The Shortest Littlest Ugliest Most Devastating Fighter
As the aviation industry in the 1950s and 1960s embraced supersonic speeds, defined avionics theory, and toyed with eccentric airframe designs, the A-7 Corsair II stood out as a peculiarly fascinating story.
The Corsair II was a unique-looking warplane that lacked the supersonic capabilities of many aircraft of its time but whose reliability and versatility allowed it to stay in service even when its flashier counterparts were being replaced by more ambitious proposals, and it quickly became a crucial asset for the US Navy.
Developed for the Vietnam War, the Corsair II proved to be a trusty and devastating strike aircraft that traded over-the-top features for a formidable range, increased payload capacity, and an affordable price.
With its iconic oversized air intake and unique airframe, the warplane would be nicknamed the Sluf or ‘short little ugly f***’ by the Navy crews. Still, there was nothing ugly about its performance…