Iraq the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Assyrians, Shabakis, Armenians, Mandeans and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan and Mandeanism present; the official languages of Iraq are Kurdish. Iraq has a coastline measuring 58 km on the northern Persian Gulf and encompasses the Mesopotamian Alluvial Plain, the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range and the eastern part of the Syrian Desert. Two major rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates, run south through Iraq and into the Shatt al-Arab near the Persian Gulf; these rivers provide Iraq with significant amounts of fertile land. The region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers known as Mesopotamia, is referred to as the cradle of civilisation.
It was here that mankind first began to read, create laws and live in cities under an organised government—notably Uruk, from which "Iraq" is derived. The area has been home to successive civilisations since the 6th millennium BC. Iraq was the centre of the Akkadian, Sumerian and Babylonian empires, it was part of the Median, Hellenistic, Sassanid, Rashidun, Abbasid, Mongol, Safavid and Ottoman empires. The country today known as Iraq was a region of the Ottoman Empire until the partition of the Ottoman Empire in the 20th century, it was made up of three provinces, called vilayets in the Ottoman language: Mosul Vilayet, Baghdad Vilayet, Basra Vilayet. In April 1920 the British Mandate of Mesopotamia was created under the authority of the League of Nations. A British-backed monarchy joining these vilayets into one Kingdom was established in 1921 under Faisal I of Iraq; the Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq gained independence from the UK in 1932. In 1958, the monarchy was overthrown and the Iraqi Republic created.
Iraq was controlled by the Arab Socialist Ba'ath Party from 1968 until 2003. After an invasion by the United States and its allies in 2003, Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party was removed from power, multi-party parliamentary elections were held in 2005; the US presence in Iraq ended in 2011, but the Iraqi insurgency continued and intensified as fighters from the Syrian Civil War spilled into the country. Out of the insurgency came a destructive group calling itself ISIL, which took large parts of the north and west, it has since been defeated. Disputes over the sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan continue. A referendum about the full sovereignty of Iraqi Kurdistan was held on 25 September 2017. On 9 December 2017, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi declared victory over ISIL after the group lost its territory in Iraq. Iraq is a federal parliamentary republic consisting of one autonomous region; the country's official religion is Islam. Culturally, Iraq has a rich heritage and celebrates the achievements of its past in both pre-Islamic as well as post-Islamic times and is known for its poets.
Its painters and sculptors are among the best in the Arab world, some of them being world-class as well as producing fine handicrafts, including rugs and carpets. Iraq is a founding member of the UN as well as of the Arab League, OIC, Non-Aligned Movement and the IMF; the Arabic name العراق al-ʿIrāq has been in use since before the 6th century. There are several suggested origins for the name. One dates to the Sumerian city of Uruk and is thus of Sumerian origin, as Uruk was the Akkadian name for the Sumerian city of Urug, containing the Sumerian word for "city", UR. An Arabic folk etymology for the name is "well-watered. During the medieval period, there was a region called ʿIrāq ʿArabī for Lower Mesopotamia and ʿIrāq ʿAjamī, for the region now situated in Central and Western Iran; the term included the plain south of the Hamrin Mountains and did not include the northernmost and westernmost parts of the modern territory of Iraq. Prior to the middle of the 19th century, the term Eyraca Arabic was used to describe Iraq.
