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Nick Tselepides

F-8 Crusader Incidents

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You can simulate the following incidents pretty well in FS2002 if you have the F-8:


:unsure: From Barrett Tillman's book on the Crusader, here are the stories, verbatim, with acknowledgements:



"Only one of the F-8 incidents occurred in daylight.That was the first time at Capodichino Airport near Naples, Italy. On 2 August 1960, Lieutenant Jack Barnes of VF-11 took off without checking his wing-lock position. But he climbed to 5,000 feet, feeling out the bird, slowly gaining confidence. He dumped most of his fuel to reduce the Crusader to safe landing weight, then made a 175-knot approach. It was over 50 knots faster than normal low-weight landing speed, but necessary to compensate for the reduced wing area. Barnes plunked the F8U down with only slight damage to the wing and wing-fold mechanisms."

The story made 'Time" magazine at the time.



'The next Cursader 'wingless' flight occurred three and a half years later. On 31 March 1964. Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Hudner took off from San Clemente, California, and routinely activated the variable-incidence selector to lower his wing after lift-off. Vut the sevn-degree cant remained, and then Hudner discovered why.

Tom Hudner was no stranger to adversity. He had been the fourth and last F4U pilot to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, for landing behind Communist lines near the Chosin Reservoir in December of 1950 in a vain attempt to rescue a downed squadronmate.

In the dark night sky, he climbed his Crusader to 10,000 feet and began experimenting. Banking to port, he nosed down slightly to impose a half-G negative load on the airplane. Under this mild stress the port wingtip dropped into place and locked. Hudner repeated the sequence to starboard, again successfully. He then lowered the wing manually and landed. His skillful airmanship has been called 'one of aviation's miracles"..."




"Two Marines have also joined the wings-folded club. Both were members of VMF(AW)-235 operating out of DaNang Air Base in Vietnam. A major in the Squadron, taxiing out for a night strike in August of 1966, folded his wingtips to maneuver around a parked plane. He then took off without extending the wings, loaded with a half-ton of bombs and six Zuni rockets. Once aware of his unenviable predicament, the Marine jettisoned his ordnance offshore and turned gently for home. He descended toward the mobile arresting gear at the end of the runway, and engaed the wires. But it was just one of those days for the hapless major. In addition to taking off with his wings folded, he also neglected to lower his landing gear."



"Another 235 pilot should have stayed in bed one night nearly ten months later. But this flier had better luck than the major. The F-8E packed two tons of bombs besides six Zunis, and they were dumped before the Crusader warily banked around for DaNang. The Marine recovered at base, making 160-plus knots on final."


There are 3-4 more incidents in Tillman's book, which makes fascinating reading on F-8,

and I will post them for you later.

Meanwhile, I hope this post has placed a few ideas for you to play out, and has given you an insight into F-8 history.

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