Vought F-8 Crusader (1955)

USN aviation Naval Fighter, 1,219 made, service 1957-1999

The Vought F-8 Crusader in brief

The Vought F-8 Crusader was a carrier-based supersonic jet fighter aircraft employed by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. It is notable for its role during the Cold War and the Vietnam War. Here are some key details:

Design and Development:

Manufacturer: Vought
First Flight: March 25, 1955
Introduction: 1957
Retired: 1987 (U.S. Navy), 1999 (French Navy)
Role: Fighter aircraft
Nickname: "The Last of the Gunfighters" due to its four 20mm Colt-Browning Mk 12 cannons.

Notable Features:

Variable-incidence wing: The F-8 Crusader had a unique design feature where the entire wing could be raised by 7 degrees to increase lift during takeoff and landing, improving carrier operation performance. Known for its excellent speed and maneuverability, it was one of the few Navy fighters capable of engaging in dogfights with MiG aircraft during the Vietnam War.

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⚙ Vought F-8 Crusader specifications

Empty Weight17,000 pounds (7,711 kg)
Max Takeoff weight34,000 pounds (15,422 kg)
Lenght54 feet 6 inches (16.56 meters)
Wingspan35 feet 8 inches (10.87 meters)
Height15 feet 9 inches (4.80 meters)
Wing Area375 square feet (34.8 square meters)
EnginePratt & Whitney J57-P-20A turbojet engine with afterburner
Top Speed, sea levelMach 1.86 (1,225 mph, 1,975 km/h)
Cruise Speed
Range1,500 miles (2,410 km) with internal fuel
Climb Rate25,000 feet per minute (127 meters per second)
Ceiling58,000 feet (17,700 meters)
Armament4× 20mm Colt-Browning Mk 12 cannons, 2 underwing pylons for AIM-9 Sidewinder, Zuni rockets, AGM-12 Bullpup, Bombs
Crew1 pilot

Combat Records

Combat Performance: F-8 pilots achieved a kill ratio of 19:3 during the Vietnam War, demonstrating its effectiveness as a fighter aircraft. Operational History: Vietnam War: Played a significant role in aerial combat and ground-attack missions. The F-8 was used extensively for air superiority, close air support, and reconnaissance missions. Reconnaissance Role: The RF-8A/G photo-reconnaissance variant was highly successful and provided critical intelligence during numerous conflicts.

End of Service: The F-8 was gradually replaced by the more advanced F-4 Phantom II in the 1970s, but some variants continued in service until the late 1980s. Impact: The F-8 Crusader is remembered for its contributions to naval aviation and its impressive combat record. It bridged the gap between the subsonic fighters of the Korean War era and the more advanced supersonic jets that followed. Museums and Displays: Several F-8 Crusaders are preserved in museums across the United States, serving as a testament to its storied history and technological achievements. The Vought F-8 Crusader remains an iconic aircraft in the history of naval aviation, celebrated for its performance, innovative design, and combat prowess.
F8E, VF-88 CVAN-65, USS Enterprise 1965

FN-14F Landivisiau July 1985

8E (FN) modernized in 1986 with its new livery, Flotilla 12F.



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