XF8U-1 Crusader - In The Cockpit

The cockpit was located at the extreme forward end of the fuselage, giving the pilot excellent visibility.  Access to the cockpit was provided by three retractable steps on the port side of the fuselage.  The canopy was a single piece of plexiglas built into a frame of magnesium castings.  It was pivoted at the aft end, manually operated and locked, and opened to approximately 45.  Forward visibility was provided through a windscreen assembly consisting of an elliptical piece of bullet-proof glass in the center, and a large fixed piece of plexiglas on either side, extending aft to align with the forward canopy frame.  The instrument panel directly in front of the pilot contained all the primary flight instruments, and one console on each side of the cockpit contained various other instruments and controls such as the throttle, the wing incidence handle, the wing fold handle, the rudder trim wheel and the fuel transfer select switch. The ejection seat was designed by Vought as a derivation of the Douglas A-4 seat.  The yaw and pitch trim knobs and the trigger switch for operating the guns were located on the control stick which was positioned between the pilot’s knees.

Because the “stick and wire” portion of the control system terminated  at the slider valves on the hydraulic power control cylinders for the rudder, ailerons and horizontal tail surfaces, there was no “feedback” or feel by which the pilot could judge how much stick or rudder displacement was required to command a desired change in flight path. To overcome this characteristic, an “artificial feel” package was provided which induced a resistance to stick or pedal displacement and which was proportionate to displacement from neutral and provided the pilot with a means to judge required displacement.

More F8U:

XF8U-1 Innovative Systems
XF8U-1 In the Cockpit
A New Aircraft and a New Corporation
F8U-1 and F8U-1E Production Aircraft Changes
Life Extension
Loss of XF8U-3 Contract and a New Challenge
Last Flight - December 1999