In Action 1007
F-8 Crusader in Actiion
This Crusader of VF-124 has just recovered, and is being directed to a parking spot as a Phantom turns onto a final approach.
F-8J Crusader of VF-24
F-8E Crusader of VMF(AW)-235
The pilot of this VF-124 F-8E and the flight deck crew of USS Constellation take a momentary break as Connie completes her turn into the wind. When the Captain of the carrier has the wind on her nose launch operations will continue.
One of two CHANCE VOUGHT F8U-1 CRUSADER prototypes. Clearly shown for the first time is the two-position incidence wing which permits the Crusader to operate effectively over a very wide speed range . The Crusader is the first production aircraft to employ this device. Two-position incidence has several advantages including (a) virtual horizontal attitude for the fuselage for take-off and landing while the wing is at a high angle of attack; and (b) adoption of short undercarriage . As the photo reveals, the wing is hinged at the rear and works in conjunction with the slab tailplane and the "droop snoot" wing leading edge.
A test version of the F-8E at Patuxent River demonstrates the ground attack capabilities of the Crusader, mounting Snakeye bombs on triple ejector racks. The F-8E is able to carry up to 4,000 pounds of bombs on wing hardpoints.
Head-on view of the F-8E. The "E" incorporated numerous modifications, including detachable wing pylons and additional avionics, which allowed the Crusader to employ the AGM-12 Bullpup missiles shown in this view. Note the geometry of the "Y" racks, in this case mounting Zuni air-to-ground missiles. The nose mounted boom was used for test programs only.
F-8D incorporated numerous changes from the "C" model, one of which was the "Y" rack that enabled the Crusader to carry four Sidewinder AAMs, instead of the original complement of two.
YF-8A at NAS Johnsonville, Pa. in 1965.
F-8E of the Commanding Officer, VF-211, at Danang.
An F-8E of Bon Homme Richard's air wing, shown during a Danang interlude in the mid-sixties.
F8U-1 of VF-103, at Langley AFB in 1961.
F-8E at Patuxent River, 1969. The small window on the underside of the nose cone is the gun camera aperture.
The business end of an F-8E loaded for the air superiority role.
F-8E of VMF(AW)-235 ready for action at Danang, 1967.
The F-8C also benefitted from the remanufacture program, 82 of the older models becoming F-8Ks
An F-8A of VF-32 aboard the Saratoga for an Atlantic cruise in the early sixties. Early Crusaders were equipped with 2.75 in. "Mighty Mouse" rocket packs mounted in the fuselage speed brake.
An F-8E of VF-194 taxies to the active runway at Danang.
An immaculate F-8D. one of 152 "D" models manufactured. A total of 89 were remanufactured and redesignated F-8H.
An F-8L (remanufactured F-8B) taxies out for a flight test at LTV's Dallas plant. 63 F-8Bs received a new lease on life through the remanufacture program.
An F-8E taxies to the runway prior to a mission against enemy units in the I Corps area of South Vietnam. A testament to the Crusader's all-weather ability is evident in this picture as the hill tops in the distance are obscured by low hanging clouds. Marine Crusaders played an important role in the around the clock bombing campaign that eventually led to lifting the siege of the Marine garrison at Khe Sahn.
An F-8E of VF-162. Marking details are: black rudder with yellow stars, yellow stripe outlined in black at top of vertical stabilizer, black bands with yellow stars on wing tips and under nose.
The unsuccessful half of Project Bullet. F-8A flown by Lt. Charles Demmler was unable to complete the coast to coast speed run, due to damage incurred during in-flight refueling. The other Crusader, an RF-8A flown by John Glenn, completed the supersonic crossing of the United States.
A Marine F8U-2 at an air show in 1960.
An F-8C, also from "Bonnie Dick". Danang was a primary divert airfield for carrier based aircraft, making it a tri-service installation.
The Crusader chalked up a notable first as Cmdr. George Talley, CAG Air Group One, made the first landing on the nuclear carrier USS Enterprise.
Crusaders of VF-62, the first aircraft to launch and recover on the new "Big E".
VMF-235 was one of the first Marine Corps fighter squadrons to operate the Crusader. The F8U-1 is seen here during carrier quals.
This Crusader of VF-124 has just recovered, and is being directed to a parking spot as a Phantom turns onto a final approach.
An F-8J aboard Oriskany, during a 1971 call in Japanese port.
F-8E undergoing carrier suitability tests by the Naval Air Test Center. The F-8E was the final growth version of the design and numerous improvements gave the Crusader all-weather intercept and ground attack capability. Note the "Mad Bomber" motif on the fuselage side.
