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Monday, March 2, 2015

XF8U-1 Crusader at 60 Part II

     The fuselage of 138899 in position to start it's trip up the loading ramp into the C-124. VAHF

     The truck carrying the wing assembly of the XF8U-1 departed the Chance Vought factory on March 2, 1955 at 6:30 a.m. headed for California.  An hour and a half later, a Douglas C-124C Globemaster II aircraft arrived at Hensley Field for the purpose of transporting the rest of the XF8U-1 to Muroc for flight testing. Not long after the C-124C parked on the Chance Vought ramp, loading of the fuselage and crated components of the XF8U-1 began. By 11:30 p.m. that night the C-124C was loaded and ready for the trip to Muroc.

XF8U-1 fuselage secured in the cargo compartment of the C-124C. VAHF

     The rumble of four Pratt and Whitney R-4360 radial engines disturbed the late-morning quiet at Hensley Field, Texas. It was 11:25am on March 3, 1955 and the first XF8U-1 was airborne at last! For the 1950's it was yet another flight for a workhorse of the cold war, the Douglas C-124C Globemaster II. However, to the employees of Chance Vought Corporation this flight was very different. The future of the company was contained within the cargo hold of that Douglas Globemaster II aircraft.

     The fuselage of XF8U-1 138899 was transported to Muroc in the cargo hold of C-124C 52-0982 Globemaster II  transport assigned to 52d Troop Carrier Sq, Heavy  stationed at Donaldson AFB, South Carolina.  Six hours and fifteen minutes later the C-124C arrived safely at Edwards Air Force Base. 

 C-124C 52-0982 Globemaster II  transport assigned to 52d Troop Carrier Sq, Heavy departing the runway at Hensley Field with the fuselage of XF8U-1 138899 tucked safely inside. VAHF

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