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Vought F-8 Crusader

These F-8 crusader pages are dedicated to Rowdy, a Vietnam veteran and former F-8 pilot I met at Yahoo Clubs.

Role: shipborne fighter
Builder: Chance-Vought, Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) Aerospace
Variants: F8U-1 (F-8A), F8U-1P (RF-8A), F8U-1T (TF-8A), F8U-1E (F-8B), F8U-2 (F-8C), F8U-2N (F-8D), F8U-2NE (F-8E), RF-8G, F-8H, F-8J, F-8K, F-8L, F-8E(FN)
Operators: US Navy, US Marine Corps, Philippines, French Navy

The F-8 Crusader was the first supersonic carrier based fighter. The design features a variable incidence wing to permit lower landing speeds. Originally a dayfighter but later variant were also capable of flying all-weather operations. It was extremely well liked by its pilots and, because of its agility, was considered one of the most potent combat aircraft of the Vietnam War. Before the tri-service the F-8 Crusader was designated F8U. The Crusader is considered to be the last true dogfighter, equipped with four 20mm cannons as it primary weapons and two or four short range air-to-air missiles like the AIM-9 Sidewinder as secondaries.

A re-equipped version of the F8U-1 was converted to a photo reconnaissance aircraft without any guns. First designated F8U-1P and later RF-8A it earned the titel 'Eyes of the Fleet'. The later version RF-8G photo-recce Crusader served with the US Navy until 1986, much longer than the fighters.

The F-8E or F-8FN Crusaders was the French version of this succesful dogfighter and remained in service with the French Navy until the end of 1999 to be replaced by the Rafale-M. A total of 1305 Crusaders were built.

picture courtesy of F-8 Crusader Assoc.


Copyright 2002-2005 Niels Hillebrand unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.