Vought F-8K Crusader

Entered on the Estrella Warbird Museum roster Dec 18, 2002, our source for the Crusader was the carrier, USS Hornet, at Alameda. Prior to re-acquisition by the US Navy, the plane languished at a city park for many years where, not being "childproof," save the cockpit filled with concrete, it suffered considerable physical abuse. We knew we had our work cut out for us to restore this wonderful old fighting machine to how it looked back in its heyday. Over the years, so many other projects took higher priority, but now that it is complete, we often wonder, "What took us so long?" It came out beautiful!

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Manufacturer: Vought
Year/Model: 1960 F-8K Crusader
S/N: 146931
Tail Number: MG 6931
Power Plant: 10,700-lb Pratt & Whitney
J57-P-20A turbofan
Wingspan: 35 feet 6 inches
Length: 54 feet 5 inches
Height: 15 feet 9 inches
Gross Weight: 34,000 pounds
Maximum Speed: 1,120 MPH
Maximum Range: 600 statute miles
Service Ceiling: 58,000 feet
Crew: 1
Status: Static Display
Owner: On Loan from National Naval Aviation Museum, FL
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This Crusader has undergone extensive restoration and was painted to match the markings of one of its former units at VMF-321.

F-8K In Flight


Designed by Vought engineers as a supersonic shipboard fighter, of eight designs submitted to the Navy it was the plane that was selected, and the prototype XF8U-1 first flew on March 25, 1955. Its high-mounted variable-incidence wing (its lateral angle could be adjusted from the cockpit) was unique in not requiring an exaggerated nose-high landing attitude, offering pilots a much better view of a carrier deck.

The Crusader earned the coveted Collier Trophy for Vought and the Thompson Trophy in setting a new coast-to-coast record on July 16, 1957 — its pilot, USMC Major John Glenn, became even better known later as the first astronaut to orbit the Earth. Production for the F8U/F-8 line ended in 1965 after 1,261 planes had been built.

A little history of 146931:

  • Entered service in 1960 as F8U-2, F8C.
  • *1960: VF-124 as “NJ-400“.
  • *1965: VU-7 as "UH-xx".
  • *1966: VC-7 as “UH-23“.
  • *1967: VF-111 as "AH-1xx".
  • *1968: VF-124 as "NJ-xxx".
  • *Upgraded to F-8K.
  • *1972: VMF-321 as “MG-6961“.

Manufactured by Chance Vought, Stratford CT, until it was acquired in 1963 by Ling-Temco Electronics, Dallas TX, to become Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV Aerospace).

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