The newest aircraft to join the fleet is the extraordinary Corsair II, brought to you by MotoArt and United Aeronautical Corporation. Introducing 75-0392, a USAF A-7D.
The A-7 Corsair II is a high wing, single engine, subsonic, carrier-capable light attack aircraft. Its name was derived from Vought’s F4U Corsair. Produced between 1964 and 1983, more than 1,500 were built. The design was based on the Vought F-8 Crusader and was meant to replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk.
A-7 development began with the “VAL” program (V for heavier-than-air; A attack; L light) in 1962, a joint program among the USAF, US Army and US Navy to develop an advanced light aircraft. After the USAF bowed out, preferring to use its existing fighters, the program was suspended. The A-7 Corsair II was born out of the US Navy’s requirement to replace its older light attack aircraft, such as the Douglas A-1 Skyraider (AD Skyraider) and Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Vought won the competitive bid and was issued an initial contract in February 1964. The first A-7 took wing in September 1965 and entered US Navy squadron service by February 1967, with deployment to Vietnam by the end of 1967.
A-7B By U.S. Navy - U.S. Navy National Museum of Naval Aviation photo No. 2011.003.243.028, Public Domain
In 1965, the USAF decided to develop its own all-weather variant, the A-7D, featuring advanced avionics and new flight and navigation displays, among other improvements. This, in turn, enabled the US Navy to develop its own all-weather attack version, the A-7E, which first flew in November 1968.
The A-7 was dropped into combat conditions almost immediately, as by December 1967 the Navy was already in the thick of the air war over Vietnam. With each new version, the engines became more powerful, the avionics, hydraulics and weaponry more advanced, and its attack capabilities were improved with features like Target-Recognition Attack Multi-Sensors (TRAM) and Forward Looking Infra-Red (FLIR). It was also one of the first aircraft equipped with a heads-up-display (HUD), which projected flight information and targeting onto the windscreen, into the pilot’s line of sight. It became one of the most versatile and reliable tactical aircraft of its time.
After Vietnam, the final version, the A-7E, remained aboard carriers, to later be used in Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, Panama, and in Iraq and Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Storm. This would be the final deployment of the remaining two A-7E squadrons.
Take a look at this promotional video, showcasing the effectiveness and versatility of both the Navy's A-7E and USAF's A-7D aircraft.
In 1954 Vought became independent, then was purchased in 1961 and became Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV). LTV was responsible for many Cold War aircraft and missiles. They again went through sales and reorganizations, becoming part of the Carlyle Group and Northrop Grumman at different points in the 1990s. They were sold to the Triumph Group in 2010.More than 15,000 aircraft in over 50 models have carried the Vought name. Some of Vought’s aircraft are:
A-7D-15-CV 73-1008 modified to YA-7K configuration. Shown with 152d TFS, Arizona Air National Guard, 1989
By USAF - National Museum of the U.S. Air Force photo 051123-F-1234P-053, Public Domain
The A-7D variant was built specifically for the USAF, to fill the need for a specialized subsonic fixed wing aircraft suited for close air support in South Vietnam. The USAF A-7D Corsair II featured a powerful Allison TF41-A-1 turbofan engine, a new advanced avionics package, a computerized navigation/weapons delivery system, and an M61A1 rotary cannon. It also included advanced navigation and flight displays, an early digital computer, and navigation system. It boasted real time weapon release point calculation called Continuously Computed Impact Point (CCIP), and Continuously Computed Release Point (CCRP) to automatically deliver the weapon to the target point. Thus, its weapons delivery accuracy was unmatched. 459 were built.
Photo by Simon Wallwork, used with permission
MotoArt’s A-7, 75-0392, was constructed as an A-7D. In 1980 ‘392 was assigned to the 152nd Tactical Fighter squadron, a unit of the Arizona Air National Guard 162nd Fighter Wing located at Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona. It was part of the unit’s A-7 Fighter Weapons School, whose mission was to train combat-ready pilots for the Air National Guard with the A-7 and later the F-16. In October 1990, as the last of the A-7Ds in the unit were retiring, it was sent to storage at AMARC, then later salvaged. In 2022, MotoArt acquired ‘392 from United Aeronautical Corporation.
United Aeronautical Corporation (UAC) has been in business since 1956, and has grown to have one of the largest inventories of finished aviation products in the world. UAC is a diversified support and spare parts company known for maintaining the highest standards of service and quality. They supply, overhaul, and manufacture aircraft parts for both current production aircraft as well as an extensive catalog of out-of-production legacy aircraft. They have supported all branches of the US Military (Navy, USMC, USAF, Army, Coast Guard), as well as numerous foreign governments around the world.
Additionally, UAC offers the following services:
They provide aircraft parts and airframes for different projects, such as filming on location in Tucson, Arizona or North Hollywood, California, providing props for film sets, artwork, general collector’s items, and, in MotoArt’s case, original aircraft skin from an A-7D Corsair II. Says MotoArt owner Dave Hall, “We are so honored to work with UAC to resurrect ‘392 and be able to offer Corsair II PlaneTags. We know that collectors will agree that this is an aircraft that should be preserved and we’re glad UAC has partnered with us to make this happen.”
The newest PlaneTags are numbered in a series of 3,500. They are etched with a drawing of the plane and its serial number, and are attached to a colorful display card featuring its history and some facts about the plane.
They will be available in the following colors:
Like the original Corsair F4U PlaneTags first released seven years ago, this limited edition release is destined to become highly sought after once they disappear from our website. They will be available beginning August 17, 2022 on the PlaneTags app and planetags.com . Don’t miss out - add one to your collection today.
Here are some of the carrier-based aircraft we have made PlaneTags from. Be sure to add these to your collection before they are gone.