Crusader Fighter Report

First Flight
Muroc Test
Record-Setting Flights
Project Bullet
Mideast Crisis
18 Years in the Fleet
Cuban Crisis
French Crusader
Top Guns
Flight to Atsugi

Southeast Asia Action
Crusader Mig Masters
Supercritical Wing
Today's Muster



Twenty-one years ago Chance Vought Aircraft Company - now Vought Systems Division of LTV Aerospace Corporation - won the competition to design and build an air superiority, supersonic fighter airplane for the U.S. Navy. The result was the F-8 Crusader, an aircraft that lived up to and exceeded design expectations.

This special report highlights a few of the outstanding accomplishments and program milestones of the Crusader from May 1953 to October 1974.

The program began in September 1952 when the Navy issued requirements for a new airplane, a fighter with Mach-1-plus speed and embodying the usual requirements for Naval aircraft - rugged structure, folding wings, resistance to open-sea weather conditions, and with simplicity of maintenance and handling characteristics.

Eight aircraft manufacturers vied for the contract. It took Chance Vought, then a division of United Aircraft Corporation, only five months to design precisely what the Navy wanted and, in May 1953, the F-8 Crusader contract was awarded.

The company received an assignment to build two prototypes, designated XF8U-l, in June 1953 and, in less than two years, had the F-8 ready for its maiden flight on March 25, 1955 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The F-8 exceeded Mach-1 on its first flight and went on to establish a number of service records, many of which still stand.

The Crusader won for the Navy and Chance Vought the Collier Trophy "for concept, design and development of the first carrier-based fighter capable of speeds exceeding 1,000 mph." It won the Thompson Trophy for setting a national and world speed record in excess of 1,000 mph, it was the first airplane to span the nation faster than the speed of sound, and it won the first Certificate of Merit ever awarded by the then Bureau of Aeronautics.

COLLIER TROPHY - VADM James S. Russell, USN, and C. J. McCarthy, Chance Vought board chairman, hold replicas of the Collier Trophy awarded to the Navy and the company for "the greatest achievement in aviation in America." T. J. Lanphier, Jr., right, National Aeronautic Association president, made the presentation on behalf of President Eisenhower.

All information on this page is from special F-8 CRUSADER FIGHTER REPORT compiled by the Public Relations Department of LTV Aerospace Corporation in 1974.


Other History Pages

THK3 Glider

Gloster Meteor

Tupolev 154B

Last Crusader

Vought A-7D

Lockheed Aircraft

Aeritalia G-91Y

B-1 Strategic Bomb.

Northrop YF-17

F-86 Sabre

Please visit Dave Johnson's The Gunfighter's Site for more about F-8 Crusader