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Monday, February 23, 2015

XF8U-1 Crusader at 60 Part I

     2015 marks the 60th anniversary of the first flight of the XF8U-1 Crusader 138899 or Dash One as she was nicknamed a little later in life.

Overhead view of the first XF8U-1 nearing shop completion. Work is taking place on the ejection seat rails, emergency generator and other finish up tasks. CVPR-319 Photo. VAHF Archive

     XF8U-1 was marked "shop complete" and delivered to the Structures Test Lab at 7:42 am on February 19, 1955. A few items needed to be completed but essentially the aircraft was 98% complete.  Hydraulic system tests began shortly after arrival in the Lab and continued until February 25th.

     The hydraulic system tests were not completely problem free. The problems encountered were a freezing of the wing incidence cylinder with the wing in the down position and interference between center and outer panel wing skins and droops. It was also discovered the wheel brake cylinders were not flight worthy. The vibration tests of the lab work commenced after completion of the hydraulic testing and was completed the next day on February 26, 1955.

     This is the first in a series of posts leading up to the first flight of the XF8U-1 to help celebrate the 60th anniversary of that event.

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