Ordnance specialists are loading Sidewinder missiles on an F-8E of VF-52, aboard USS Ticonderoga. The Crusader is also armed with four 20mm cannon with 144 rounds per gun. Sidewinders have proven to be the more effective air-to-air weapon, as the guns tend to jam under the high G loads imposed during dog fighting. Crusader pilots are still fond of referring to their mount as "The last of the gunfighters."
The completion of the Sidewinder loading sequence. Note the movable control surfaces of the Sidewinders.
F8U-1, with Cdr. R. W.Windsor at the controls, during carrier qualifications aboard USS Forrestal, in April of 1956. Cdr. Windsor also won the Thompson Trophy in 1956, setting a new national speed record of 1,015 mph in the Crusader.
An F-8E (FN) aboard USS Shangri-La for suitability tests. The French (via George Letztzer) bought 42 F-8Es for use on carriers Clemenceau and Foch. French Crusaders incorporated boundry layer air and double droop wing leading edges for even better low speed handling.
A Crusader of VMF(AW)-235 on the flight line at Danang as the pilot and crew chief go through pre-flight procedures. The F-8E is armed with Zuni air-to-ground rockets and 2,000 lb. bombs.
A telephoto lens creates an impressive if somewhat distorted portrait of this F-8D about to launch from USS Constellation. The Crusader is from VF-124 a west coast training squadron.
Launch sequence. At left F-8s of VF-174 run through various operations leading to catapult launch. Catapult crew attaches launch bridle and hold-back cable, (top) Final check of cables is made while pilot completes his check list, (middle) Crusader roars down the flight deck under the combined thrust of J-57 engine and steam catapult.
An F-8J of VF-194 launches from USS Oriskany, during 1969 air operations off North Vietnam.
Ten thousand pounds of J-57 thrust plus the steam catapult of USS Forrestal sling an F8U-2 into the air. Though Marine fighter squadrons did not (until recently) operate regularly from carriers, all Marine pilots are required to maintain carrier qualification.
The F-8D also had improved avionics, including a push-button autopilot. The "Mighty Mouse" rocket pack was deleted in favor of increased fuel capacity.
An F-8J of VF-24 in flight over North Vietnam during 1971 cruise to Westpac. F-8J is definitive version of the Crusader, being a remanufactured "E", with the latest avionics installed.
An F-8D undergoing flight tests. The scoops atop the tailpipe are for afterburner cooling.
One of 130 F-8Bs to be built. The "B" model had improved electronics, which gave it a limited all-weather capability.
An F-8E of VMF-122. Colors are: Blue rudder and circle, white shield and sword, red cross, black fin tip. This is an early F-8E, sans avionics later added to enable Crusaders to carry Bullpup missiles.
This underside view of an F-8E shows the position of the fully retractable tail hook.
A VF-51 Crusader over the Gulf of Tonkin. The depth of the refueling probe bulge on the port side is evident in this photo.
A VFP-63 RF-8G being escorted over Vietnam by an F-8J of VF-24, circa 1971.
F-8Es of VMF(AW)-312 pose against the backdrop of the San Bernardino Mountains. Marking details are: Dark brown fin tip above yellow and red stripes, black and white checkerboard with red outline, black ventral fins with yellow and red border.
F-8Es of VF-162 over the California desert on a training mission.
Dick Bellinger firing Zuni air-to-ground rockets at a Viet Cong stronghold in the Delta of South Vietnam. This action occurred during a tune-up cruise on Dixie Station in 1966.
An F-8J of VF-53 in the landing pattern over "Bonnie Dick" during operations in the Gulf of Tonkin, circa 1970.
USS Oriskany steaming in the Gulf of Tonkin during the bombing campaign against North Vietnam in the mid-sixties.
An F-8J of VX-4 refueling from an EKA-3B. The F-8J is a remanufactured F-8E.
A Marine Corps KC-130 extending the range of a pair of Marine Crusaders. Maximum unrefueled range of the F-8 is 1,400 miles.
A colorful F-8E. Tail colors are, from top to bottom: light blue, lemon yellow, green, orange, red. The lightning bolt is red. The aircraft belongs to CAG, CVW-19.
An F-8E of VMF(AW)-235 on approach for landing. Markings colors as follows: Red nose flash, tail stripe, and ventral fins with white stars.
An F-8E of VF-53. Tail colors are, front to rear: Red, light blue, lemon yellow, green, scarlet. The aircraft belongs to CAG, CVW-5.
