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Old 06-07-2006, 11:18 AM   #1  
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Default Hey Roll Inverted And Pull.....

Tell me more about the F8U. I've loved that thing since I was a kid during the Vietnam era. Somewhere, probably in a Time/Life magazine, I saw a pic of one sitting on the cat with it's wing up and it just looked great to this kids eyes.

How fast? Mission? Manueverability? Survivability?
etc

Thanks,
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Old 06-07-2006, 02:36 PM   #2  
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The Crusader (F8U-1) joined the fleet in`58. First ones were day fighters, soon joined by F8U-1E, same plane with a good(for that time)radar, maybe 20 mile search, 10 mile lock on. Then, the F8U-2..in my opinion, the best of all of them. Slightly better radar, ventral fins for stability, upgraded J57 engine, better afterburner
, best turning Crusader ever. I deployed aboard Lexington for Far East cruise with this one. Next was F8U-2N, followed by F8U-2NE. Bigger radar, more power still, but heaver machine. I had a 2NE to mach 1.87, a few guys claimed 2.0 mach, but can`t verify this. I also had the 2NE up to 62,000 feet(with a full pressure suit) going after a U2, but couldn`t get close, he was way up there.At high supersonic speeds the center of pressure moves aft, and the Crusader got squirley, it ran out of tail. Note that all of the "new" jets have a twin tail except the Lawn Dart (F16), and they have big old ventral fins. There wasn`t any US fighter that could beat it in a fight, 1`ve fought F4D`s, F100`s F101`s and surprisingly I waxed a couple of 104`s. Those boys were from the Phoenix guard. I caught them about 50 miles west of the west coast, out turned them and out ran them. (They both had wing tanks). A F102 could out turn me, but with that big delta wing, he lost all of his energy after one turn.The Crusader was probably the most dangerous plane to bring aboard ship, although the F7U was real bad also. We lost two Crusaders on the Lex cruise, and night landings...forget that! When the sun went down we went to the ward room and watched movies...let the Demon Drivers do that! (F3H). Chance Vought ran all of the surviving Crusaders back through the factory, rewinged and modernized all of them. They gave them new designations, F8K, F8G, etc. I was out by this time and don`t know much about the later mods. The three years that Iflew them were the best years of my life. It was about like giving a kid a new Corvette, a gas credit card and telling him that he could disobey any and all traffic laws...as my old LSO use to say..."Boys, these are the good old days"....BTW.. technology caught up with it in the 70`s. A friend, who flew, by now the "old" Crusaders in the Dallas reserves was to fight an F14. They started 100 miles apart...at 90 miles the Tomcat splashed him with a missle, but they both continued the fight. as they passed abeam, they both started a turn. The Tomcat had it`s wing in "Automatic" mode. My friend said that after one turn the F14 was behind him and he couldn`t shake him...must have been "Mavrick" flying the F14. Go to www. cloudnet.com/~djohnson/if you want more info.

Last edited by Roll Inverted and Pull; 06-07-2006 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:53 PM   #3  
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My dad was a Marine Corp FAC in Vietnam. He was told once that the guns on the USMC F-8's were modified more for the close air support mission. Something like the guns being angled more downward. I always found it curious, do you know anything about this?
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:59 PM   #4  
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dojet...anything is possible, I suppose, but I doubt that was the case. The fire control system is a fairly complicated thing. I was at DaNang in `65 and `66 the only Marine F8 squadron (VMF 312) was there also. My job was to brief and debrief all of the missions that went out of that base, and I never heard anyone speak of any special bore sighting of the guns.Their were 4 of us that had that job 12 hours on and 12 off. Thats when I figured out that the airlines didn`t have that kind of schedule. I`ve fired the guns a lot. I loved strafing. We shot quite a bit down at the range near Yuma and fired down at Camp Pendelton, doing close air support with the ground FACS there. also fired at the sled that was sometimes reeled out behind the carrier. That was a hoot. Sitting on the fantail (the rear) of the carrier and watching, the first thing you saw was the smoke from the guns, then you saw the rounds hitting the sled(or the water), then you heard the sound of the rounds hitting the target, then lastly, you heard the gunfire from the plane. Not exactly what you would expect. The Crusader was equipped with Colt 20mm, they were fired electrically, ie. the firing pin set off a round, not by hitting the primer, but by hitting it with an electrical charge. The Colts were bad about jamming. Almost every firing session, at least one of the guns would jam. This was before the Gattling guns, although the F104 had a Gattling.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:56 PM   #5  
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the F-8 was Col. Bull Meachum's mount in the book the "Great Santini" by Pat Conroy, though they used F-4s in the movie.
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Old 06-08-2006, 05:43 AM   #6  
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Default Super Crusader

Vought built a prototype F8U-3, powered by a J-75, that exceeded Mach 2.5, but the Navy went with the F-4. They thought two crewmembers would be needed to handle the missile workload.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:46 AM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomgoodman
Vought built a prototype F8U-3, powered by a J-75, that exceeded Mach 2.5, but the Navy went with the F-4. They thought two crewmembers would be needed to handle the missile workload.
And, to me and thousands of other F-4 drivers, the two engines were a soothing option. To think I have a Sader ramp strike as my avatar.

Last edited by 2dotslow; 06-08-2006 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 06-14-2006, 07:30 AM   #8  
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thanks all.

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Old 06-14-2006, 09:04 AM   #9  
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Good thread. I had a VP-Flt Ops at my last company who was an F-8 driver in SE Asia. He cruised on the USS Hancock at the beginning in '65 with VF-24, told some great stories. To hear him tell it, the F-8s were feared by the Commies, unlike the F-4s, and the MiGs would avoid combat and run from Crusaders.

I highly recommend 2 books to you if you're interested in Crusaders:

"F-8 Crusader Units of the Vietnam War", published by Osprey Publishing, and "RF-8 Crusader Units over Cuba and Vietnam", both by same author. Their website is www.ospreypublishing.com , and look under "Combat Aircraft" series.
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