Intruder and Corsair Attack Drones

Medium ImageJust re-watched The Final Countdown again and, as usual, enjoyed the footage of the carrier air wing days that included A-6 Intruders, A-7 Corsairs, S-3 Vikings, and, of course, F-14 Tomcats. Even an RF-8 Crusader showed up. Those were the days.

Though the plot isn’t exactly top-notch, it’s above average and a good watch. Even if only for all of the great shots of carrier action and planes from 1980. They even put a Corsair into the barricade.

Saw this as a kid and it probably gave a big boost to young Murdoc’s interest in all things military. Especially things with variable-geometry wings.

The audio commentary with DP Victor. J. Kemper is interesting, but he noted that planes could be landed by remote control from the carrier’s bridge if the pilot had been incapacitated. We wish.

If that were the case, Murdoc would vote to take the A-6s and A-7s in mothballs and turn them into attack drones rather than flying targets like the F-4s are being used these days.


  1. Us Forward Air Control types loved the A-6 because they came HEAVY! 18,000 lbs of Rockeye cluster bombs – more than double the load of B-17 or B-24.

    Who needs lasers and GPS? Just erase the grid-square.

    1. Today there’s the Strike Eagle and B-1. Loads of small precision weapons, legs to hang around forever. Exactly what CAS should be.

      And as for the Grid Square Removal Service: that’s what MLRS is for. Unfortunately these days we can’t get away with just erasing the grid square. Hearts and minds and all that.

      1. No thanks. What we hated doing on the FAC Team – calling the Air Force! They tended to kill Iraqi’s AND Marines.

        After the Battle of Khafji, top brass drew a line on the map assigning all CAS in the west to the Air Force and everything east to Marine and Navy Air. It was a relief.

  2. There’s a trilogy of novels called Axis of Time by John Birmingham that pretty much emulates the general premise of Final Countdown. Just happened to see them at the bookstore over the weekend, might have to pick them up and give them a read.

      1. Yeah, they’re pretty good I think. A bit coarse in places. He does a pretty good job of imagining the unimaginable.

        The author is a bit of a lefty although not a raging one IMO and puts a few things in there that might grate for a conservative. Being more of a libertarian they didn’t bother me.

  3. And I thought that I was the only one in the world that liked that movie. I’ve ported it to my iPad and it has worked it’s way into the rotation on those long flights in coach.

  4. Hehe, loved that movie as a kid, especially since it featured VF-84. Gotsta love the old Jolly Rodgers!
    Scuttlebutt was that one of the Navy Officers that helped out with that movie got his career scuttled over it, despite having approval. Too bad because I heard it was a top notch pilot and officer.

  5. The A-7E was, indeed, equipped with the automatic carrier landing system and was noted as being one of the few birds the thing worked correctly on.

    If the incapacitated pilot thought to turn it on just as he was losing consciousness, he could easily have taken the barricade while out.

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