"These were the proposed changes to assure delivery of the first airplane by September 1954.
1. Addition of Aero 14C launchers, three on each outer panel, and five on the fuselage.
2. Addition of outer panel fuel to provide maximum radius of action and endurance. (This is not really a change, as it was previously agreed with Materials and Manufacturing to provide a common outer panel for the F7U-4 (Sparrow), F7U-3P, and A2U-1 aircraft).
3. Replacement of the right hand forward center-section self-sealing fuel cell with a bladder cell. Addition of internal and external inerting for all center section fuel cells (the same type of inerting will be provided on the interchangeable outer panels).
4. Redesign of main landing gear to replace present 30 x 7.7 wheels and tires with 34 x 9.9 wheels and tires. (In order to assure delivery of the first airplane, a special extra ply 30 x 7.7 tire will be purchased which can be used on the present F7U-3 landing gear. As soon as the redesigned landing gear for 34 x 9.9 tires is available, it will be retroactively installed on all airplanes).
5. Rework of fin stub to accommodate 34 x 9.9 main wheels and tires.
6. Addition of armor protection under the pilot, and under the main fuselage fuel cell pumps.
7. Addition of center section trailing edge area between the vertical tails and the fuselage, to provide increased load carrying capacity and proper balance of the airplane.
8. Removal of the Aero 5A fire control system, including AN/APG-30, and replacement with a simple gun sight.
9. Installation of Mk3 Mod4 bomb-director equipment.
These are the basic changes that will be made to convert the F7U-3 into the A2U-1. There is a possibility (still being investigated) that a change will be required in the machining of the main beams, in order to raise the strength of the airplanes.
The changes outlined above are considered to be the absolute minimum that will assure a satisfactory attack airplane when the A2U reaches the Fleet."
Signed F. Mann
An actual picture of a A2U-1 on the production line.
Memo and photo Vought Aircraft Heritage Foundation