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The first part of the title “2 V 2” is shorthand for an air-to-air engagement (air combat maneuvering) involving two aircraft against two other (presumably enemy) aircraft. But a pilot or aviation enthusiast familiar with the iconic F‑106 Delta Dart might be puzzled by the rest of the title. The Corsair II is a capable but unspectacular plow horse in comparison to the Delta Dart, one of the fastest fighter-interceptors ever built! Who in their right mind would conduct air-to-air training involving such grossly mismatched aircraft?
Fun facts: The supersonic F‑106 was introduced in 1956 to foil Soviet Strategic Bomber attacks. It could fly 1,500 mph. (Mach 2.3) and cruise supersonically for 500 miles! By the late ’80s, they were mostly flown by Air National Guard squadrons. They had air-to-air radar and missiles designed to knock down an inbound Soviet Bear bomber outside of visual range. Their main vulnerability was poor rearward visibility for the pilot, and a slower roll at low speed than the Corsair.
The A-7E Corsair II was introduced in 1967. It was a subsonic light bomber with better technology than its contemporaries including an inertial navigation system and weapons control computer plus a HUD (heads-up-display). Its specialty was accurate (in the right hands) urban removal and breaking things. The under-powered Corsair usually carried one Sidewinder missile for self-defense. Air-to-air “dogfighting” was its weakest capability. Even its M61 Vulcan six‑barrel Gatling gun was optimized for air-to-ground strafing rather than against aircraft. It did have slightly better rearward visibility than the F-106 due to the shape of the canopy. (This would become important later in the day…) So it was an exciting surprise when our squadron Operations officer found an Air National Guard (ANG) unit willing to train with us.