F-8 Crusader "On Your Wing" by Tom Freeman "The Speed of Heat" by David Mueller "Super Crusader" by Mike Machat "Twilight Gator" by Mike Machat. The F-8 was a formidable air to air duellist, claiming 14–16 VPAF MiG-17s and 4 MiG-21s between 1966–68. The F-8 Crusader was an American fighter plane made by Vought.It first flew in 1955, and went into the Navy and Marine corps in 1957. 151741 (French Navy Side Number 10) – Musee de l air et de l Espace, (The Air and Space Museum). The F-8 Crusader is revered as “The Last Gunfighter” because it was the final American fighter designed with guns as its principal armament. As aerial combat ensued over North Vietnam from 1965 to 1968, it became apparent that the dogfight was not over and the F-8 Crusader and a community trained to prevail in air-to-air combat was a key ingredient to success. An essential reference-source for the F-8 Crusader model builder, that covers all currently-available scale sizes and manufacturer's models from 1/72 through the huge Trumpeter 1/32nd editions of the F-8E and F-8J variants. Despite the "last gunfighter" moniker, the F-8s achieved only four victories with their cannon; the remainder were accomplished with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles,[15] partly due to the propensity of the 20 mm (.79 in) Colt Mk 12 cannons' feeding mechanism to jam under G-loading during high-speed dogfighting maneuvers. • XF8U-1 (XF-8A) (V-383) – the two original unarmed prototypes. Flights of RF-8As, operating in several pairs of aircraft, with each pair assigned a different target, left Key West twice each day, to fly over Cuba at low level, then return to Jacksonville, where the film was offloaded and developed, to be rushed north to the Pentagon. When the French Navy's air arm, the Aéronavale, required a carrier based fighter in the early 1960s to serve aboard the new carriers Clemenceau and Foch, the F-4 Phantom, then entering service with the United States Navy, proved to be too large for the small French ships. The escalation of the situation in the Persian Gulf, due to the Iran-Iraq conflict, triggered the deployment of the Clemenceau task force and its air wing, including 12.F squadron. One of these episodes took place on 23 August 1960; a Crusader with the wings folded took off from Napoli Capodichino in full afterburner, climbed to 5,000 ft (1,500 m) and then returned to land successfully. LTV V-100 – revised “low-cost” development based on the earlier F-8 variants, created in 1970 to compete against the F-4E Phantom II, Lockheed CL-1200 and F-5-21 in a tender for U.S. Military Assistance Program (MAP) funding. [37] But due to lack of spares and the rapid deterioration of the aircraft, the remaining F-8s were grounded in 1988 and left on an open grass field at Basa Air Base[clarification needed]. [15] But the NVAF claimed 11 F-8s were shot down, however U.S. records only indicate 3 F-8s lost in aerial combat, all to MiG-17 cannon fire in 1966. author/artist: lindsay peacock. By the time it was withdrawn from the fleet, 1,106 had been involved in mishaps. The pilots who flew the missions all received Distinguished Flying Crosses, while VFP-62 received the prestigious U.S. Navy Unit Commendation. First flight: 20 August 1957, 187 built. RF-8s played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, providing essential low-level photographs impossible to acquire by other means. [11], These flights confirmed that the Soviet Union was setting up MRBMs in Cuba. Mersky, Peter B. After the Navy's disappointing experience with the Cutlass, the Crusader was referred to by some as "Vought's Last Chance" after company founder Chance M. Vought. Later in 1957, in San Diego VMF-122 accepted the first Marine Corps Crusaders. [8], These flights confirmed that the Soviet Union was setting up IRBMs in Cuba. It has a J57-P-420 turbojet engine with afterburner. 2. [28][29] The 17 refurbished aircraft were redesignated as F-8P (P used for "Prolongé" -extended- and not to be confused with the Philippine F-8P). These missions ceased in June 1999 with Operation Trident over Kosovo. [23] To replace the old Corsairs, Flotille 14.F received its Crusaders on 1 March 1965.[24][25]. [28], When the French Navy's air arm, the Aéronavale, required a carrier based fighter in the early 1960s to serve aboard the new carriers Clemenceau and Foch, the F-4 Phantom, then entering service with the United States Navy, proved to be too large for the small French ships. 