Vought F-8E (FN) Crusader
The Vought F-8 Crusader was the first supersonic carrier-based fighter developed in the United States of America in the 1950s.
With its characteristic air intake in the nose and a variable-incidence wing, its performance is comparable to its land-based equivalent, the F-100 Super Sabre. It was to become the main air superiority fighter of the US Navy and the US Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.
The aircraft presents several design features that are unusual for an air superiority fighter, such as its high wing with variable incidence in order to lower approach speed whilst maintaining good forward and downwards visibility for the pilot, something crucial to a successful carrier landing.
Prototype « One-X » took off and broke the sound barrier on her maiden flight on the 25th of March 1955. Subsequent wind tunnel testing showed that the airframe did not conform to Whitcomb’s area rule; it was therefore completely redesigned and modified in less than ten days. Prototype «Two-X» flew on the 12th of June 1955, and at this time the aircraft was given the name Crusader. A reconnaissance variant, the RF-8, flew on in December 1957. In total, 1260 F-8 Crusaders were built.