flew an F4U-5N to become the Navy's only prop ace of that war. The Corsair remained in production until 1952 (over 12,000 built), they served with many nations' air forces until the 1960's. Corsairs flew their last combat misions in the 1969 "Soccer War" between Honduras and El Salvador.
For what it's worth, it is known that Pappy Boyington flew the following Corsairs:
BuNo 18086, an F4U-1A, in November 1943, or he at least sat in it for the photos
BuNo 17740, an F4U-1A, in December 1943, used in "baseball" photo session
BuNo 17883, an F4U-1A, in December 1943, also flown byBob McMlurg
BuNo 17915, an F4U-1A, January 3, 1944, lost on Boyington's last missionWhat was their ultimate disposition? Number 915 definitely wound up at the bottom of St. George's Channel; the others were almost certainly scrapped. Only a handful of Corsairs survived.
February 8th, 2008, 12:53
I liked the design. Pretty cool for a prop plane.
February 8th, 2008, 14:49
"Pappy" Boyington a legendary warrior , lover , drinker and World War II hero. The life of Boyington is one that goes beyond anything you might expect even in the most imaginative fiction stories of the World War II aviation aces. In 1936 Boyington entered the US Marine Corps as an aviation cadet. Trouble with debts and his stubbornly unconventional behavior was the reason why he was "encouraged" to resign from the USMC before the Corps would kick him out . Boyington a World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient. Served during World War II as a Major in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as commander of Marine Fighter Squadron 214. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery in Central Solomons area from September 12, 1943 to January 3, 1944. His citation reads “For extraordinary heroism and valiant devotion to duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Central Solomons area. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces. Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Maj. Boyington led a formation of 24 fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where 60 hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down 20 enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship. A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Maj. Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area”. Major Boyington was also awarded the United States Navy’s second highest honor, the Navy Cross. He had served in the Marine Corps previous to World War II, but resigned in to join General Claire Chennault’s “Flying Tigers” in China, with whom he shot down 6 Japanese aircraft. He re-enlisted in the Marine Corps after Pearl Harbor, (going through some difficulty in doing so, due to his reputation as a undisciplined brawler), and was assigned a squadron of Marine Pilots who would become known as the “Black Sheep” due to the fact they were scrapped together by Major Boyington, and didn’t go through the formal unit training and assignments in the United States. Major Boyington, being much older than his men, gained the sobriquet “Pappy”, partially for his age, partially for the way he looked after his men. His "Black Sheep" became one of the top fighter units in US Service, having shot down a confirmed 97 Japanese aircraft, 35 probable ones, damaged 50, and destroyed 21 on the ground. He himself scored 22 kills (his official CMOH citation is in error in that regard). In January 1944 he was shot down over the island of Rabaul and was captured by a Japanese submarine. He spent the remaining balance of the War as a prisoner, never having reported as captured by the Japanese Military authorities. His Medal of Honor was issued to him by the US Navy with the belief it was posthumous. During his 20 months of as a prisoner, he was tortured like many Americans in Japanese hands. In 1947 he was medically retired with the rank of Colonel, USMC. In the 1970’s, after years of personal and medical problems stemming from his war experiences, he sold his story to NBC, which turned into the weekly Television Series “The Black Sheep Squadron”, an extremely highly fictionalized account of Boyington’s and Marine Squadron 214’s exploits. The series, while initially popular with the public, was heavy criticized from Squadron veterans for the mythical way they and the war they conducted were portrayed. On January 11th 1988 Boyington lost his final battle against cancer , he lies buried at Arlington National Cemetery . Although much of what is told about this legendary fighter-pilot is exaggerated still the man was a fighter-pilot of exceptional skill and he lived his life like few men ever did. And even though he had to fight a lot of misfortune and had to deal with many setbacks in the end he managed to come back at the surface , loyal to his reputation as a warrior. some like he did managed to get back on their feet others didn't and disappeared in anonymity , .
February 8th, 2008, 21:13
you can still catch ba ba blacksheep on Sun mornings on the history channel on occasion
The A7 was a good plane
February 9th, 2008, 06:31
When I first entered the Marines we still had the A-7, F-4, and A-4. All three great aircraft for their time.
February 9th, 2008, 09:50
The A-7 if I remember right was nicknamed the Man-eater due to the large intake in front.
February 10th, 2008, 19:41
There was a song about it Oh wait that wasn't about the plane...
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