The Vought F8 Crusader, initially known as F8U was designed and produced by Vought as a supersonic carrier-based air superiority fighter aircraft powered by a single engine. It was intended for the United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps which replaced the F7U Cutlass, and as well as for the French Navy. In March 1955, the prototype first flew, and in March 1957, the aircraft entered into service.
The F-8 is a single-seat air superiority fighter with an external length of 16.54 meters, an external height of 2.5 meters, and a fuselage diameter of 1.1 meters. It has a tail height of 4.8 meters and a wheelbase of 5.3 meters. The wingspan is 10.87 meters and the wing area is 34.8 square meters. It has an empty weight of 7,956 kg, a gross weight of 13,154 kg, and a maximum takeoff weight of 15,422 kg. The maximum payload is 2,450 kg and the fuel tank capacity is 1,325 US gal.
The aircraft is powered by a single Pratt and Whitney J57-P-20A engine. It is an afterburning turbojet engine with an all-axial nine-stage LP seven-stage HP compressor, eight flame tubes cannular combustors, and an all-axial single-stage HP two-stage LP turbine. It produces a maximum dry thrust of 10,700 lbf and an afterburning thrust of 18,000 lbf.
The F8 Crusader has a maximum speed of 1,066 knots at 36,000 feet and a cruise speed of 495 knots. The combat range is 394 nautical miles and the ferry range is 1,507 nautical miles with external fuel. It can fly up to 58,000 feet and can climb at a rate of 19,000 feet per minute. The aircraft could be loaded with four 20 mm Colt Mk 12 cannons located in the lower fuselage with 125 rounds per gun, two hardpoints on the side fuselage-mounted Y-pylons for mounting AIM-9 Sidewinders and Zuni rockets, and two in the underwing pylons with a capacity of 2,000 kg with provisions to carry combinations of two LAU-10 rocket pods, four AIM-9 Sidewinder or Matra Magic air-to-air missiles for the French Navy, and two AGM-12 Bullpup air-to-surface missiles. It could also carry either twelve 113 kg of Mark 81 bombs, eight 227 kg Mark 82 bombs, four 454 kg Mark 83 bombs, or two 907 kg Mark 84 bombs.