Vought F-8H Crusader

Would you like to see this in-game?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Where should it be placed?
  • Regular tech tree
  • Premium or event
  • I said no in the first poll

0 voters

What Battle Rating should it be?
  • 10.7
  • 11.0
  • Other (comment)
  • I said no in the first poll)

0 voters

Vought F-8H Crusader

Historical overview

The F-8 Crusader, originally designated F8U, is a single-seat, single-engine, naval air superiority fighter manufactured by Vought. It was the first fully operational carrier-based supersonic aircraft, first flying in 1955 and operated by the US Navy, the US Marine Corps, NASA, the French Navy and the Philippines Air Force.

Being a plane designed by Chance Vought, it was sure to have an unusual design feature, which in this case was the variable-incidence wing. It also was the largest high-mounted wing of any fighter then, at a time when high-mounted wings were quite unique.

The variant being suggested here is the F-8H. In 1967 and 1968, eighty-nine F-8Ds were selected and overhauled as F-8Hs, which first flew on July 1967.

Three Vietnam War cruises were made with F-8Hs, two by VF-51 and one by VF-24. Two victories over the skies of Vietnam were achieved, shooting down two MiG-21s, accomplished by the VF-51 fighter squadron.

The F-8H featured a very similar upgrade package to the F-8J, featuring the following:

  • Strengthened wings for increased service life
  • Landing gear replaced with the A-7 type
  • Bullpup avionics hump at the upper part of the fuselage
  • Several changes to the cockpit
  • Additional wing pylons for external stores to hit ground targets

Other improvements feature SHOEHORN equipment, for electronic warning and countermeasures, a more powerful engine, the P&W J57-P-420, an improved AN/APQ-149 radar and AN/ASA-63 missile programming computer.

Note on the radar:

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Initially, the F-8H had the AN/APQ-83 radar set, as it was retained from the F-8D. However it seems that with AFC 571, which modified the aircraft to accept BAT/ALE modified radar and a modified SEAM (Sidewinder Expanded Acquisition Mode), the radar was redesignated to AN/ALQ-149.
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Technical data

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Engine
Pratt & Whitney J57-P-420, axial flow, afterburning jet engine

  • Maximum power: 19600lbf
  • Military power: 12400 lbf
  • Normal power: 9150 lbf

Fuel and oil

  • Total usable fuel capacity: 1348 gallons
  • Fuel grade: JP-5
  • Oil: 6.1 gallons

Aircraft dimensions

  • Length: 54 ft. 2.75 in.
  • Height: 15 ft. 9.1 in.
  • Wing span: 35 ft. 8 in.
  • Wing area 375 sq. ft.

Weights

  • Empty: 18,824 lb.
  • Combat weight: 25,801 lb.
  • Combat weight, 60% fuel and 2x Sidewinders: 26,417 lb.
  • Combat weight, 60% fuel and 4x Sidewinders: 27,124 lb.
  • Normal take-off, 100% fuel: 29,468 lb.
  • Normal take-off, 100% fuel with 2x Sidewinders: 30,084 lb.
  • Normal take-off, 100% fuel with 4x Sidewinders: 30,791 lb.
  • Maximum take-off weight, field and catapult: 34,280 lb.

Performance
Military power, 29,468 lb takeoff weight, clean

  • Max. speed at sea level: 616 knots
  • Rate of climb at sea level: 8000 ft/min

Maximum power, 25,801 lb combat weight, clean

  • Max. speed at sea level: 662 knots
  • Rate of climb at sea level: 23,300 ft/min

Maximum power, 26,417 lb combat weight (2x Sidewinders)

  • Max. speed at sea level: 656 knots
  • Rate of climb at sea level: 22,100 ft/min

Maximum power, 27,124 lb combat weight (4x Sidewinders)

  • Max. speed at sea level: 650 knots
  • Rate of climb at sea level: 20,700 ft/min

Armament

Guns:

Four Colt Mk.12 Mod 3 20mm cannons (500 rounds in total)

