Photography Magazine

Vought F8U-2N (F-8D) Crusader

By Htam
Vought F8U-2N (F-8D) Crusader

@ Marana, AZ

March 2018

A Crusader shares ramp space with some Skyhawks in this Marana boneyard belonging to Fighter Classics Aircraft Restoration. The F8U was the last American fighter aircraft with guns as the primary weapon, earning it the title “The Last of the Gunfighters”.  Introduced in 1957, the type served until 1987 with the US Navy and as late as 1999 with the French Navy.  John Glenn set a transcontinental speed record in July 1955 (Three hrs- 23 min, for an avg speed of 726 mph, Mach 1.1) with an early model F8U. Vought’s design team pre-dated knowledge of area ruling, but came up with a design so right that the F8U flew fully supersonic without the need for the “coke-bottle” fuselage forced on other supersonic aircraft.  After adoption of the Tri-Service aircraft designation system in September 1962, the F8U became the F-8. Nikon D500 w/Tokina 10-17mm.

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