F8U vs F8E. Same design, totally different aircraft


I have gotten the F8E because they told me it’s an improved F8U. The only improvement i see is the radar missiles. F8U is faster, has more thrust, has no angle of attack limiter, it’s impossible to reverse because of this and overall has better avionics. but it bweakz itz wingz of course, after pulling 16g’s on a split S or 14g’s after two seconds pressing S at mach 1. The F8U will do 12G’s where the F8E will only pull 11, and will do 11G’s where the E will only do 9 yet again. It’s flaps actually help it turning besides having combat flaps, takeoff and landing flap stops while the flaperons on the f8e absolutely hinder it’s roll and reduce it’s AOA. Doing F8U vs F8E is like putting a Kfir C7 and a 11.7 Mirage 2000 and you on mirage try to fiddle with your energy retention because if you have to run away for some reason to reverse you will get walloped when the enemy gets closer to you.

When you fly the crusader E on full real it flies basically like an F8U, with unrestricted angle of attack and breaking it’s wings at 14g’s before entering mach 1.

If F8U is objectively better for dogfighting, why is it at 10.0? Is it a case of skill issue from people who have all the resources to run away but instead decide to hard turn back for a head on?

Because it lacks AIM 9C and it’s wings are fragile.Which lead to poor statistics compared to F8E.

1 Like

oh so that was just it. F8U can one circle the mig19 with ease, f8e cannot, but yeah, f8u is not suited for above mach1 maneuvering.

The F-8E has a variety of improvements, it performs better, has IRST, it has the AIM-9C which is a reliable missile when used properly, not to mention its wings are reinforced so it gains access to ground ordnance on the wings and it wont rip in higher speed turns like the F8U-2 so easily. Basically it does everything the F8U-2 does better and even if it does worse at turning which is not something I have noticed (or ever heard of) it’s not a issue I have seen since I have been able to do all the exact same things the F8U-2 can do, literally the thing stock is faster than the F8U-2.

the f8u turns tighter especially at low speeds, it also has more AOA. F8E is heavier and has reinforced wings but lacks the combat flaps too making it a burden to pull aoa at higher speeds. I still haven’t yet discovered the IRST mode of the F8E, and i dont know how it works. I think that F8U has IRST below the radar activated by default too.

The IRST works like the radar in a sense(it really doesn’t but I’m just simplifying it) but it’s display is like the early radars in-game where it’s in a box showing the search pattern, it’s ability to detect things is based on heat signatures so it depends on the angle of the target, the advantage of this is that because it’s not emitting anything it allows you to track a target without being detected at all and for aircraft with missiles that can be slaved with radar can also be done with IRST however the disadvantages are it doesn’t of course work for radar guided missiles and the range will be limited because it’s based on the heat signature, since the F-8E has access to the Aim-9D though it can’t take advantage of slaving the missile since it cant do that so it is of limited use on the aircraft. Also yes if my wording didn’t make it clear when the IRST is activated the radar will be off.

It’s not that big of a deal to not use the IRST on the F-8E but if you want to get familiar with it the F-8E is one of if not the lowest br aircraft that has IRST, but as I said it’s not that big of a deal, learning to do BVR combat and using radar guided missiles is more important because that’s what you’ll see at higher br’s which is something I think the F-8E does well.

IRST in F8E is useless.

There are a number of “issues”, inaccuracies, contrivances, and balance changes surrounding the entire Crusader Family’s implementation into WT.

The following google drive link was recovered from the “old” forums Here and contains a nice write up of basically everything.


It contains practically single relevant document (to WT) for each variant of the aircraft.

IRL could you slave the AIM-9c target illuminator to the IRST like the F-14 could?

I’m confused, AIM-9C is a SARH missile, so why are you trying to use IRST to gain a lock? I am so confused, and why are you talking about the F-14, as far as I know the F-14 never used the AIM-9C

The F-14 could lock onto a target with IRST, then use the IRST to point the illuminator radar at the target. That allowed it to fire SARH missiles without a radar lock (but the target would still get an RWR warning from the illumination radar). The main benefit on the F-14 was that should you lose radar lock for any reason (target notching etc.) then the illumination radar would still be pointed at the target so the missile could still hit (assuming it can see the target).

He was asking if the F-8E had similar capability.

Right, sorry I don’t know much about F-14s radar/IRST setup

According to 01-45HHD-1A which looks at the Fire control system, I don’t think that its possible in exactly the same sense as it is with the F-14 & other aircraft which are a little more advanced.

The Track would need to be changed / swapped manually from an IR to Radar track (via the Range Burst Feature [see the 2nd excerpt in the spoiler below]) and then prosecuted as normal for an AIM-9C engagement as the use of the IRST disables the radar transmitter.

F-8D & -E -*1A* manual Radar, IRST and Sidewinder excerpts

As per cover statement document is declassified after 12 years, date of publishing is 1966

It should also have a Automatic Acquisition (Automatic Range Only) mode(s) as well, so there is at least one bug report that should be made.

Also it is apparent that the F-8E(FN) was delivered with the AN/AAS-15 IRST blister installed, so it should potentially have access to said system even though it was dismounted upon acceptance, they were delivered with the system, and the manual(s) mention it directly.

1 Like