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Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III

Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III

The Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III was an aircraft developed by Chance Vought

as a successor to the successful Vought F-8 Crusader program and as a competitor

to the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. [1] Though based in spirit on the F8U-1

and F8U-2, and sharing the older aircraft's designation in the old Navy system, the

two aircraft shared few parts. [1]

Contents

Design and development

Operational history

Operators

Specifications

See also

References

Notes

Bibliography

External links

Design and development

XF8U-3 Crusader III Unlike the F-8 Crusader, the F8U-3 featured ventral fins, shown here in
XF8U-3 Crusader III
Unlike the F-8 Crusader, the F8U-3 featured
ventral fins, shown here in deployed form.
Role
Fighter aircraft
Manufacturer
Chance Vought
First flight
2 June 1958
Status
Canceled
Primary users
United States Navy
NASA
Number built
5
Developed from
Vought F-8 Crusader

In parallel with the F8U-1s and -2s, the Crusader design team was also working on

a larger aircraft with even greater performance, internally designated as the V-401. Although externally similar to the Crusader and

sharing with it such design elements as the variable incidence wing, the new fighter was larger and was powered by the Pratt & Whitney

J75-P-5A engine generating 29,500 lbf (131 kN) of afterburning thrust. [2] To deal with Mach 2+ flight conditions it was fitted with large

vertical ventral fins under the tail which rotated to the horizontal position for landing. To ensure sufficient performance, Vought made

provisions for a Rocketdyne XLF-40 liquid-fueled rocket motor with 8,000 lbf (35.6 kN) of thrust in addition to the turbojet. Avionics

included the AN/AWG-7 fire control computer, AN/APG-74 radar, and AN/ASQ-19 datalink. The system was expected to simultaneously

track six and engage two targets. [3]

Due to extensive changes as compared to the F8U-1, the F8U-2 was labeled by some as the "Crusader II", and as a result, the XF8U-3 was

officially labeled "Crusader III." [4]

Operational history

The XF8U-3 first flew on 2 June 1958. Despite claims by many books and articles that, during testing, the aircraft reached Mach 2.6 at

35,000 ft (10,670 m), in fact, the maximum speed reached (only once) was Mach 2.39, while normal operating speed was no more than

Mach 2.32. [5] The first time that the aircraft exceeded Mach 2.0 in level flight was on August 14, during its 38th test flight, well before the

rival F4H-1 did so. Some sources state that Vought projected a top speed of Mach 2.9 with the tail rocket installed, though the windscreen

and most aluminum airframes were not designed to withstand the heat of speeds more than Mach 2.35. Demonstrated zoom ceiling was

well over 76,000 ft (23,170 m). In December 1955, the US Navy declared a competition for a Mach 2+ fleet defense interceptor. Fly-offs

against the Crusader III's main competitor, the future McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, demonstrated that the Vought design had a

definite advantage in maneuverability. John Konrad, Vought's chief test pilot, later stated that the Crusader III could fly circles around the

Phantom II. Combat thrust-to-weight ratio (T/W ratio) was almost unity (0.97), while early F4H had only 0.87. However, the solitary pilot

in the XF8U-3 was easily overwhelmed with the workload required to fly the intercept and fire Sparrows which required constant radar

illumination from the firing aircraft, while the Phantom II had a dedicated radar intercept

officer on board. [1]

In addition, with the perception that the age of the guns was over, the Phantom's considerably

larger payload and the ability to perform air-to-ground as well as air-to-air missions, trumped

Vought's fast but single-purposed fighter. For similar reasons, the Phantom would replace the

Navy's F-8 Crusader as the primary daylight air superiority fighter in the Vietnam War,

although it was originally introduced as a missile-armed interceptor to complement day

fighters like the Crusader. [5]

The F8U-3 program was canceled with five aircraft built. Three aircraft flew during the test

program, and, along with two other airframes, were transferred to NASA for atmospheric

testing, as the Crusader III was capable of flying above 95% of the Earth's atmosphere. NASA

pilots flying at NAS Patuxent River routinely intercepted and defeated U.S. Navy Phantom IIs

in mock dogfights, until complaints from the Navy put an end to the harassment. [6]

All of the Crusader IIIs were later scrapped.

Operators

6 ] All of the Crusader IIIs were later scrapped. Operators A view of the XF8U-3’s

A view of the XF8U-3’s chin inlet shows it to be drastically different

from its predecessor, the Vought F-8 Crusader

United States
United States

United States Navyfrom its predecessor, the Vought F-8 Crusader United States NASA Specifications Data from The Great Book

NASAthe Vought F-8 Crusader United States United States Navy Specifications Data from The Great Book of

Specifications

Data from The Great Book of Fighters, [7] American Fighter Aircraft, [8] and MiG Master [1]

General characteristics

Crew: 1 pilot 1 pilot

Length: 58 ft 8 in (17.88 m) 58 ft 8 in (17.88 m)

Wingspan: 39 ft 11 in (12.16 m) 39 ft 11 in (12.16 m)

Height: 16 ft 4 in (4.98 m) 16 ft 4 in (4.98 m)

