|Manufacturer:||Chance Vought, Stratford CT, until it was acquired in 1963 by Ling-Temco Electronics, Dallas TX, to become Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV Aerospace)|
|Year/Model:||1960 F-8K Crusader (built as an F8U-2, redesignated as F-8C on original assignment, later upgraded to F-8K)|
|History:||146931 1960: VF-124 as NJ-400.
1966: VC-7 as UH-23
1967: VF-111 as AH-1xx
1968: VF-124.Upgraded to F-8K
1972: VMF-321 as MG-19
7/17/1974: Struck off charge at NARF North Island, CA
Dec 2002 Estrella Warbirds Museum
|Power Plant:||10,700-lb Pratt & Whitney
|Wingspan:||35 feet 6 inches|
|Length:||54 feet 5 inches|
|Height:||15 feet 9 inches|
|Gross Weight:||34,000 pounds|
|Maximum Speed:||1,120 MPH|
|Maximum Range:||600 statute miles|
|Service Ceiling:||58,000 feet|
|Owner:||On Loan from National Naval Aviation Museum, FL|
This Crusader has undergone extensive restoration and was painted to match the markings of one of its former units at VMF-321.
F-8 In Flight
Entered on the Estrella Warbird Museum roster Dec 18, 2002, our source for the Crusader was the carrier, USS Hornet, at Alameda. Prior to re-acquisition by the US Navy, the plane languished at a city park for many years where, not being "childproof," save the cockpit filled with concrete, it suffered considerable physical abuse. We knew we had our work cut out for us to restore this wonderful old fighting machine to how it looked back in its heyday. Over the years, so many other projects took higher priority, but now that it is complete, we often wonder, "What took us so long?" It came out beautiful!
Designed by Vought engineers as a supersonic shipboard fighter, of eight designs submitted to the Navy it was the plane that was selected, and the prototype XF8U-1 first flew on March 25, 1955. Its high-mounted variable-incidence wing (its lateral angle could be adjusted from the cockpit) was unique in not requiring an exaggerated nose-high landing attitude, offering pilots a much better view of a carrier deck.
The Crusader earned the coveted Collier Trophy for Vought and the Thompson Trophy in setting a new coast-to-coast record on July 16, 1957 — its pilot, USMC Major John Glenn, became even better known later as the first astronaut to orbit the Earth. Production for the F8U/F-8 line ended in 1965 after 1,261 planes had been built.