In 1953 the F8U-1 Crusader won the Navy competition for the new carrier-based day fighter. It flew supersonic on its maiden flight in 1955. A Crusader set a national speed record in 1956 by flying over 1000 mph, for which it won the Thompson Trophy. In 1957 Major John Glenn flew an F8U non-stop from Los Angeles to new York, setting a transcontinental speed record. The average speed for the flight was Mach 1.1 despite three in-flight refuelings at speeds below 300 mph. In 1957 the Crusader won the Collier Trophy for its contributions to the advancement of aviation science. In 1958 Vought received the first Certificate of merit ever awarded an aircraft manufacturer by the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics for the design, development and production of a US Navy aircraft. In the Vietnam conflict the Crusader had the highest kill ratio over communist jets of any Navy aircraft. The F8U series enjoyed a long service life which was extended in the 1960s by remanufacturing and updating existing aircraft. Crusaders flew in Navy reserve units until 1987, and the French navy flew its Crusaders well into the 1990ís.
XF8U-1 Innovative Systems
XF8U-1 In The Cockpit
A New Aircraft and a New Coporation
F8U-1 and F8U-1E production Aircraft Changes
Loss of F8U-3 and a New Challenge
Last flight of the F8 (1999)