A-7A Aircraft Maintenance Guarantee and the Role of Training 670658
The contract and specifications for the Navy's A-7A Corsair II included a maintenance guarantee which was a first in the aerospace industry. This approach to the development of a new weapon system was generated by a sharp increase in systems complexities, particularly avionics and weapons delivery equipments. The penalties associated with failure to comply with the guarantee are included in a new contractive philosophy - a fixed price agreement.
As a result, every effort has been made by the Vought Aeronautics Division to design “ease of maintenance” into the A-7A weapon system. The maintenance guarantee would be validated by the Navy during the period of initial squadron formations. An intensive training program was planned to supply trained personnel for the support of initial aircraft deliveries and for participation in the maintenance verification program. The number of Navy technicians from both the East and West Coasts totaled ninety-six, and the training program was of sufficient duration to allow practical application on the production line and to support Navy training flight operations. Two new A-7A's were assigned to the Navy men to disassemble, reassemble, and test for practice.
A total of twenty-six pilots were provided ground and flight training. Navy personnel assisted in supporting two additional Corsair II's during the flight training program.
A review of the planning, implementation, and problems encountered during the A-7A training program forms the basis for this paper.