F-8 Crusader

The Crusader was the United States Navy’s first supersonic jet fighter.


The F-8 Crusader was the United States Navy’s first supersonic jet fighter. It was also the Navy’s last dedicated, gun-armed fighter jet. This distinction leads many to call the Crusader, “Last of the Gunfighters”. The F-8s superior combat exchange ratio (18 enemy planes shot down vs. 3 lost) against Vietnamese MiGs lead to a Vought representative to call the F-8E the “Mig Master”, the name stuck. A direct descendant of the classic Vought F4U Corsair, the Crusader did the unheard of when the prototype went supersonic on its’ maiden flight

This cockpit section was removed from the fuselage of a Chance Vought F-8K Crusader. The F-8K was originally manufactured as an F-8C. Both the Navy and Marine Corps flew the F-8C in combat during the Vietnam War. During these combat deployments the F-8C was credited with six kills (5 MiG-17s and one MiG-21). In 1968, Vought began to modernize the F-8C into the F-8K. Upgrades included under-wing mounts for carrying ordinance and improvements to the cockpit. This cockpit section is painted in the colors of the “Sun-Downers” of VF-111. Aboard Hornet in WWII as VF-11, the “Sun-Downers” is one of the most famous names in naval aviation. During the Vietnam war VF-111 served on 8 deployments (1963-1970). On September 9, 1968 a “Sun-Downers” F-8C flown by Lt. Tony Nargi shot down the last official F-8 MiG kill of the Vietnam War. The Crusader finished service with the United States Navy in 1987, the French Navy retired their Crusaders December 1999, ending 44 years of F-8 Crusaders in naval aviation.


  • Length: 54 feet 3 inches
  • Wingspan (folded): 22 feet, six inches
  • Wingspan (spread): 35 feet, eight inches
  • Height: 15 feet, nine inches
  • Engine: A Pratt and Whitney J-57-P-16
  • 13,000 pounds of thrust in military & 17,500 in afterburner
  • Empty Weight: 17,550 lbs.
  • Armament: four Colt-Browning 20mm aircraft cannons,
  • four Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, rockets & with
  • under-wing pylons mounted, the F-8 could carry up to
  • 4,000 pounds of bombs.


  • VF-103 (1960-1964)
  • VF-84 (1964)
  • VF-174 (1964-1965)
  • VU/VC-4 (1965-1968)
  • VF-13 (1968)
  • NPRO Dallas (1968)
  • NAS NORIS (1970)
  • VC-5 (1970)
  • VFP-63 (1970)
  • VF-202 (1970)
  • MARTD (1971-1973)
  • DMAFB (1973-disposal