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Achtung! The Luftwaffe Nearly Became an A-7 Corsair II Operator

The Narration May Be in German, But The Footage Is 100% Pure SLUF!

Official US Navy photograph

Well SLUF fans we scoured the interweb but just couldn’t find this visually striking footage with an English narration. The German version of the film is narrated in German for a reason though. During the mid-1970s the German Luftwaffe was looking for a replacement for their license-built Lockheed F-104G Starfighter fighter bombers. Vought’s A-7 Corsair II was one aircraft in consideration to be that replacement. This video, uploaded to YouTube by PeriscopeFilm, still contains some nice footage of the A-7D in US Air Force service as well as the A-7E in US Navy service.

Official US Air Force photograph

Of course the SLUF (Short Little Ugly, umm, Feller or Kurzer kleiner hässlicher Kerl in German) never did enter service with the Luftwaffe. In addition to the United States Air Force and Navy, Greece, Portugal, and Thailand did operate versions of the A-7. Switzerland also looked hard enough to have a Swiss version, the A-7G, proposed by Vought but it never entered Swiss service either.  As for the Luftwaffe, the McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II (F-4F in German service) served in part as the F-104G’s replacement with the Luftwaffe from 1974 until their retirement in 2013.

Official US Navy photograph

Appearing in the film are US Air Force A-7Ds based at Luke Air Force Base (AFB) near Glendale in Arizona and Shaw AFB near Sumter in South Carolina. Navy A-7Es from Attack Squadron ONE FOUR SEVEN (VA-147) Argonauts and VA-174 Hellrazors also appear in the film. The A-7’s ordnance delivery capability and its Heads Up Display are featured as well. Some Southeast Asian combat footage is used to illustrate the fact that when in consideration by the Luftwaffe, the SLUF was already combat-proven.

Official US Navy photograph

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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