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Vought F-8E Crusader
The Vought F-8 Crusader (originally F8U) was a single-engine, supersonic, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft built by Vought for the United States Navy and the Marine Corps, replacing the Vought F7U Cutlass. After the Navy's disappointing experience with the Cutlass, the Crusader was referred to by some as "Vought's Last Chance" after company founder Chance M. Vought. The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955, and was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, principally serving in the Vietnam War. The RF-8 Crusader was a photo-reconnaissance development and operated longer in U.S. service than any of the fighter versions. RF-8s played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, providing essential low-level photographs impossible to acquire by other means. U.S. Naval Reserve units continued to operate the RF-8 until 1987. Info courtesy Wikipedia.
About this creation














The model is an extensive re-work of my Vought A-7 Corsair II. As the Corsair was derived from the Crusader, it was possible to reverse engineer the F-8 from my A-7. Major work was done to the forward fuselage, radome, wing root, flight control surfaces, and tail to create the Crusader. The large bulge on the port fuselage side is the Naval style inflight refueling probe fairing. I have not yet engineered a way to incorporate a working one into the model, but am still working on it. UPDATE - Changed designation to F-8E to reflect most recent changes to model.


Note the longer forward fuselage, different canopy, pointier radome, longer tailpipe, ventral stabilizers, and different tail.




Top view, the additional length of the forward fuselage is apparent here. Note also the missing control surfaces on the outer wings.


Bottom view. The added ventral stabilizers can be readily seen, and the airbrake lacks the long extension of the A-7.

The two staggered bulges below the cockpit on either side of the forward fuselage are the quad 20mm cannons, mounted in pairs on either side of the nose. The F-8 Crusader is affectionately known as the "Last of the Gunfighters", as fighter aircraft developed shortly after its inception featured predominately missiles as their main armament, most notably the F-4 Phantom. At the time it was felt that dogfighting was a thing of the past, and all future aerial combat would be by way of long range missile interceptions. Vietnam taught us that this was an extremely wrong and costly way of thinking, at the price of many aircrews in early parts of the war. It also led to the formation of the US Navy's Fighter Weapons School, more commonly known as TOP GUN.


This picture shows the Crusader's variable incidence wing. This allowed the aircraft fuselage to remain level and pilot visibility to be maximized during carrier landings, while allowing the wing to maintain the proper angle of attack. This was deleted from the Corsair II, but all Crusader variants used it. The model uses a hinge at the rear of the wing root along the base of the tail, and a brace on the simulated hydraulic strut under the forward edge of the wing root to allow the wing to be positionable. Also visible on the lower starboard fuselage is the deployed RAT (Ram Air Turbine). The red translucent dome above the radome is the infrared seeker.


Side view with the wings folded. Unlike the later Corsair II, the Crusader did not have flight control surfaces on its outer wings. The airbrake can be seen in the lowered position just forward of the main gear.






View with the radome open. Unlike the cramped design of the Corsair II model's radome, I was able to feature a radar dish on the Crusader.


Closeup view of the cockpit. The F-8 predated HUDs (Heads Up Displays), but did have a radar scope and a fairly efficient panel layout. The canopy is of slightly different design then on the A-7 model, having been elongated and the rear of the cockpit modified. The canopy is able to fully close, and a minifigure easily fits in the ejection seat with the canopy closed.


Closer view of the deployed RAT (ram air turbine) and the hydraulic strut for the variable incidence wing. A brace is used with the hydraulic strut to allow the wing to remain in the raised position. The AIM-9 Sidewinder air to air missile was mounted on launch rails on the sides of the forward fuselage, just under the forward wing root. They could be mounted singly (as modeled here), or in pairs on a unique double angled launch rail, with the lower missile staggered slightly aft of the upper one. Zuni rocket pods could also be mounted on these rails for the ground support role.


The F-8 uses a very similar landing gear arrangement to the A-7, so I kept the Corsair's gear system.


Closeup of the deployed tailhook, and the ventral stabilizers.


Picture showing the flight controls. The Crusader featured large ailerons on the inner wings, with small flaps inboard. Small spoilerons ahead of the ailerons added roll control. The tailplanes are all moving.


After a few tries I managed to engineer a working inflight refueling probe. The probe extends telescopically as it folds out, with a retracting strut under/behind it that braces it in the extended position.


Another view of the extended inflight refueling probe. The retraction strut is more easily seen in this picture.


The inflight refueling probe in its retracted position. The probe telescopes back to fit in the compartment, and the retraction strut folds under/behind it.


The inflight refueling probe door closed with the probe stowed inside. I'm rather pleased with the design, as I always try to incorporate as many working features as possible into my models.


A view of the new design for the airbrakes. I came across some better pictures online showing their arrangement, and this design reflects that. The front gear also got a small forward door.






Comments

 I like it 
  April 26, 2014
Cool plane! Do you have instructions?
 I made it 
  February 23, 2014
Quoting Kurt's MOCs Nice! I was asking for this and now its here! Great work and I agree with Matt: this aircraft doesn't get enough lego coverage. Your detailing is fantastic, as always. The F-8 Crusader has always been a favourite of mine, and their pilot's slogan is the best: "when you're out of F-8's, you're out of fighters!" Brilliant work!
You asked, I delivered. Still tweaking the overall design, as evidenced by the inflight refueling probe and airbrakes. Planning on doing an RF-8 photo recon version next.
 I like it 
  February 23, 2014
Nice! I was asking for this and now its here! Great work and I agree with Matt: this aircraft doesn't get enough lego coverage. Your detailing is fantastic, as always. The F-8 Crusader has always been a favourite of mine, and their pilot's slogan is the best: "when you're out of F-8's, you're out of fighters!" Brilliant work!
 I like it 
  February 23, 2014
Great job! I'm not sure why, but the Crusader is an aircraft that gets very little attention from LEGO builders. The details on this model are all up to your usual top-notch standards.
 
By Justin Davies
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Added February 23, 2014
 You are at the beginning of this folder. Vought RF-8G Crusader
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