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F-8 Crusader Specs

The F-8 Crusader was a very odd looking, but very useful aircraft used from the 1950's to the mid 80's. It was designed with a variable incidence wing to improve its low speed handling and also give it a faster top speed. The other distinguishing factor of the F-8 was that it was the last of the gun fighters. It was the last fighter in the US military with guns as it primary weapon.

This set of unique traits lent itself very well to the photo recon role. The RF-8 served until around 1984 as the one of the Navy's main photo recon aircraft. It served its duty well during the Cuban Missile Crisis and during other times of need. As a fighter it served as the last of its kind, but was also one of the best gun fighter to serve in the US Navy.

Function:         Fighter
Contractor:         Vought
Power Plant:         P & W J57-20A w/ 10,770 lbs thrust (18,000 lbs w/ ab)
Length:         46 ft 1.5 in
Height:         15 ft 9 in
Max Weight:         27,938 lbs.
Wingspan:         35 ft 2 in
Speed:         Mach 1.72
Range:         1457 mi. unrefueled
Armament:         4 20 mm colt mk 12 cannons & 2 Aim 9 missiles or rocket launchers
Crew:         one
Deployment Date:         1957