The term Sawad was used in early Islamic times for the region of the alluvial plain of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, contrasting it with the arid Arabian desert. As an Arabic word, عراق means "hem", "shore", "bank", or "edge", so that the name by folk etymology came to be interpreted as "the escarpment", viz. at the south and east of the Jazira Plateau, which forms the northern and western edge of the "al-Iraq arabi" area. The Arabic pronunciation is. In English, it is either or, the American Heritage Dictionary, the Random House Dictionary; the pronunciation is heard in US media. In accordance with the 2005 Constitution, the official name of the state is the "Republic of Iraq". Between 65,000 BC and 35,000 BC northern Iraq was home to a Neanderthal culture, archaeological remains of which have been discovered at Shanidar Cave This same region is the location of a number of pre-Neolithic cemeteries, dating from 11,000 BC. Since 10,000 BC, Iraq was one of centres of a Caucasoid Neolithic culture (k
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 is a Soviet second generation, single-seat, twin jet-engined fighter aircraft. It was the first Soviet production aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight. A comparable U. S. "Century Series" fighter was the North American F-100 Super Sabre, although the MiG-19 would oppose the more modern McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and Republic F-105 Thunderchief over North Vietnam. On 20 April 1951, OKB-155 was given the order to develop the MiG-17 into a new fighter called "I-340", to be powered by two Mikulin AM-5 non-after-burning jet engines delivering 19.6 kN of thrust. The I-340 was supposed to attain 1,160 km/h at 2,000 m, 1,090 km/h at 10,000 m, climb to 10,000 m in 2.9 minutes, have a service ceiling of no less than 17,500 m. The new fighter, internally designated "SM-1", was designed around the "SI-02" airframe modified to accept two engines in a side-by-side arrangement and was completed in March 1952; the I-340 suffered from poor cockpit pressurization and the engines proved temperamental with frequent flameouts and surges with rapid throttle movements.
The engines were upgraded to the AM-5A standard delivering 21.1 kN of thrust each, which exceeded the power output of the Klimov VK-1F in afterburner while providing better fuel economy. The SM-1 was supersonic, reaching 1,193 km/h at 5,000 m; this performance was deemed insufficient for the new supersonic fighter and an after-burning version of the engine, the AM-5F, was proposed. While not implemented, the AM-5F served as the basis for the Tumansky RD-9 which powered production aircraft. Further development of the twin-engine concept resulted in a government request for the "I-360", internally designated "SM-2", powered by the AM-5F engines, but featured a swept wing; the I-360, built in 1952, had 1.6 m longer fuselage, wingspan reduced to 9.04 m, weight increased to 6,802 kg and a new 55° sweep wing. The Nudelman N-37D cannon were moved to the wing roots to open space in a nose for the radar. Cockpit and landing gear were redesigned and a vertical stabilizer of increased area mounting a T-tail was fitted.
In April 1952 the first prototype was sent to the Letno-Issledovatel'skiy Institut, flying for the first time on 27 May 1952 by G. A. Sedov, it was clear that the AM-5A engines were not powerful enough, they were replaced with AM-5F delivering 21.09–26.49 kN, allowing a maximum speed of M=1.19 in horizontal flight. Flight testing prompted modifications to the air-brakes and control surfaces, re-designated as the SM-2A and after further modifications the prototype was re-designated again as the SM-2B; the second prototype, SM-2/2 introduced horizontal stabilizers mounted on the upper rear fuselage and guns with shorter barrels. However the AM-5F engine was still not considered powerful enough, both prototypes received yet more powerful 25.5–31.9 kN Mikulin AM-5B engines. Production versions of the AM-5 were re-designated RD-9B and the SM-2B was re-designated SM-9/1 when these engines were fitted becoming the prototype of the MiG-19 series, flying for the first time on 5 January 1954, piloted by G. A. Sedov, making a total of 132 flights.
Final changes included a modified air intake, new 23 mm Nudelman-Rikhter NR-23 guns with 340 rpg, RSIU-3M "Klen" radio, "Uzel-1" transponder, SRDM-1M "Konus" radio-rangefinder. Initial enthusiasm for the aircraft was dampened by several problems, the most alarming inherited from MiG-15/MiG-17 was the danger of mid-air tank implosions when more than half of the fuel had been used—the leaking fuel of the crushed fuselage fuel tanks located between the engines would ignite, leading to a fatal explosion. Furthermore, deployment of air-brakes at high speeds caused a high-g pitch-up, elevators lacked authority at supersonic speeds, the aircraft possessed a high landing speed of 230 km/h. Absence of a two-seat trainer version slowed pilot transition to the type. Handling problems were addressed with the second prototype, SM-9/2, which added a third ventral air-brake and introduced all-moving tail-planes with a damper to prevent pilot-induced oscillations at subsonic speeds, flying for the first time on 16 September 1954, entering initial production as the MiG-19.
The Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union issued an order #286-133 to start serial production on 17 February 1954 at factories in Gorkiy and Novosibirsk. Factory trials were completed on 12 September 1954, government trials started on 30 September. Problems with the initial production MiG-19, were addressed in the SM-9/3 prototype which presaged the MiG-19S production version, which supplanted the initial MiG-19 in production at Gorkiy and Novosibirsk from June 1956. 5,500 MiG-19s of all versions were produced, in the USSR, Czechoslovakia as the Aero S-105 and People's Republic of China as the Shenyang J-6. The aircraft saw service with a number of other national air forces, including those of Cuba, North Vietnam, Egypt and North Korea; the aircraft saw combat during the Vietnam War, the 1967 Six-Day War, the 1971 Bangladesh War. All Soviet-built MiG-19 variants were single-seaters only, although the Chinese developed the Shenyang JJ-6 trainer version of the Shenyang J-6. With stabilization problems and "numerous crashes", the Russians had lost faith in the MiG-19, moved on to the newly emerging MiG-21
Lebanon known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent; the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established; as the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome; the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon; the French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon during the independence, Riad El-Solh, first Lebanese prime minister and Emir Majid Arslan II, first Lebanese minister of defence, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence.
Foreign troops withdrew from Lebanon on 31 December 1946, although the country was subjected to military occupations by Syria that lasted nearly thirty years before being withdrawn in April 2005 as well as the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon for fifteen years. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture and banking; because of its financial power and diversity in its heyday, Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, its capital, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world after the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as of the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning "white" from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon upon its independence in 1943; the borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states.
As part of the Levant, it was part of numerous succeeding empires throughout ancient history, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Achaemenid Persian, Hellenistic and Sasanid Persian empires. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires; the crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and
Infrared homing is a passive weapon guidance system which uses the infrared light emission from a target to track and follow it. Missiles which use infrared seeking are referred to as "heat-seekers", since infrared is radiated by hot bodies. Many objects such as people, vehicle engines and aircraft generate and emit heat, as such, are visible in the infrared wavelengths of light compared to objects in the background. Infrared seekers are passive devices, unlike radar, provide no indication that they are tracking a target; this makes them suitable for sneak attacks during visual encounters, or over longer ranges when used with a forward looking infrared system or similar cuing system. Heat-seekers are effective: 90% of all United States air combat losses over the past 25 years have been caused by infrared-homing missiles, they are, subject to a number of simple countermeasures, most notably dropping flares behind the target to provide false heat sources. This only works if the pilot is aware of the missile and deploys the countermeasures, the sophistication of modern seekers has rendered them ineffective.
The first IR devices were experimented with in the pre-World War II era. During the war, German engineers were working on heat seeking missiles and proximity fuses, but did not have time to complete development before the war ended. Practical designs did not become possible until the introduction of conical scanning and miniaturized vacuum tubes during the war. Anti-aircraft IR systems began in earnest in the late 1940s, but both the electronics and entire field of rocketry was so new that it required considerable development before the first examples entered service in the mid-1950s; these early examples had significant limitations and achieved low success rates in combat during the 1960s. A new generation developed in the 1970s and 80s made great strides and improved their lethality; the latest examples from the 1990s and on have the ability to attack targets out of their field of view, behind them, pick out vehicles on the ground. The infrared sensor package on the tip or head of a heat-seeking missile is known as the seeker head.
The NATO brevity code for an air-to-air infrared-guided missile launch is Fox Two. The ability of certain substances to give off electrons when struck by infrared light had been discovered by the famous Indian polymath Jagadish Chandra Bose in 1901, who saw the effect in galena, known today as lead sulfide, PbS. There was little application at the time, he allowed his 1904 patent to lapse. In 1917, Theodore Case, as part of his work on what became the Movietone sound system, discovered that a mix of thallium and sulfur was much more sensitive, but was unstable electrically and proved to be little use as a practical detector, it was used for some time by the US Navy as a secure communications system. In 1930 the introduction of the Ag-O-Cs photomultiplier provided the first practical solution to the detection of IR, combining it with a layer of galena as the photocathode. Amplifying the signal emitted by the galena, the photomultiplier produced a useful output that could be used for detection of hot objects at long ranges.