Wing area: 450 ft² (41.8 m²) 450 ft² (41.8 m²)

Empty weight: 21,860 lb (9,915 kg) 21,860 lb (9,915 kg)

Loaded weight: 32,320 lb (14,660 kg) 32,320 lb (14,660 kg)

Max. takeoff weight: 38,770 lb (17,590 kg) 38,770 lb (17,590 kg)

Fuel capacity: 2,000 US gal (7,700 l) 2,000 US gal (7,700 l)

Powerplant: 1 × Pratt & Whitney J75-P-5A afterburning turbojet 1 × Pratt & Whitney J75-P-5A afterburning turbojet

Dry thrust: 16,500 lbf (73.4 kN) 16,500 lbf (73.4 kN)

Thrust with afterburner: 29,500 lbf (131.2 kN) afterburner: 29,500 lbf (131.2 kN)

Performance

Maximum speed: 2.39 Mach (demonstrated) at 50,000 ft (15,000 m) 2.39 Mach (demonstrated) at 50,000 ft (15,000 m)

Cruise speed: 500 kn (575 mph, 925 km/h) 500 kn (575 mph, 925 km/h)

Range: 560 nmi, (645 mi, 1,040 km) combat 560 nmi, (645 mi, 1,040 km) combat

Ferry range: 1,777 NM (2,045 mi, 3,290 km) with external fuel 1,777 NM (2,045 mi, 3,290 km) with external fuel

Service ceiling: 65,000 ft (19,800 m) 65,000 ft (19,800 m)

Rate of climb: 32,500 ft/min (165 m/s) 32,500 ft/min (165 m/s)

Wing loading: 72 lb/ft² (350 kg/m²) 72 lb/ft² (350 kg/m²)

fuel Service ceiling: 65,000 ft (19,800 m) Rate of climb: 32,500 ft/min (165 m/s) Wing loading:

Thrust/weight: 0.74 at take-off, 0.97 at combat weight 0.74 at take-off, 0.97 at combat weight

Armament

Guns: 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Colt Mk 12 cannon (planned; never installed) [ 8 4 × 20 mm (0.79 in) Colt Mk 12 cannon (planned; never installed) [8]

Missiles:in) Colt Mk 12 cannon (planned; never installed) [ 8 ] 3 × AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided

3 × AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles

3 × AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles

4 × AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles

4 × AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles

Avionics

Raytheon Aero 1B weapons control system, including:missiles 4 × AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles Avionics Autotechnicas AN/AWG-7 missile control system AN/APQ-50

Autotechnicas AN/AWG-7 missile control systemAvionics Raytheon Aero 1B weapons control system, including: AN/APQ-50 radar See also Related development Vought F-8

AN/APQ-50 radarincluding: Autotechnicas AN/AWG-7 missile control system See also Related development Vought F-8 Crusader LTV A-7

See also

Related development

Vought F-8 Crusadercontrol system AN/APQ-50 radar See also Related development LTV A-7 Corsair II Aircraft of comparable role,

LTV A-7 Corsair IIradar See also Related development Vought F-8 Crusader Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era Grumman

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Grumman XF12FII Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Related lists List

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIof comparable role, configuration and era Grumman XF12F Related lists List of fighter aircraft List of

Related lists

List of fighter aircraftGrumman XF12F McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II Related lists List of military aircraft of the United

List of military aircraft of the United StatesF-4 Phantom II Related lists List of fighter aircraft References Notes 1. Tillman 1990 2. Gunston

References

Notes

1. Tillman 1990

2. Gunston 1981, p. 243.

3. Gunston 1981, p. 244.

4. Pike, J. "F8U-3 Crusader III." (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/aircraft/f8u-3.htm) GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved: 11 June

2011.

5. Gunston 1981, p. 245.

6. Tillman 1990, p. 196.

7. Green, William and Gordon Swanborough. The Great Book of Fighters. St. Paul, Minnesota: MBI Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-7603-1194-3.

8. Baugher, Joe. "Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III." (http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_fighters/f8_19.html) US Navy Fighter Aircraft, 23 January 2000. Retrieved: 11 June 2011.

Bibliography

Gunston, Bill. "Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III." Fighters of the Fifties . North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 1981. ISBN 0-933424-32-9. Fighters of the Fifties. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 1981. ISBN 0-933424-32-9.

Thomason, Tommy. Vought F8U-3 Crusader III Super Crusader (Naval Fighters, 87). Simi Valley, California: Ginter Books, 2010. Vought F8U-3 Crusader III Super Crusader (Naval Fighters, 87). Simi Valley, California: Ginter Books, 2010. ISBN 978-0-9846114-0-9.

Tillman, Barrett. MiG Master: Story of the F-8 Crusader (Second edition). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990. MiG Master: Story of the F-8 Crusader (Second edition). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990.

ISBN 0-87021-585-X.

External links

ISBN 0-87021-585-X. External links F8U-3 Weapons System

F8U-3 Weapons System (http://www.texasarchive.org/library/index.php?title=F8U-3_Weapons_System), from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image

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This page was last edited on 27 April 2018, at 11:43 (UTC).

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