The A-7D is a single-seat, tactical close air support aircraft derived from the U.S. Navy's A-7. The first A-7D made its initial flight in April 1968, and deliveries of production models began in December 1968. When A-7D production ended in 1976, LTV had delivered 459 to the U.S. Air Force.
The A-7D demonstrated its outstanding ground attack capability flying with the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, during the closing months of the Southeast Asia War. The Corsair II achieved its excellent accuracy with the aid of an automatic electronic navigation and weapons delivery system. Although designed primarily as a ground attack aircraft, it also had limited air-to-air combat capability.
In 1973 the USAF began assigning A-7Ds to the Air National Guard (ANG), and by 1987 they were being flown by ANG units in 10 states and Puerto Rico. A-7Ds participated in Operation Just Cause in Panama in 1989. The last A-7Ds were retired in the early 1990s.
The A-7D on display was flown on Nov. 18, 1972, by Maj. Colin A. Clarke on a nine-hour rescue support mission in Southeast Asia for which he received the Air Force Cross, the USAF's second highest award for valor in combat. It was delivered to the museum on Jan. 31, 1992.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: One M61A1 20mm rapid-fire cannon plus 15,000 lbs. of mixed ordnance Engine: One Allison TF41 turbofan engine of 14,250 lbs. thrust Maximum speed: 663 mph Cruising speed: 545 mph Range: 3,044 miles Ceiling: 33,500 ft. Span: 38 ft. 8 in. Length: 46 ft. 1 in. Height: 16 ft. 1 in. Weight: 39,325 lbs. loaded
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