This sparked developments in a number of nations, notably the UK and Germany where it was seen as a potential solution to the problem of detecting night bombers. In the UK, research was plodding, with the main research team at Cavendish Labs expressing their desire to work on other projects after it became clear that radar was going to be a better solution. Frederick Lindemann, Winston Churchill's favorite on the Tizard Committee, remained committed to IR and became increasing obstructionist to the work of the Committee, otherwise pressing for radar development, they dissolved the Committee and reformed, leaving Lindemann off the roster, filling his position with well known radio expert Edward Victor Appleton. In Germany, radar research was not given nearly the same level of support as in the UK, competed with IR development throughout the 1930s. IR research was led by Edgar Kutzscher at the University of Berlin working in concert with AEG. By 1940 they had developed one solution; this provided enough light to see the target at short range, Spanner Anlage was fit to a small number of Messerschmitt Bf 110 and Dornier Do 17 night fighters.
These proved useless in practice and the pilots complained that the target only became visible at 200 metres, at which point they would have seen it anyway. Only 15 were built and were removed as German airborne radar systems improved though 1942. AEG had been working with the same systems for use on tanks, deployed a number of models through the war, with limited production of the FG 1250 beginning in 1943; this work culminated in the Zielgerät 1229 Vampir riflescope, used with the StG 44 assault rifle for night use. The devices mentioned were all detectors, not seekers, they produce either a signal indicating the general direction of the target, or in the case of devices, an image. Guidance was manual by an operator looking at the image. There were a number of efforts in Germany during the war to produce a true automatic seeker system, both for anti-aircraft use as well as against ships; these devices were still in development.
The Matra Super 530 is a French short to medium-range air-to-air missile. The Super 530 series is an improved type of the R.530 missile. Super 530F is carried on the Dassault Mirage F1, it was introduced in 1979. Super 530D is carried on the Dassault-Breguet Mirage 2000, it was introduced in 1988. The Super 530 is being replaced by the MICA; the Super 530D retains the same general aerodynamic features and internal layout as its Super 530F predecessor, with cruciform low aspect ratio wings and cruciform aft controls. However, the stainless steel body is longer to accommodate a new radome & seeker assembly and a new and more powerful dual-thrust solid propellant motor; the missile is 3.80 metres long, has a body diameter of 263 mm, a wingspan of 0.62 metres and with the same warhead as the Super 530F missile, weighing 270 kg. Guidance is by the mono-pulse AD26 CW Doppler semi-active seeker, which has improved ECCM capability, improved capability against low-flying targets; the missile's guidance unit is fitted with digital micro-processing, which enables the seeker to be reprogrammed against new threats.
The missile has a claimed maximum interception altitude of 24,400 m, with a snap-up capability of 12,200 m, a snap-down capability to targets at 60 m. The missile has a range of 40 km and a maximum speed of Mach 5. France Egypt India Jordan Qatar Kuwait Peru Greece Iraq Operated Super 530F during the Iran–Iraq War. No longer active. Spain 40 missiles Super 530F sold second hand along with 12 Mirage F-1EDA/DDA to Qatar. Decommissioned. Brazil Type:D Length: 3.80 metres Body Diameter: 263 mm Wing Span: 0.62 metres Launch Weight: 275 kg Warhead: 30 kg HE-FRAG Fuse: Active radar Guidance: Semi-active radar Propulsion: Solid propellant Range: 37 km
Mécanique Aviation Traction or Matra was a French company covering a wide range of activities related to automobiles, bicycles and weaponry. In 1994, it now operates under that name. Matra was owned by the Floirat family; the name Matra became famous in the 1960s when it went into car production by buying Automobiles René Bonnet. Matra Automobiles produced successful racing sports cars. By merging with various companies, Matra's CEO, Jean-Luc Lagardère, built a group around Matra diversified in media, state of the art technology, aeronautics and in automobiles and records production and distribution. Matra was privatized in 1988, with Lagardère holding 6% of the stock and by 1992, 25%. In 1992 the Lagardère Group was radically restructured. Lagardère merged Matra and Hachette to form Matra Hachette, of which Lagardère Group held 37.6%. Following a share swap in 1994 Lagardère held 93.3% of Matra Hachette's stock. In 1996 Matra Hachette was formally merged into Lagardère. Matra Hautes Technologies was the defence arm of Matra.