149150 – NAS Oceana Aviation Heritage Park, 151765 – under restoration to airworthiness by a private owner in. "Cuban crisis era jet at Open Cockpit Day in Atwater". Marine Crusaders also operated in close air support missions. Later in 1957, in San Diego VMF-122 accepted the first Marine Corps Crusaders. [10] Beginning on 23 October 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis, RF-8As flew extremely hazardous low-level photo reconnaissance missions over Cuba, the F-8's first true operational flights. [9], The Crusader was not an easy aircraft to fly, and was often unforgiving in carrier landings where it suffered from yaw instability, and the poorly-designed, castoring nose undercarriage made steering on the deck problematic. To keep score after an overflight, each aircraft was given a stencil of a dead chicken. The F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) was a single-engine aircraft carrier-based fighter aircraft built by Vought. [1], The last active duty Navy Crusader fighter variants were retired from VF-191 and VF-194 aboard Oriskany in 1976 after almost two decades of service, setting a first for a Navy fighter. The Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III was an aircraft developed by Chance Vought as a successor to the successful Vought F-8 Crusader program and as a competitor to the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. [3] Of the 19 aircraft claimed during aerial combat, 16 were MiG-17s and three were MiG-21s. [26] Armament was enhanced by the addition of R550 Magic infra-red guided missiles in 1973, with the improved, all-aspect Magic 2 fitted from 1988. In May 1953, the Vought design was declared a winner and in June, Vought received an order for three XF8U-1 prototypes (after adoption of the unified designation system in September 1962, the F8U became the F-8). These were the first true operational flights of the F-8 Crusader. The pilot, absent minded but evidently a good "stick man," complained that the control forces were higher than normal. These missions ceased in June 1999 with Operation Trident over Kosovo. An F-8E of VMF(AW)-235 at Da Nang, in April 1966 showing the IRST sensor in front of the canopy . The LTV F-8 Crusader had been largely retired from U.S. Navy service, and completely retired from USMC service, at the outbreak of the Third World War. [11] Only a handful of them were lost to enemy fire in Vietnam.[11]. Download the F8 production list (.xls file) DESIGN AND SPECIFICATIONS of MAJOR VARIANTS Vought F-8C Crusader (before 1962: F8U-2): J57-P-16 engine with 16,900 lbf (75 kN) of afterburning thrust, ventral fins added under the rear fuselage in an attempt to rectify yaw instability, Y-shaped chin pylons allowing two Sidewinder missiles on each side of the fuselage, AN/APQ-83 radar retrofitted during later upgrades. The Vought F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) was a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft[2] built by Vought for the United States Navy and the Marine Corps, replacing the Vought F7U Cutlass. When the Crusader retired, these missiles were converted to the AGM-122 Sidearm anti-radiation missiles used by United States attack helicopters against enemy radars. subject..f-8 crusader variants. 147056 – Philippine Air Force Aerospace Museum, 145527 - under restoration to airworthiness by a private owner in, 145592 - under restoration to airworthiness by a private owner in. [3] The RF-8 Crusader was a photo-reconnaissance development and operated longer in U.S. service than any of the fighter versions. The A-7 was developed during the early 1960s as replacement for the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. 151733 (French Navy Side Number 3) – Lann Bihoue Airport, Le Meneguen. [17] The Crusader would be credited with the best kill ratio of any American type in the Vietnam War, 19:3. P-51D & K Mustang. The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955, and was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, principally serving in the Vietnam War. The aircraft's weapon system was modified to carry two French Matra R.530 radar or infra-red missiles as an alternative to Sidewinders, although the ability to carry the American missile was retained. [12] Although the MiGs claimed the downing of a Crusader, Lt Pham Ngoc Lan's gun camera revealed that his cannons had set an F-8 ablaze, but Lieutenant Commander Spence Thomas had managed to land his damaged Crusader at Da Nang,[13][14] the remaining F-8s returned safely to their carrier. [3] Of the 19 aircraft shot down during aerial combat, 16 were MiG-17s and three were MiG-21s. Unusual for a fighter, the aircraft had a high-mounted wing which necessitated the use of a fuselage-mounted short and light landing gear. The Crusader became a "day fighter" operating off the aircraft carriers. [3] The development was so trouble-free that the second prototype, along with the first production F8U-1, flew on the same day, 30 September 1955. The F-8E was the last Crusader variant produced. This variant was strongly enhanced for the strike role through the addition of two removable underwing pylons for Zuni rocket packs, AGM-12 Bullpup air-to- surface missiles, bombs and other stores. [33] In 1989, when it was realised that the Crusader would not be replaced for several years due to delays in the development of the Rafale, it was decided to refurbish the Crusaders to extend their operating life. Weaver, Michael E. "An Examination of the F-8 Crusader through Archival Sources." YF8U-1 (YF-8A) - one F8U-1 fighter used for development testing. The first fleet squadron to fly the Crusader was VF-32 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, in 1957, deploying to the Mediterranean late that year on Saratoga. [31] They