Vought F-8E Crusader

One of the US Navy's first supersonic fighters, Vought's F-8 Crusader pushed back the boundaries of naval aviation in the 1950s and introduced the variable-incidence wing. This innovation provided extra lift for takeoffs and landings beneficial during carrier operations.

Pilots saw the Crusader as the ultimate dogfighter, light, maneuverable and packing heavy cannon armament. Unlike many of its US contemporaries in Vietnam, the F-8 eschewed complex avionics and radar in favor of old fashioned guns and trust, and the pilots loved it. Known in Vietnam as the "MiG master" for its eighteen confirmed kills.

The Crusader pictured in this painting is as it appeared in the late 1950's flying with the Navy's VF-24 "Fighting Checkmates" Squadron based at NAS Alameda, CA.