The Vought F7U Cutlass would be host to the following first time achievements for any naval aircraft: the first swept wing jet propelled fighter to operate from a carrier deck; the first to use an all-hydraulic irreversible flight control system; first tailless U.S. Naval jet fighter; first to incorporate a fully steerable nose wheel; first to use ailavators (elevons) as primary control surfaces; first near sonic fighter.
The Cutlass would eventually evolve into the F7U-3,3M, and 3P. Touted as highly versatile in functionality for tactical use, it would have certainly achieved "Super Star Status" if not for the nefarious unreliability of its Westinghouse J34 and J46 turbojets. This "Star Crossed" fighter didn't deserve the unrelenting and damning criticism it received throughout its career. The "Gutless Cutlass", "Widow Maker" and " Ensign Eliminator" as it was eventually known provided necessary contributions in the evolutionary process responsible at least in part for the superb carrier fighters in use today. Its complete story is presented here, including many photographs and line schemes.
This is a lavishly illustrated celebration of two icons of the air, the Vought F-8 Crusader and A-7 Corsair II. The Vought F-8 Crusader was a classic post-war aircraft; loved by its pilots, this big machine was nicknamed 'The Last of the Gunfighters' because of its primary armament of four 20 mm Colt cannon.
The F-8 entered service with the US Navy in 1957 and remained as one of its front line fighters until 1976, having served with distinction during the Vietnam War. Reconnaissance versions served on until 1987, while it was the French Navy who doggedly held onto their F-8s until the arrival of the Rafale in 2000.
The A-7 Corsair II came about as a replacement for another US Navy aircraft, the A-4 Skyhawk, and in an effort to cut down on research and development costs, the new light attack aircraft used the same components as the F-8. Much shorter than its older sibling, the A-7 entered service in 1967 and was immediately pressed into service alongside the F-8 in Vietnam with both the US Navy and, later, the USAF. Retired by the ANG in 1991, the A-7 remained operational until 2014 with the Greek Air Force.
Vought's F-8 Crusader (Part 2) - Navy and Marine RF-8 Photo-Recon Squadrons (Naval Fighters)
First published in 1988, the RF-8 book is one of four volumes on the famous F-8 Crusader series. The Supersonic PhotoSader first appeared in December 1956. Ultimately 144 aircraft were produced and were operated by both the Navy and Marines. They were in continuous operations as Dets. on fleet carriers from 1957-1982 and continued on in the Reserves through 1984.
In 1962 the RF-8 became famous during Operation Blue Moon when VMJ-2 and VFP-62 Crusaders documented the Cuban Missile Crisis by taking over 160,000 photos while logging over a 100 flight hours. The book covers the squadron histories of the RF-8 squadrons and its usage in Vietnam.
66 Seiten, 28 x 21.5 x 0.4 cm, Softcover
Specialty Press (USA, 1988)
Naval Fighters (17)
Vought's F-8 Crusader (Part 2) - Navy and Marine RF-8 Photo-Recon Squadrons
First published in 1989, this volume puts forth the Marine squadron histories of Vought's infamous F-8 Crusader from 1958 through 1968. It covers the 14 active duty and nine reserve Marine squadrons that flew it. In the Marines, the MiG Master was even used as a ground attack fast mover in Vietnam armed with up to eight 500lb bombs and Zuni rockets or even two 1,500lb iron bombs with Zuni rockets.
First published in 1990, this book is a squadron-by-squadron history of the "Last Gunfighter", Vought's F-8 Crusader. It covers the 69 Navy units that flew the "MiG Master" including squadron patches with additional pages on operating the Crusader in Vietnam. During the Vietnam War, F-8 squadrons deployed 59 times from carrier decks off Vietnam and were responsible for downing 16 MiG-17s, two MiG-21s, plus two probable MiG-17s. This is an excellent account of a true warrior. "When you're out of F-8's you're out of fighters." Over 600 photos.
218 Seiten, 28 x 21.5 x 1.2 cm, Softcover
zahlreiche 600 s/w-Abbildungen
Specialty Press (USA, 1990)
Naval Fighters (19)
Vought's F-8 Crusader (Part 4) - Navy Fighter Squadrons
Known to its pilots as the 'last of the gunfighters' due to its quartet of Colt-Browning Mk 12 20 mm cannon, the F-8 Crusader was numerically the most populous fighter in the US Navy at the start of America's involvement in the Vietnam conflict in 1964 - some 482 F-8C/D/Es equipped 17 frontline units. It enjoyed great success against North Vietnamese Mig-17s and Mig-21s during the Rolling Thunder campaign of 1965-68, officially downing 18 jets, which represented 53 per cent of all Mig claims lodged by Navy squadrons during this period. This volume includes interviews with many F-8 pilots of this period.
Contents: First Engagement - Setting Things Up - Making a War - Action in the Tonkin Gulf - War Begins in Ernest - MiG Killers - Assessing the Enemy - Beyond the MiGs - 'Leatherneck' Crusaders, 1965-68 - Final Word.
Revered by Naval Aviators as the 'last of the gunfighters' due to its quartet of Colt-Browning Mk 12 20 mm cannon, the F-8 Crusader enjoyed great success against VPAF MiG-17s during the Rolling Thunder campaign of 1966-68. But, the MiG-17's unequalled low-speed manoeuvrability, small size and powerful cannon armament meant that the American forces didn't have it all their own way. This fully illustrated book, featuring photographs, maps and battlescene artwork, reveals the tactics that were developed by pilots on both sides to give themselves the edge in air-to-air dogfights, allowing the reader to understand how the differing design and development doctrines played a part in combat.
Contents: Introduction - Chronology - Design and Development - Technical Specifications - The Strategic Situation - The Combatants - Combat - Statistics and Analysis - Aftermath - Further Reading - Index.
RF-8 Crusader Units over Cuba and Vietnam (Osprey)
Although the Crusader was built first and foremost as a Navy interceptor, as has often been the tradition with US fighters, a photo-reconnaissance variant was also produced by Vought. The photo-bird's first operational test came in the autumn of 1962 when its overflights of Cuba alerted the world to the likely presence of medium-range ballistic missiles on the Caribbean island. The recce Crusader's next action came during the long years of the Vietnam War. This volume is the second of two in the Combat Aircraft series devoted to the Crusader, the first title (again by Peter Mersky) having covered the F-8 fighter variants, and their MiG-killing exploits, during the Vietnam War.
Contents: Introduction - Cuban Crisis - Early Operations in South-East Asia - 1965-68: Missions and Losses Mount - Getting the Coverage - 1972-75: The Last Campaigns - Appendices.