RAZBAM: A7 Corsair II

I hate Low-viz

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I hope they do better with DCS than they did with FSX. They never finished their A-7 for TACPACK Beta - stupid stuff that they already had correct in the non-TACPACK versions like a misaligned Flaps handle.

I am not a big fan of their customer support either - they never really seemed interested if fixing stuff that were serious errors. Which was too bad because they built good airplanes…except for a glaring error here or there.

I hope they do better with DCS…but I’m not holding my breath for when the A-7 comes out.

So far their DCS efforts have proven the opposite of what you experienced with FSX, so I would say that you can try and be slighty optimistic! :slight_smile:

Interesting! As @TheAlmightySnark mentioned, they have a different track record on DCS so far with the Mirage, but it’ll be to good to watch and see if they maintain it.

I certainly hope so. Part of the issue may have been that they were already “shifting gears” to DCS long before they made the announcement.

Knowing a thing or two about computer programing, when I submit a trouble call I have, a) done everything I can to correct it myself and b) done as much troubleshooting as I can to accurately and fully describe the issue–when it crosses up, the symptoms, PC and FSX settings, etc.

So it kind of “got my goat” when after I described how, in their AV-8B and Brit Harriers, the Waypoints would automatically and erroneously forward 2 and sometime 3 ahead while still miles away from the current waypoint their response was essentially a virtual shrug - “we’ll take a look”

The problem effectively made waypoint to waypoint (to target) navigation completely inoperable…kind of a big thing in an advanced fighter. I was pretty disappointed.

I got the impression that they had better things to do - perhaps DCS? If so, great. I’m glad to hear positive reports. :slight_smile:


Someone on Reddit posted this. Based off what they’re flying over I’m assuming it’s an A-7D. Still, I’m impressed what the HUD is capable of showing and doing.

And it makes the Viggen’s hud choices all the more perplexing considering they are of extremely similar vintage.


That sure does look a lot more modern!

Althoug IIRC, just like the A-6 was hugely innovative with its computer, the A-7 was (one of ?) the first aircraft with a modern HUD.

It was the first U.S. aircraft to have a modern head-up display, (made by Marconi-Elliott),[2] now a standard instrument which displayed information such as dive angle, airspeed, altitude, drift and aiming reticle.
Source: LTV A-7 Corsair II - Wikipedia

So it’s not that weird that its HUD is far ahead of aircraft of its era.
Gee, the Navy really had the best aircraft in those times, with both its all-weather interceptor (F-4) and medium strike (A-7) aircraft being used by both other branches.

Edit: typos on mobile

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Didn’t McNamara have some input in those decisions for both planes?

I wouldn’t know, should read up on that

Yes, especially in the case of the A-7. The airforce did not want the A-7, and CAS in general, and McNamara wouldn’t let them procure their own airframe.

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I wouldn’t say MacNamara had much say in the development of the F-4, at least in how it matured as an a prototype. Douglas had essentially built the XF-4H by 1958. MacNamara’s MacNamara-ing occurred when he foisted it upon the Air Force to fulfill a requirement the aircraft happened to meet pretty well.

In the process of fitting a square peg in a square hole, his take away was that the game of peg board was irrelevant and he was god reincarnate. And that’s how you get things like the Navy mangling the F-111 program, and using incorrect powder infantry weapons without issuing cleaning kits to save five bucks.


So you guys like this Macnamara then?

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Think of it this way.

Everything wrong about the F-111 aerodynamically and structurally is due to one reason: Maximum commonality. The Air Force wanted a needle nosed trans/supersonic death machine like it got with the Eagle. The reason it didn’t get that is because the nose was too slender to mount the AWG-9 of the day, and because a tandem cockpit would have ncessitated a longer air frame that would not fit on aircraft carrier elevators. Why not make two different fuselages you ask?


