(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

With the retirement of the LTV A-7 Corsair II the sky has lost once again another charismatic jetfighter from the 1960s/70s era. The last Air Force to operate this subsonic light attack aircraft has been the Hellenic Air Force (HAF), and it put an official end to A-7 Corsair II operations with a ceremony on October 17th, 2014.

Top
Where? Araxos, Greece
When? 16-17/10/2014

A-7 Corsairs were in service with the HAF for 39 years and accumulated around 440.000 flying hours. The first type to join the fleet was the A-7H (H for Hellenic, a modified version for Greece without the air-refueling capability) in 1975, which also made the HAF the first export customer for this aircraft. The aircraft joined 340 Mira and 345 Mira at the 115 Wing at Souda Bay, Crete and 347 Mira at Larissa as a successor to the F-84F.

0 Special Scheme 9053 Zeitler 700 470 90
0 Special Scheme 9053 Zeitler 100 67 85
 Details 8933 Zeitler 100 67 85
 Details 8940 Zeitler 100 67 85
 Special Scheme 8678 Zeitler 100 67 85
 Special Scheme 8682 Zeitler 100 67 85
 Special Scheme 9062 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8218 Zeitler 700 470 90
 A 7 8218 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8500 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8518 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8538 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8577 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8610 Zeitler 100 67 85

In 1993 the A-7 Corsair fleet was supplemented by 62 A-7E and TA-7Cs from surplus US stocks after the first Gulf War. This somehow already drew an end to the A-7H, which nevertheless remained in service until March 2007, when all the surviving airframes were put into storage at Arxos and only the A-7Es continued to operate with 335 and 336 Mira. Though their age could not be denied in the late days of their career, the Corsairs were highly appreciated by the pilots for their great range and heavy weapons load until the very end!

0 A 7 8256 Zeitler 700 470 90
0 A 7 8256 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8092 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8243 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8270 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8296 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8368 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Araxos So 8404 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Araxos So 8404 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos So 8254 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos So 8276 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos So 8394 Zeitler 100 67 85

During the HAF A-7 Retirement Ceremony on Friday, October 17th 2014apart from speeches and commemoration a specially painted A-7 Corsair II was revealed. It was applied on an A-7E (159648) that has already been put of service and will in the future most probably serve as a gate guard or remember the HAF LTV A-7 Corsair in a museum. The basic layout of the scheme was a two-tone gray camouflage with a silver shine featuring the Hellenic flag on the tail including all the 5 patches of Squadrons that operated the A-7s from 1975-2014.

0Araxos Event 8749 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Araxos Event 8749 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Event 8610 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Event 8613 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Event 8625 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Event 8671 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Event 8679 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Araxos Event 8606 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Araxos Event 8606 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos A 7 8594 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos A 7 8684 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Cockpit 8735 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Details 8674 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Event 8584 Zeitler 100 67 85

Around the airfield apart from the special colored A-7 an armed to the teeth A-7E could be seen as well as an A-7H, the special colored “Fly low, hit hard” A-7 (160616) of 336 Squadron / Mira "Olympos" and two armed Lockheed-Martin F-16 Bl.52 Fighting Falcons, the successor of the Corsair at Araxos.

Araxos F 16 8953 Zeitler 700 470 90
Araxos F 16 8953 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 9064 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Static Display 8956 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Static Display 9071 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Static Display 9082 Zeitler 100 67 85
1Araxos So 9002 Zeitler 700 470 90
1Araxos So 9002 Zeitler 100 67 85
2Araxos So 8715 Zeitler 100 67 85
3Araxos So 8516 Zeitler 100 67 85
4Araxos So 8187 Zeitler 100 67 85

A small air show featuring an Α-7 formation and low apex attack, the Τ-6 Daedalus and F-16 Zeus solo displays concluded the event, before finally a mixed fighter formation fly past of the A-7 Corsair II, F-4E Phantom II, M2000 and F-16 Fighting Falcon appeared on the horizon. As it overflew the crowd, the Corsair pulled up and out of the formation, leaving the last three remaining jet fighters of the HAF behind – and marking “The End of an Era!”