were mostly used for intercepting Soviet bombers. [14], When conflict erupted in the skies over North Vietnam, it was U.S. Navy Crusaders from USS Hancock that first tangled with Vietnam People's Air Force (the North Vietnamese Air Force) MiG-17s, on 3 April 1965. It earned a reputation as an "ensign killer" during its early service introduction. Entering service in 1957, it saw combat during the Vietnam War both as a fighter and ground-attack aircraft. T-2 Buckeye. The first prototype flew on 25 March 1955 with John Konrad at the controls. [5], An early F8U-1 was modified as a photo-reconnaissance aircraft, becoming the first F8U-1P, subsequently the RF-8A equipped with cameras rather than guns and missiles. Gunfighters. This is followed by a chapter covering every variant of the Crusader produced for the U. S. Navy and Marines, from the prototypes, all of the F-8A/B/C/D/E variants and their upgraded versions after the remanufacture program, the two-seat TF-8A, both the original and remanufactured versions of the RF-8 photo reconnaissance variant, and the XF8U-3 prototype, often considered the best aircraft ever … [24][25], LTV built and delivered the 1,219th (and last) U.S. Navy Crusader to VF-124 at NAS Miramar on 3 September 1964. The Crusader was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, earning it the title "The Last of the Gunfighters".[3]. On 4 April 1956, the F8U-1 performed its first catapult launch from Forrestal. Naval service. In 1962, the Defense Department standardized military aircraft designations generally along Air Force lines. The last active duty Navy Crusader fighter variants were retired from VF-191 and VF-194 aboard Oriskany in 1976 after almost two decades of service, setting a first for a Navy fighter. The Vought F-8 "Crusader" was a direct response to a United States Navy requirement for a modern supersonic, carrier-based fighter. Model Kit F-8E Crusader from Academy (kit # 1615), 1:72 scale. F-8 Crusader F-8A Crusader Standard Aircraft Characteristics - 1 July 1967 F-8C Crusader Standard Aircraft Characteristics - 1 July 1967 ... P-51 Mustang (other variants) P-51 Mustang - Maintenance TO. [32] Armament was enhanced by the addition of R550 Magic infra-red guided missiles in 1973, with the improved, all-aspect Magic 2 fitted from 1988. Originally a dayfighter but later variant were also capable of flying all-weather operations. The leader intercepted two fighters and engaged a dogfight (supposed to be a training exercise) but quickly called his wingman for help as he had actually engaged two Yemeni Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21s. Its last reconnaissance mission was with the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1987. Following carrier trials aboard Clemenceau on 16 March 1962, by two VF-32 F-8s from the American carrier Saratoga, the Crusader was chosen and 42 F-8E(FN)s were ordered, the last Crusaders produced. On 16 July 1957, Major John H. Glenn Jr, USMC, completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a F8U-1P, flying from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, in 3 hours, 23 minutes, and 8.3 seconds.[9]. [3][4] Simultaneously, the lift was augmented by leading-edge slats drooping by 25° and inboard flaps extending to 30°. ], The unarmed RF-8A proved good at getting low-altitude detailed photographs, leading to carrier deployments as detachments from the Navy's VFP-62 and VFP-63 squadrons and the Marines' VMCJ-2. VX-3 was one of the first units to receive the F8U-1 in December 1956, and was the first to operate the type in April 1957, from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was to have a top speed of Mach 1.2 at 30,000 ft (9,144.0 m) with a climb rate of 25,000 ft/min (127.0 m/s), and a landing speed of no more than 100 mph (160 km/h). In September 1952, the United States Navy announced a requirement for a new fighter. Prototype XF8U-1s were evaluated by VX-3 beginning in late 1956, with few problems noted. Mersky, 1998, p. back, side and table in Appendix B. Rochotte, Léon C., Ramon Josa and Alexandre Gannier. P-51H Mustang. Great format that is an updated version of the earlier. The Aéronavale Crusaders flew combat missions over Lebanon in 1983 escorting Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard strike aircraft. Its key features include: - Very good overall accuracy. [6] Simultaneously, the lift was augmented by leading-edge flaps drooping by 25° and inboard flaps extending to 30°. Korean War experience had demonstrated that 0.50 inch (12.7 mm) machine guns were no longer sufficient and as the result the new fighter was to carry a 20 mm (0.79 in) can… Home:: Vietnam to Today > F-8 Crusader. [27] In 1989, when it was realised that the Crusader would not be replaced for several years, it was decided to refurbish the Crusaders to extend their operating life. An F-8 of Oriskany intercepts a Tu-95 'Bear-B'. it did not have "zones"). [19] Between June and July 1966, during 12 engagements over North Vietnam, Crusaders claimed four MiG-17s for two losses. P-51A Mustang. 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