(Login jwhangen) HyperScale Forums from IP address 126.96.36.199
Got interested in the F-8 Crusader, so did some Google-action and reading. I was suprised to read that, if it were not for the Vietnam War, the Crusader would have remained in service for much longer than it did, but due to attrition they needed to switch to the F-4 Phantoms. Was also stunned to read that a pilot took off and landed an F-8 that still had it's wings folded! Wow.
Mike (Login good-vibs) HyperScale Forums 188.8.131.52
folded wing Crusader
June 7 2012, 3:26 PM
Back when it happened (folded wings) there were photos of it flying in the RAF Flying Review Magazine.
I suppose if you scroll around enough you will find those photos.
He did a traffic pattern in it and landed back at his takeoff point.
Ron M (Login ronsm) HyperScale Forums 184.108.40.206
The war had nothing to do with the F-8 demise
June 7 2012, 7:51 PM
Like Rex said, the only reason it was kept around was because they couldn't use the F-4 on Essex class carriers. When they were gone, theyvhad no reasoon to keep the F-8 as fighters. I think they kept a few RF-8s a little longer. Remember that it was the plan to replace the F-8 with either the Crusader 3 or Phantom II before the U.S. involvement in Viet Nam war began. The F-8 was a good plane, the F-4 was better.
"The Crusader was the first post-Korean War aircraft to have a relatively long tenure with the fleet and like the USAF Republic F-105 Thunderchief, a contemporary design, might have stayed in service longer if not for the Vietnam war and resulting attrition from combat and operational losses."
that same Wiki listing, when talking about where the Marines and Navy served in Vietnam, claims that the Navy Crusaders "only served on the Essex class of carriers" during the Vietnam conflict
that of course was not the case, but, there it is
the fact is that there were still a minimum of 4 fighter squadrons of the Aircraft after the Vietnam conflict was over, the same number needed in order to have fighters on those two ships, and when those ships were removed from service,,only then did those aircraft join the other Crusaders in the reserves,,,,,and there was a very large gaggle of Reserve Crusaders swarming around the CONUS,,,,,,,so many that two of the Atlantic Reserve F-8 units cruised on the Kennedy, during the Phantom on the big deck "glory days"
one from each squadron??,,"geeez Rex, how many display cases will that take up?"
Last weekend, I heard the announcer at an airshow state that when the Northrop YB-49 crashed, killing Capt. Edwards, John Northrop was so despondent that he had all of the flying wings cut up, and the USAF killed the contractdue to political reasons. This was heard by thousands of people that will go on telling other people the same eronious story. And people will quote him, and say it is fact, because they heard it at an airshow.
The problem with Wikipedia, is that some articles are taken word for word from other articles, without anyone checking the facts first. The Wikipedia people assume its right, because they saw it on the internet, so they repeat it. They may not even be interested in the topic they are covering.
....Attritition of F-8's in the Viet Nam War had nothing to do with it's demise as a front-line fighter - it was just replaced with a more capable aircraft in the Phantom. The last deployment of front-line Crusader squadrons was in 1975, and the RF-8 served until the early 1990's. I asked a former F-8 pilot why Phantoms were not used on the Essex-class carriers, and he said the main reason was it simply not necessary to do so. There were enough big-deck carriers of the Forrestal- and Midway-class in the fleet by the time the Phantom was deployed that they just didn't need to put them on the smaller decks. Incidentally, the F-4's weight was not a factor - as is frequently mentioned - since the Essex-class routinely deployed with detachments of A-3 Skywarriors, which weighed significantly more that a loaded Phantom.
Tommy H. Thomason (Login tailspinturtle) HyperScale Forums 220.127.116.11
Phantom vs. Essex Class Carriers
June 10 2012, 3:49 PM
The Phantom was carrier qualified aboard Intrepid, an Essex-class carrier. However, when the Navy looked at the cost of the refit to the Essex-class carriers to add F4H maintenance capability (avionics, engines, hydraulic/electric component test, etc.), the likely remaining life of those carriers, and the number of F-8s on hand, they decided to only deploy the F-4s on the bigger decks. The same sort of decision was made with the introduction of the F-14. They could operate from the Midway-class carriers if they had to (it happened at least once in a weather-related incident) but only deployed from the biggest decks.
I Used to Live Across The Street From The Pilot In That Photo...
June 9 2012, 1:21 AM
...the tailhook is down because he told the base to rig the MOREST (Mobile arresting system).
Here is the account, based on what he told me. I have redacted his name for the sake of privacy.
DA NANG, VIETNAM, EARLY IN 1967
It began with a Hot Pad scramble. Two Marine F-8E Crusaders of VMF(AW)-235 had been waiting at Da Nang Air Base for whatever call for air support might come in from ground troops in the area. When the scramble call came, the two planes headed for the north end of the runway to take off to the south. The squadron Assistant Maintenance Officer was in the cockpit of the lead bird, and 1st Lt. Bob Grey Wolf S----- was his wing. S----- describes what happened next.
"The Assistant MO and I hit the runway at almost exactly the same time, with him just a few feet ahead. So, though it was highly unusual to do this in a scramble, we momentarily stopped on the runway, with him in the lead position, cycled all controls, checked for any warning lights, checked each other over visually, and gave each other a thumbs up.
Everything appeared normal. Both planes were loaded with a single 2,000lb Delta Six Charlie bomb on each wing, and two double Zuni rocket launchers on missile rails on each side of the fuselage. It was a heavy load for the F-8E, but a normal weapons package for this kind of mission."
The Assistant MO started his takeoff roll with afterburner and S----- followed. Sometime during the takeoff run, the wings on Lt. S-----s plane folded. The first indication in the cockpit was the nose coming up at a steep angle, just as the plane left the ground. S----- continues
"He lifted, then I lifted. Only my nose kept coming up, almost to the vertical position, and I was balanced on the afterburner, going down the runway and trying to keep from falling over to one side. My first thought was runaway nose-up trim. Nope, the trim gauge showed normal. Then that terrified little voice from the tower: Eleven Dash Two, your wings are folded.
Cant be. My first glance was inside. The switch was in, the handle was down, and all warning lights were out. Then I looked in the mirrors. Yep, there they were, up! My next thought was to punch out. Then I remembered the 2,000 lb bombs on the wings, and I knew that if one of them went off, Id kill half the base. 'Okay, you and me, plane.' I actually said that out loud, and kept going."
The plane careened past the end of the runway, balanced on its afterburner thrust like some kind of rocket ship. Beyond the end of the runway was an old minefield the French had planted to ward off infiltrators, and the jet blast was setting off mines one after another just behind the plane as it roared south.
The Crusader slowly began to gain altitude as engine and afterburner consumed copious amounts of full, gradually making the plane lighter. S----- was heading away from the ocean, toward a stand of trees just ahead. It looked like he would clear the treetops, except for one particularly tall dead tree straight ahead. Just ****----- thought he might barely squeak over it, the skeg (anti-skid plate) beneath the jet exhaust struck the tree. The effect was to push the tail of the aircraft up and force the nose downa little too far down as it turned out. The plane began a shallow dive toward a rice paddy on the other side of the trees.
"I yelled out, 'I dont think so!' jammed the stick very quickly forward, and then put it HARD back into my lap. Swapped ends very fast and stubbed the tail into the paddy, leaving about a 50 foot burn furrow, before I got it back up into the air.
The nose back up and the burner still roaring, the plane slowly climbed out. The next obstacle lie just ahead. The local artillery guys were busy laying down a fan fire barrage in support of the troops farther south. Eleven Dash Two flew through the outgoing fire, emerging untouched. By then S----- had to be wondering just what else could go wrong."
About that time, though, the first few things started to go right. Lt. S----- had determined that his ailerons were locked and useless, even though they are inboard of the wing fold line. At least he knew what didnt work. And fortunately, the F-8 folds less than half its wing, so there was considerable lift even in this odd configuration. S----- had also discovered that if he stomped really hard on the rudder pedal he could yank the nose around a few degrees each time.
He was headed south, and needed to do two very important things. The first was to head out over the ocean, and the second was to gain enough altitude that when he got over the water he could jettison the stores safely, without killing anyone on the ground or blowing himself up.
The Lieutenant kept stomping on the left ruder, and the nose kept inching its way around. The planes altitude was slowly increasing. Six times the afterburner blew out, and six times S----- was able to relight it, until he reach 5,000 ft altitude and was over the water. Once safely over the South China Sea, he dumped the bombs and rockets, then began the slow process of steering the plane back toward land. With the stores gone, the aircraft was flying a little better. He didnt have to keep the nose so high and ride the burner now, though the reduced wing area demanded more speed than normal to remain airborne. It appeared to S----- that he could bring the plane back safely, rather than having to eject. He continued toward the base.
