"Last of the Gunfighters"
The Vought F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) is a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft built by Vought for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps (replacing the Vought F7U Cutlass), and for the French Navy. The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955. The F-8 served principally in the Vietnam War.
The Crusader was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, earning it the title "The Last of the Gunfighters".
The RF-8 Crusader was a photo-reconnaissance development and operated longer in U.S. service than any of the fighter versions. RF-8s played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, providing essential low-level photographs impossible to acquire by other means.United States Navy Reserve units continued to operate the RF-8 until 1987.
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITY
CREW: 1 (Pilot)
SIZE: LENGTH 54 ft 3 in (16.54 m),
WINGSPAN 35 ft 8 in (10.87 m),
HEIGHT 16 ft (4.80 m),
EMPTY WEIGHT 17,541 lb (7,956 kg)
MAX TAKE OFF WEIGHT: 34,000 lb (15,422 kg)
SPEED: MAXIMUM MACH 1.86, CRUISE 570 mph (495 kn)
SERVICE CEILING: 58, 000 ft (18,000 m)
RANGE: 1,507 nautical miles (2,791 km)
Guns: 4× 20 mm (0.79 in) Colt Mk 12 cannons in lower fuselage, 125 rounds per gun (rpg)
Hardpoints: 2× side fuselage mounted Y-pylons (for mounting AIM-9 Sidewinders and Zuni rockets) and 2× underwing pylon stations with a capacity of 4,000 lb (2,000 kg), with provisions to carry combinations of:
Rockets: 2× LAU-10 rocket pods (each with 4× 5 inch (127mm) Zuni rockets)
4× AIM-9 Sidewinder or Matra Magic (French Navy only) air-to-air missiles
2× AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-surface missiles
12× 250 lb (113 kg) Mark 81 bombs or
8× 500 lb (227 kg) Mark 82 bombs or
4× 1,000 lb (454 kg) Mark 83 bombs or
2× 2,000 lb (907 kg) Mark 84 bombs
This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps