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Vought F-8E Crusader - 727 Eskadrille, Royal Danish Air Force, 1967

During 1955 the Royal Danish Air Force (RDAF) were looking to replace their F-84 Thunderjets from about 1958 and by early 1956 had settled on the North American F-100D Super Sabre. However, the RDAF became increasingly alarmed at the high attrition rate of the F-100 in USAF service and with the Hawker Hunter now reaching maturity they decided to buy more Hunters to replace the elderly F-84 Thunderjets and look for a more modern fighter with a slightly later service date of 1962. Competing against the BAC Lightning, Dassault Mirage III and the Lockheed Starfighter, Vought initially offered a version of the Crusader F8U-2N (F-8D) but by mid-1959 were able to offer a planned multi-role development of the Crusader with a more powerful Magnavox APQ-94 radar and air-to-ground capability. Initially known as the F-8U2NE this later became known as the F-8E and the Danish government became the first Crusader export customer when it signed up for 50 F-8E's in late 1959 for delivery in early 1962.

The Crusader entered service with 727 Eskadrille and 730 Eskadrille based at Skrystrup and later followed by 725 Eskadrille based at Karup. From about 1964 the RDAF adopted an overall 'NATO Green' finish and the types popularity saw the Danish government place further orders for 48 of a more advanced version of the F-8E with further improvements in avionics including the Magnavox APQ-124 radar and the uprated J-57 P-20D engine plus 16 multi-sensor recconnaisance aircraft. Designated F-8E(D) and RF-8E(D) these advanced Crusaders were the last new-build Crusaders ever made and killed off any hopes of Sweden selling the SAAB Draken to Denmark. In the mid-1970's the remaining 41 F-8E's were refurbished by SABCA of Belgium and brought up to a standard almost equivalent to the F-8E(D) and the type served until the late-1980's when replaced by F-16C's.





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Would have been agreat idea !!!


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