The catch phrase of one Bob “Chose the Losing Bid” MacNamara. Of all people, you should hate him more than me. He stunted the F-111. At least I got an F-14 out of the deal (well, until Cheney ruined it).

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Very nice video. The A-7 was an amazing aircraft for its time. Today all this might look trivial, but back then this was a quantum leap in A-G.

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Bit harsh to blame Cheney for a fiscally sound decision, the F-14 had been superseded as a fleet defence aircraft by other weapons that can be carried and launched from the carriers and support ships themselves.

Some days I think US aircraft procurement is the weirdest thing there is with all of these examples out there.

Except history has proven it wasn’t. It was part of a series of poorly conceived campaigns he embarked on in the office, right up there with trying to kill the V-22. He killed the F-14D upgrade to spend more money on the A-12 Boondoggle which would be dead within five years with nothing by a fancy joystick to show for it (which got put in the F-14).

Instead of upgrading the F-14 Fleet at a cost of $50M for a new build aircraft, or less for a rebuild of existing aircraft, they ended up buying an entirely new aircraft at a cost of >$60M per unit.

All this in a period that would lead to essentially 16 years of effectively constant combat or near combat deployments. The F-14 has a reputation as a maintenance queen, but certainly a great deal of that can be traced to stringing out aircraft being used constantly for 30 years and being kept alive on the corpses of aircraft that were flown constantly for 20 years.

In conclusion: Never go full Cheney.


We have Vipers and Hornets that have been flying for nearly that long which were acquired for less, require fewer & cheaper maintenance hours, and offer comparable or superior capability in just about every relevant metric. To boot we have more of both, offering greater tactical and strategic flexibility.

The Tomcat’s a pretty bird with an impressive spec sheet and is certainly a landmark in fighter design, but at the end of the day it’s a big, expensive, complicated 3rd gen. The lightweight programs that led to the 16 and 18 showed that cost (see note) and performance do not necessarily scale at the same rate, or even linearly, without even getting into the dynamics of force composition or the need for versatility (not necessarily commonality, mind you).

While Cheney’s certainly made other controversial decisions in his career, I think the decision to cut the F-14 is probably one of the less outrageous ones.

(note): Cost as in, overall cost in a figurative sense. How many dollars required to get the airframe in addition to supplemental equipment, and cost per flight hour, but also overall opportunity cost i.e. overall resources and infrastructure required to store, maintain, equip, and fly it. Proponents of Soviet design love to point out that in the classic NATO vs. Warsaw showdown, most Western designs were individually more effective than the Eastern designs, but there would be more of the Eastern jets which could operate in extremely austere conditions with little maintenance.

Not going to get into any more of that one though. That argument’s been going on for decades with no end in sight.



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So I don’t disagree with the substance of this argument: The F-14 was undeniably more expensive to operate. That said from 1991 on the F-14 community was essentially operating off of borrowed time.

The older F-14As and Bs were between ten and twenty years old, and would only be sustained off the parts ripped from equally old F-14As that had been retired during the great draw down of fighter squadrons following the fall of the Soviet Union. Simultaneously the operations tempo would increase dramatically as the US, and the Navy in particular was involved in an escalating number of small wars and diplomatic flag showings around the world, culminating in essentially six years of constant warfare before retirement.

Compare that with aircraft like the F/A-18C, now at a similar age, which has run into similar issues as the Navy has focused production on newer Super Hornet components, and existing stocks of parts are sent to deployed units, you see a corresponding uptick in downtime, spiraling maintenance hours for diminishing air time.

The problems of air frame age combined with lack of easy access to new parts was hardly confined to the Tomcat.

I could go into how awesome the F-14D would have been with a SAR capable radar and AMRAAMs, but I don’t know how to emphasize the potential of that aircraft without bashing the Hornet family, and I don’t really want to do that. I would say this.

I’d love to see the reality where the USAF was forced to forgo the F-15C upgrade until 1990, and then had it cancelled on them because the F-15A was “1960s technology”.