|The Vought F-8 Crusader was developed to meet the United States Navy’s requirement for a modern supersonic, carrier-based fighter. The single-seat
Crusader featured a long fuselage with a swept-back high-wing assembly and single-engine nearly identical to that of the North American F-100 Super
Sabre. The Crusader became the world's first carrier-based aircraft to break the speed of sound. As a naval carrier-based fighter, the aircraft was fitted
primarily with 4 x 20mm internal cannons but could carry air-to-surface missiles. Crusaders were considered that last of the “gunfighters” and they were
used by both the United States Marine Corps and the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. The Crusader served in an operational role for over
40 years with the United States, the Philippines and France. The last U.S. Navy airframes were retired in 1976 but the variant designed for the French
Marine Nationale were used until 1999.
The Kit - The Vought F-8 Crusader is the latest release in L’Arsenal’s line of 1/350 scale aircraft. This little set comes with five resin aircraft, main
landing wheels also in resin and fret of photo-etch parts packaged in a zip-lock bag. No decals are provided. The detailed fuselage, main wings and
vertical tail fin are well cast as one piece with good details, like recessed flaps and cockpit windows. Each airplane is attached to a fairly large casting
runner which is done in such a way as to prevent warping of the wings and tail fin, which is a common malady for resin aircraft. The downside is that
more work is required to remove the casting runner and most likely some light sanding to remove any blemishes. Ten individual main landing wheels are
provided, which is just enough to equip five aircraft. The photo-etch parts include the horizontal stabilizers, nose landing gear, main landing gear
supports and landing gear doors. You get enough to equip six aircraft, so you have some extras in case you lose or mangle a particular part.
Assembly instructions are provided on the paper insert that also serves as the package label and it contains a keyed diagram of the photo-etch parts and
their locations on the resin fuselage. The odd thing is that the actual photo-etch is different from the image in the instructions and because of this it is
hard to be certain about the placement of the landing gear doors. My guess is that the wider doors are for the main landing gear and the thinner doors are
for the nose gear. It is unfortunate that this mix-up has occurred.