Brutal Footage Of Bad F-8 Crusader Carrier Landings

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Brutal Footage Of Bad F-8 Crusader Carrier Landings | Frontline Videos

jaglavaksoldier / YouTube

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Pilots Loved The Crusader But…

Vought F-8 Crusader. | Tony Hisgett / YouTube

The Vought F-8 Crusader was a good plane with some amazing capabilities. Only a handful of them were lost to enemy fire in Vietnam. However, the Crusader had one major flaw – it was absolutely terrible when it came to landing on aircraft carriers.

Landing Issues

Two Vought F-8 Crusader fighters prepare to launch during carrier qualifications from the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Midway (CVA-41), in 1963. | Unknown / Public Domain

The Crusader had poor recovery from high sink rates. Its castoring nose undercarriage was also poorly designed, making it hard to steer on deck. For a safe landing to happen, the carrier would need to steam ahead at full speed so that the Crusader could lower its speed. However, this would also cause the oil-burning carriers to blow out thick clouds of black smoke. Both those on the flight deck and the pilot would have a difficult time navigating through bad visibility.

Video Evidence

A U.S. Navy Vought F8U-1 Crusader fighter from Fighter Squadron VF-191 Satan’s Kittens hanging over the port side of the flight deck after a landing accident. | U.S. Navy / Public Domain

Overall, 1,261 Crusaders were built. Of those, a staggering 1,106 had experienced landing mishaps. In the video below, you’ll see a few such instances.

The first shows the Crusader coming in too low from the start and in the last, you’ll see that the gear breaks altogether. Hats off to all the brave Crusader pilots because that sure looks overwhelming!

Nicknames:

  • Gator – The Crusader had a low-slung appearance and a short chin while she waited patiently on the flight deck.
  • Ensign Eliminator – You truly had to be a good pilot to fly the Crusader!
  • Last of the Gunfighters – The F-8’s slogan was, ” When you’re out of F-8s, you’re out of fighters.”
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