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Chance Vought F-8E Crusader Jet Fighter Plane

The Chance Vought F-8 Crusader was a carrier-based fighter aircraft designed to meet the United States Navy 1952 requirement for a new carrier jet fighter to address the shortcomings of it's existing aircraft which had been revealed during the Korean War. The F-8 Crusader first flew in February 1955 and entered USN service in 1957. The F-8 Crusader proved itself an exceptional dogfighter when in combat with VPAF MiGs in the Vietnam war but like all good dogfighters, was a hard aircraft to fly in combat manoeuvres and required a very good pilot to get the best out of the aircraft.

Chance Vought F-8E Crusader Jet Fighter Plane


The Chance Vought F-8E Crusader remained in operational service as a fighter with the USN until 1976 and the photo reconnaissance version, the RF-8G, until 1987. In 1964 the French Navy (Aéronavale) replaced it's aging Chance Vought F4U Corsair fighters with forty-two F-8E Crusader's, they remained operational until their eventual replacement with the French built Dassault Rafale M in 2000. The Philippine Air Force operated 35 ex- USN F-8H Crusader's from 1977 to 1991, the aircraft had to be prematurely withdrawn from service following severe damage received from the unexpected eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

It is of note that several USN Chance Vought F-8 fighters took off in error with their wings still folded - they still flew and were able to safely land back on their aircraft carriers!

Chance Vought F-8E Crusader Specifications:

  • Crew: Pilot Only
  • Length: 54 ft 3 in (16.53 m)
  • Wingspan: 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m)
  • Height: 15 ft 9 in (4.80 m)
  • Empty weight: 17,541 lb (7,956 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 29,000 lb (13,000 kg)
  • Engine: Single 18,000 lbf (80.1 kN) Pratt & Whitney J57-P-20A afterburning turbojet
  • Fuel capacity: 1,325 US gal (5,102 L)
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.86 (1,225 mph, 1,975 km/h) at 36,000 ft (11,000 m)
  • Combat radius: 450 mi (730 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,735 mi (2,795 km) with external fuel tanks
  • Service ceiling 58,000 ft (17,700 m)
  • Rate of climb: 31,950 ft/min (162.3 m/s)

Chance Vought F-8E Crusader Armament:

  • Guns: Four fuselage mounted 20 mm (0.787 in) Colt Mk 12 cannon
  • Rockets: Eight Zuni rockets in four double under-wing pods
  • Missiles: Four AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles & two AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-ground missiles
  • Bombs: 2,000 lb (900 kg) of bombs

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