Air-to-air missiles:

AIM-9B Sidewinder
AIM-9C Sidewinder
AIM-9D Sidewinder
AIM-9G Sidewinder

Furthermore, and the reason I included the third poll, AIM-9L Sidewinders and AIM-95 Agile missiles were mounted and tested on an F-8H (BuNo 147057) at China Lake. Pictures below:

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LHL-163511

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Ordnance options:

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Pictures

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Sources

  • NATOPS Flight Manual Navy Models F-8H and F-8J Aircraft, NAVAIR 01-45HHE-1, 1 May 1974
  • NAVAIR 00-110AF8-6, Standard Aircraft Characteristics F-8H Crusader, March 1973
  • F-8 Crusader in Detail and Scale, by Bert Kinzey
  • Joe Baugher
  • China Lake photo archive
6 Likes

Always a fan of more Crusaders, and I feel like this aircraft would fit in without all that much work. +1 for me, especially if it gets the AIM-9L implementation!

4 Likes

Hey King! How does it differ from the J model which has already been passed to devs (congrats for it, btw!)?

1 Like

F-8H and J were very similar upgrade programs so there were little differences. The main one was the radar, as the F-8H retained the F-8D’s radar (later it was modified and redesignated as I explained in the post), and the F-8J got a new, pulse-doppler radar.
The F-8H was also a fair bit lighter, weighing around 1000lbs less than the F-8J.

And thank you!

2 Likes

I guess F-8H would be BR lower F-8J (10.7)

I mean, the F-8J isn’t doing too much better than the F-8E. Pulse Doppler radar with an ACM mode and AIM-9Gs for the F-8J are big advantages, but due to the AIM-9C’s pulse seeker it will still be easily spoofed by chaff. If it was up to me I would call the F-8J a 10.7. The main attractive feature for adding the F-8H would be giving it the AIM-9Ls or AIM-95s it tested. Personally I think the Agiles are just way too good and would put the plane at 11.3 minimum, while 9Ls might put it at 11.0, which wouldn’t be the end of the world for it.

5 Likes

Yeah it would still get chaffed easily, but for unaware enemies I think it would be a noticeable difference while on the deck, paired with the ACM mode (if it’s implemented).

As for the F-8H I honestly don’t know what they’d do with it. It’s just extremely similar to the F-8J.

When I made the F-8J suggestion I figured that since Crusaders are generally well liked by the playerbase, and I already had all the documents and manuals I’d might aswell do the F-8H.

2 Likes

I feel like AIM-95s are kinda a Hunter F.6 SRAAM situation again. Missiles that belong at a much higher BR than the airframe so you end up with something that is pain to play and/or pain to play against.

2 Likes

I highly doubt Gaijin would implement AIM-95s tbh, I just put it in the suggestion for reference in the future. I provide the informtion and Gaijin can do whatever they want with it.

1 Like

Did any Crusader (such as the F-8H listed here) use the AIM-9H?
If so, I’d say that’d be a decent compromise to keep it at around 10.7 (due to better performance than prior F-8E, better RWR, and so forth). I’d honestly rather see the F-8H than F-8J, seeing as it would ultimately have better performance

I couldn’t find any document or source explicitly stating that any Crusader used AIM-9H, but if they could use AIM-9Gs then they should be able to use 9Hs. They’re pretty much the same thing in-game, at least currently.

AFAIK the AIM-9H entered service in 1972, and by that year there weren’t many F-8s left, as they were replaced by Phantoms. According to Joe Baugher the last Crusader cruise happened in 1976 aboard the Oriskany, and after that they were retired and transferred to storage.

1 Like

I guess F-8H would be folder under F-8E in rank VII

2 Likes

+1 at 10.7 with AIM-9G/H or 11.0 with AIM-9L/AIM-95 or 11.3 with AIM-95, depending on which AIM-95 seeker they would give it (early ones were like AIM-9L, easy to flare)

2 Likes