What are these chubby jets in the SD National Guard?

See query.

I am guessing by a number of clues that it is indeed the SD National Guard.

A-7 Corsair, I reckon.

Totally A-7

Yep, A7’s. Google image search would suggest more specifically TA-7C Corsair II.

@Doubticus: Nope. Not TA-7C. TA-7C were Navy, not USAF ANG. And had two seats, not one. The wiki linked by snfaulkner has a decent pic of a TA-7C where the two seats and different canopy & cockpit are real obvious.

@Leo & the rest:

Those aircraft over Rushmore are A-7D. Which was the primary air to ground aircraft of the USAF ANG during the 70s and 80s. Lots and lots of state ANG units had A-7D. Even the Puerto Rico ANG had them.

There was a USAF ANG two-seat variant called the A-7K. Which looked pretty similar to the Navy’s earlier TA-7C. Most ANG units would have 17 or 23 A-7Ds and 1 A-7K for a total of 18 or 24 aircraft.

Most of the units flying A-7D converted to F-16A as those were phased out of the actives in favor of the F-16C. This mostly took place over the mid-late 80s.

The wiki page for list of A7 units has the same photo on the side with the caption “South Dakota 175th Tactical Fighter Squadron A-7D Corsair IIs fly past Mount Rushmore”. The 175th apparently flew them from 1977-1992.

That really wasn’t the plane I expected to see when I clicked the thread as I’ve never thought of A-7s as chubby, but I guess I can see it. Even vertical stripes doesn’t help.

Thanks for the clarification, the TA-7C was what Google suggested from a photo analysis.

If I remember correctly the A-7 was the first single engine fighter or attack aircraft that used a turbofan engine.

I knew an A-7 crew chief who said that you knew when the hydraulic system needed servicing. It would stop leaking…

I really should sell my A-7E ejection seat.


You like the way I called it for South Dakota?

The only real stretch, by process of elimination, was 1) those are probably, and better be, our airplanes 2) not seeing USAF.

Didn’t they have spotter’s award certificates/clubs for kids during WWII? I want one one for trying/participating.

The big “SD” on the tails is a bit of a hint. :stuck_out_tongue:

You mean they’re not part of the Straight Dope Air Force?

I built a plastic model of an A-7 once. Good times.

And you’d be surprised (or not) at what’s flown over Mount Rushmore:


Fighting ignorance with a 20mm Vulcan gun and a 15000 pounds bomb payload? Sign me up!

You’d think the strategic value of the monument was critical.*

Two notes on your second cite media.defense dot gov/2005/Nov/17/2000576423/-1/-1/0/051115-F-8769P-004.JPG

1: It is a forced download to your browser.
2. It is interesting (and a lousy shot) in that the angle of the view is not the one the sculptor intended, and shows anamorphically weird sort-of-presidents
*ETA: Maybe it is.

Well I certainly fucked up my attempt to be helpful while skirting the wrath of the mods:

I didn’t delink a damn thing while creating havoc in my Elendil quote, saying I did the right thing on the wrong item, and not even doing that properly.*

Ignore it. This is the point:

*Leo Bloom is available for all your web editing needs. PM me for details and pricing.

The 2-character code on the tail in large letters identifies the base and unit the aircraft are attached to. These are used in the tactical and strategic forces, but not most of the airlifters. For most state ANG units the code matches the ordinary postal code for that state, e.g. SD, NY, CA, AZ. For most active duty USAF units it’s related to the name of the Air Force Base hosting the unit. e.g. NL was the code for my old unit at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas. The NV ANG unit up in Reno had NV at the time.

Pretty much every fighter/attack ANG unit has a photo like that. It shows 4 freshly washed aircraft in tight formation with some identifiable state landmark immediately in the background. Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, NYC harbor and the Statue of Liberty, Golden Gate Bridge, etc.

These were commonly printed up on 18x24 glossy paper with a canned slogan overprinted: “Best Wishes from the 123rd Tactical Fighter Group” or whatever unit designation. These would commonly be signed by commanders, cheaply framed, and given out as gifts to visiting dignitaries, etc. When units went on deployments they’d bring along a few unsigned that would end up plastered to the walls of nearby saloons, bowling alleys, etc.

Many people in USAF collected these things as loose unframed unsigned prints. Some eBay searching would probably turn up quite a variety of them.

Interesting. You may recall an idiotic decision fairly recently under the Obama administration to have a photo op of Air Force One flying low over the Statue of Liberty.

I can personally attest, having seen the flyby, on the burst of rising panic by an uncountable number of New Yorkers, for which the White House later apologized.

(Extraordinary how the trauma of 9/11 lives on. I myself can to this day recognize the exact temperature on any sunny day that matches that morning in 2001.)

Considering Ellsworth AFB is not very far away, it really isn’t a surprise that so many Air Force planes have their picture taken over Mt. Rushmore.

Late add: Our own esteemed member **Oakminster **was a USAF aerial photographer and may have shot some of those PR photos himself. Though not the infamous one.