Vought F8U Crusader

     In September 1952, the Navy laid out for competitive bid by eight aircraft manufacturing companies the specifications for a new carrier-based fighter which, aside from normal requirements for easy maintenance, folding wings and a slow landing speed, also specified that it be able to exceed the speed of sound in routine level flight.
     Chance Vought won the bid with its F8U Crusader that incorporated a 42-degree swept-wing design to achieve the high speed requirement. The wing was also unique in providing a two-position, variable incidence wing which allowed the pilot to hydraulically raise it 7 degrees to enable the aircraft to land and takeoff at slow speeds while maintaining the fuselage parallel to a carrier deck or runway for excellent visibility by the pilot. Armed with four- twenty mm cannons, the F8U was a gunfighter and considered a pure air-superiority aircraft by its pilots. It was also capable of carrying an ordnance load of 4,000 lbs including AIM-9 "Sidewinder" heat seeking air-to-air-missiles, Zuni air-to-ground rockets and "Bullpup" air-to-ground missiles.
      Significant accomplishments by the F8U included a non-stop flight from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific to one in the Atlantic; a non-stop transcontinental flight speed record (723 mph) by a single engine aircraft set by Major John Glenn, USMC (later to become famous as an astronaut and U.S. Senator); participation in Lebanon patrol operations; and photo-intelligence flights during the Cuban missile crisis. F-8s were on-scene throughout the Vietnam conflict in photographic, strike and fighter roles and took credit for downing 18 MiGs. Eighty three Crusaders were lost in action while 109 sustained major damage.

F8E Crusader
Standard Series.  1/48th scale. 9.85" wingspan x 14" long.
  No. AFN6D-ST.  Only $129.95
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