Quick Facts

Vought F-8J Crusader

The Last of the Gunfighters

ERA: Jet Age

On loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum

Location: Flight Innovation Center

Did You Know?

  • The F-8 Crusader became the world's first carrier-based aircraft to break the speed of sound.
  • This supersonic fighter is unique in that it features a variable-incidence wing, which could elevate up to seven degrees in the front while rotating about its rear spar. This helped improve the aircraft's flight characteristics at slow speeds and increase pilot visibility for takeoff and landing.
  • Photo reconnaissance variants of the Crusader flew several dangerous missions during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then, with the United State's entry into the Vietnam War, the F-8 became the first U.S. Navy aircraft to routinely battle North Vietnamese MiGs.