0Araxos Formation 8879 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Araxos Formation 8879 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Formation 8844 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Formation 8889 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Formation 8906 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Formation 8909 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Formation 8913 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Araxos T 6 8349 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Araxos T 6 8349 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos T 6 8335 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos T 6 8380 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos T 6 8807 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos T 6 8813 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos T 6 8821 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8329 Zeitler 700 470 90
Araxos Zeus 8329 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8630 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8837 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8867 Zeitler 100 67 85
0Araxos Zeus 8660 Zeitler 700 470 90
0Araxos Zeus 8660 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8632 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8634 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8644 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Zeus 8657 Zeitler 100 67 85

Thank you HAF and the 116 Combat Wing at Araxos for giving the possibility to witness the last operational Corsairs in the world!

Especially for the “Spotters Day” the day before the actual event. This event was very well laid out with many different photo possibilities, a canteen selling good coffee and sandwiches, a souvenir stand selling numerous patches, T-Shirts, giveaways and – most important - it gave a last chance to be close to the action and get some nice shots all along the operational area and the taxiway and runway. Two flights of A-7s were scheduled for the day, with some F-16s filling up the gaps in-between.

0 A 7 8508 Zeitler 700 470 90
0 A 7 8508 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8490 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8502 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8589 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8637 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8191 Zeitler 700 470 90
 A 7 8191 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8221 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8278 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8307 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8328 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8495 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8063 Zeitler 700 470 90
 A 7 8063 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8279 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8425 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8435 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8454 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8466 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos So 8080 Zeitler 700 470 90
Araxos So 8080 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos So 8240 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos So 8524 Zeitler 100 67 85
 Araxos F 16 8208 Zeitler 700 470 90
 Araxos F 16 8208 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8109 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8138 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8156 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8159 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8148 Zeitler 700 470 90
Araxos F 16 8148 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8174 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8201 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8215 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8225 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8253 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos C 27J 9105 Zeitler 700 470 90
Araxos C 27J 9105 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos Emb 145 8205 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 16 8361 Zeitler 100 67 85
Araxos F 4E 8995 Zeitler 100 67 85

The possibility to also view and visit the ramp with parked and retired A-7 Corsairs made up to see a total of around 60 Corsairs at Araxos, of which however only around a dozen are still airworthy and will continue to fly until the end of October 2014. For sure this timeframe will see many “Last Flights” and many sad faces.

 0 7 8439 Zeitler 700 470 90
 0 7 8439 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8066 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8087 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8192 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8194 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8433 Zeitler 100 67 85
 0 7 8553 Zeitler 700 470 90
 0 7 8553 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8448 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8449 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8453 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8521 Zeitler 100 67 85
 A 7 8549 Zeitler 100 67 85

User Rating: 0 / 5

Rate this article:
0 of 5 - 0 votes
Thank you for rating this article.

recently published

Wings over Houston Airshow

(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

Wings over Houston 2017 was an awesome airshow! Plenty of warbirds, a Messerschmitt Me 262, jets from the Vietnam era, amongst them the venerable F-4D Phantom II, made up for a great program. This great mix on show at Ellington Airport in the South of Houston was enriched by aerobatic acts and the USAF Thunderbirds. With a 34-year long history the airshow is still very much alive and kicking!

Read more ...

more Airshows

Komaki Airshow

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Komaki/Nagoya is the home of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries - so to say the birthplace of the F-2 and F-15(D)J. It also hosts some of the C-130 Hercules aircraft as well as the KC-767 tanker fleet.

Read more ...

more Air-Air

Bücker Bü133 Jungmeister

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Doing air-air with classic aircraft from the 1930s is always a pleasure, even more so if it is an immaculately restored Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister on a nice autumn Sunday morning. The Jungmeister D-EMKP “LG+07” biplane was painted in a scheme inspired by the one adorning Germany’s first-ever Luftwaffe’s aerobatic squadron.

Read more ...

Twitter feed

My Warbird Book

photos on www.airfighters.com