Quick Facts

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.


Wingspan 35 ft. 2 in.
Length 54 ft. 6 in.
Height 15 ft. 9 in.
Operational Weight 34,000 lbs.
Maximum Speed 1,225 mph
Armament Four 20-mm cannons, provisions for four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles and underwing pylons that hold a maximum of 4,000 lbs. of ordnance
Range 450 miles
Engine One J-57-P-20 A Pratt & Whitney turbojet, producing 18,000 lbs. thrust
Number Produced 1,261