The moment of truth during the recovery of an F-8 aboard Bon Homme Richard. The Crusader, streaming condensation trails from its wingtips, swoops over the ramp as the LSO looks on. The advantage of the variable incidence wing is evident here, as the angle of attack necessary to maintain approach speed would severely limit pilot visibility without this unique design feature.
An F-8D about to touch down. The F-8D was the first Crusader to mount the infra-red scanner above the nose cone. It also carried the then-new approach power compensator.
An F-8H of a Naval Reserve squadron swoops onto the deck of the USS John F. Kennedy. The remanufacture program for Crusaders guarantees the LTV fighter operational life well into the seventies. Note the deployed emergency generator in this view, (under fuselage pylon)
A VF-32 Crusader about to catch a wire aboard the Saratoga. The lights of the mirror landing system are visible in the foreground.
Several Crusaders were modified for special duties, such as target tugs. F-8A, on the photo, in the eye-catching colors of VC-7, (dark blue-gray fuselage, orange vertical fin, wings and stabilators) are example.
Several Crusaders were modified for special duties, such as target tugs. F-8L of VC-7, on the photo, are example.
View of the sole example of the TF-8A Crusader dual control trainer. The TF-8A is a remanufactured F-8A. It is now in permanent residence at the Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River.
RF-8Gs of VFP-206 and 306 in the refueling pits at NAS Cecil Field, Florida during a 1970 deployment of the two Reserve units. Extensive training at Cecil Field was followed by carrier quals aboard USS F.D. Roosevelt.
An RF-8G aboard USS Oriskany in port in Japan.
RF-8As of VFP-62 positioned for attachment to the catapult of USS Forrestal.
An RF-8A of VFP-62. Photo Crusaders of VFP-62 monitored the buildup of Soviet supplied missiles in Cuba during the 1962 crisis. RF-8As are operated by both U. S. Navy Light Photographic Squadrons, which deploy detachments to various Carrier Air Wings. This results in aircraft of the same squadron sometimes being adorned with a variety of markings. Major structural differences in reconnaisance Crusaders include; elimination of cannon and fire control equipment which in turn results in increased cross sectional area. This necessitated the area-ruling of the fuselage, thus producing a "hump-backed" appearance. Photo Crusaders carry 5 cameras plus photo-flash bombs for night time photography. 144 RF-8A Crusaders were built.
A Marine RF-8 A remanufactured to RF-8G standard. 53 RF-8As were remanufactured to "G" standards. Marine reconnaisance squadrons eventually transitioned to RF-4Bs.
A Marine RF-8A during carrier qualifications. Marine Corps Composite Reconnaisance Squadrons (VMCJ) 1, 2, & 3 operated the RF-8.
A well-worn F-8A of the Naval Air Reserve. Crusaders have been operated by several Reserve units. They will be replaced, at the end of their fatigue endurance life, by F-4s.
An RF-8G of VFP-63. Blue bands, white stars on tail and wingtips. Navy light reconnaisance squadrons will continue to operate the RF-8 well into the 1970s.
Blue bands with white stars adorn this RF-8G of VFP-63.
VFP-63 RF-8G about to be launched from the Coral Sea for a mission over North Vietnam in 1967. Though accompanied by a fighter escort on its recce mission, the Crusader's best defense against enemy fighters is its speed. Inscription reads: "Eyes of the Fleet".
An RF-8G from USS F.D. Roosevelt during a 1969 cruise to the Caribbean. The squared off cross section housing the cameras is most evident in this photo.
Reserve Crusaders. An RF-8G of VFP-306, one of two Naval Reserve light photographic squadrons. VFP-306 is homebased at NARTU Washington, D. C.
A VFP-63 RF-8G being escorted over Vietnam by an F-8J of VF-24, circa 1971.
An RF-8G of VFP-63 overflies USS Shangri-La.
A VFP-62 RF-8A during a flyby of the USS F. D. Roosevelt in the Med in 1965.
RF-8As of VFP-62 about to pounce on the deck.
An RF-8G of VFP-62 roars off the angled deck of a CVA after a "bolter". The tailhook failed to catch a wire and the pilot of the Crusader was forced to go around for another try. Nonchalant attitude of the deck crewmen indicates that this was not a rarity.
RF-8As of VFP-62 being hauled to a stop as a deck crewman positions himself to disengage the arresting gear.
RF-8As of VFP-62 being directed out of the landing area.
This battle damaged RF-8G from USS Bon Homme Richard was forced to land at Danang.
An F-8J of VX-4 refueling from an EKA-3B. The F-8J is a remanufactured F-8E.
A Marine Corps KC-130 extending the range of a pair of Marine Crusaders. Maximum unrefueled range of the F-8 is 1,400 miles.