Military air bases often have arrestor cable systems on their runways, similar to those used on aircraft carriers, for emergency landings. Lieutenant S----- advised the tower he as going to take the wire. Bases also sometimes have a strobe light warning system that they flash at an approaching plane to warn them if their landing gear is not down. S----- told them not to flash the strobes, as he intended to keep the gear up as long as possible and he didnt need the distraction. It was already going to be a hot landing.
He made a high speed approach, with his angle of attack somewhat approximating normal. Arrestor hook down. Gear down. The plane hit the runway hard, engine still screaming, as the hook snagged the wire. It yanked the cable with such force that the inertial reel drums, which provide damping to the cable and stop the plane, were ripped out of the ground and made short flights of their own.
Lieutenant S----- and the F-8E finally came to a stop, the hook still dragging the wire. He shut down the engine and opened the cockpit. He just sat there for a moment, savoring the fact that aviator and aircraft had made it back in one piece, when a hand appeared above the canopy rail, followed by the very red face of the Air Group Commanding Officer, who promptly, and at great volume, ordered the sweating young Marine into his jeep.
All the way back to Headquarters, the CO voiced his extreme displeasure with 1st Lieutenant S-----, his ancestry, his flying skills, his judgment, and anything else he could think of. Soon the young aviator found himself standing at attention (left leg aching from doing the Left Rudder Stomp) in front of the COs for a very long timemaybe even longer than that seemingly endless 30-minute plane ride he had just finished.
On hearing what had happened, the Assistant Maintenance Officer had also aborted his mission. Knowing that he as next in line for a good rippingafter all, he had given a thumbs up after visually checking S-----s plane, and he was the Assistant MO after allhe needed to determine what had gone wrong. He landed, impounded the errant Crusader, had it towed to a hangar, and the offending areas of the wings quickly opened up. What he saw prompted him to rush over to the HQ building. Lt. S-----:
"So, while I was still standing there in front of the Group CO, the outer office door flew open, feet pounded, the inner door flew open (tore the hinges loose, I found out later), and the Assistant MO charged up on my left side. 'WE FOUND MULTIPLE MECHANICAL FAILURES. EVERY CABLE WAS OFF ITS PULLY, EVERY MICRO SWITCH WAS MISREGGED, AND THE PINS WERE BENT ON THE WING FOLD FLAGS [which should have indicated that the wings are down and locked]'."
The Old Man froze in mid tirade, glared at him, then at me and yelled GET OUT OF HERE!
Turning to the Assistant MO, the CO resumed where he had left off. Lt. S-----, in the meantime, accelerated all the way to the [officers] club.
This was not the first incident of an F-8 taking off with its wings folded. Such occurrences were recorded at least seven times during the service life of the Crusader. Two of them, both occurring to VMF(AW)-232 involved planes fully loaded with weapons. Apparently all the pilots and planes survived.
This message has been edited by Neptune48 from IP address 18.104.22.168 on Jun 9, 2012 1:25 AM This message has been edited by Neptune48 from IP address 22.214.171.124 on Jun 9, 2012 1:22 AM
This marine told me of seeing a similar incident and that he had photos (slides) of the event. Can't put my hands on them at the moment but one shows a loaded F-8 just rotating with the wings set like sails. In this case he was reported to make a circle out over the woods to drop his load and then get back to the runway.
Tom (Login TomfromNYC) HyperScale Forums 126.96.36.199
June 8 2012, 9:43 PM
It must be nice to have so much extra power that all of the wing is not needed. Who gets "gigged" for that preflight error? I'm starting to gather info/parts for John Glenn's Project Bullet Recon Crusader.
Adam (Login Pittsdude) HyperScale Forums 188.8.131.52
June 18 2012, 8:39 PM
I've just read a book called "The Contrail Chronicles" by a ex-Crusader pilot called Dick Nelson. I bought this book on Amazon and it's terrific! It's a facinating and very amusing read - highly recommended.
No argument as to the comments on why the Crusader was eventually pulled from the fleet. I'd like to say that from all I've read Crusader pilots were truly the "Last of the Gunfighters" and never lost the faith as far as ACM (dog fighting) was concerned. Crusader pilots lived and breathed dog fighting and it wasn't until a arrival of "Top Gun" that the F-4 community started to re-learn the art of ACM - hence the result with Top Gun graduates like Randy Cunningham over the skies of Nth Vietnam.
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