The company was involved in aerospace and telecommunications. In February 1999 MHT merged with Aérospatiale to form Aérospatiale-Matra. On July 10, 2000 Aérospatiale-Matra became part of EADS. Matra Défense Matra Systèmes & Information Matra BAe Dynamics, formed in 1996, Matra BAe Dynamics brought together the missile business of BAe and half of the missile business of Matra Défense.. Matra Marconi Space, was the space division of Matra which merged with the space operations of GEC in 1989 to form Matra Marconi Space. In 2000, it was merged with the space division of DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG to form Astrium; this was renamed to EADS Astrium. Matra Nortel Communications R.511 air to air missiles R.530 air to air missiles Super 530 air to air missiles R.550 Magic air to air missiles MICA air to air missiles R.422 surface to air missiles Mistral anti-aircraft missiles Martel anti-radar and anti-shipping missiles in association with Hawker Siddeley ARMAT anti-radar missiles Otomat anti-shipping missiles in association with Oto Melara BLG 66 Belouga cluster bombs Durandal anti-runway bombs Pods for the SNEB unguided rocket The company was created following the acquisition of the brand Automobiles René Bonnet in 1964 by Jean-Luc Lagardere and disappeared in 2003 The Matra name was first used for road cars with the Renault-powered Matra Djet, an update of the Bonnet Jet, the Djet was replaced with the Matra 530, the Murena and the Rancho, an early type of sport utility vehicle.
In 1984 Renault launched the Matra built Espace minivan, the car was a success. After the discontinuation of the Renault Avantime, on February 27, 2003, Matra announced its intention to close its automobile factory in Romorantin-Lanthenay a month later. In September 2003, Pininfarina SpA acquired Matra Automobile's engineering and prototype businesses; the company was subsequently named Matra Automobile Engineering. On January 13, 2009, Pininfarina sold its share in Matra Automobile Engineering to Segula Technologies. Matra Djet Matra 530 Matra Bagheera Matra Murena Matra Rancho Renault Espace Renault Avantime In the mid-1960s Matra enjoyed considerable success in Formula 3 and Formula 2 racing with its MS5 monocoque-based car, winning the French and European championships. Matra competed as a constructor in Formula One from 1967 to 1972 and as an engine supplier between 1975 to 1982, winning the drivers' and constructors' championships in 1969. Matra competed in sports car racing from 1966 to 1974 winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1972, 1973 and 1974 and the World Championship for Makes in 1973 and 1974.
Matra sponsored Racing Club de France in 1987~1989 Matra produced a home computer, the Matra Alice Matra produced a fiberglass 14 ft sailing dinghy with an innovative double bottom, self-bailing hull called the Capricorne. Though several hundred were sold and a class association existed, it never caught on against the better established International 420. Matra created an automatic light rubber-tyred metro, the Véhicule Automatique Léger Matra attempted, failed, to produce a personal rapid transit system, Aramis Matra makes electric bicycles and electric scooters Matra i-step Runner and Force as well as Matra i-flow in Romorantin. Official website matraclub.com matra-automobile.com History of Renault Espace includes opinions about demise of Matra
Vought F-8 Crusader
The Vought F-8 Crusader is a single-engine, carrier-based air superiority jet aircraft built by Vought for the United States Navy and Marine Corps, for the French Navy. The first F-8 prototype was ready for flight in February 1955; the F-8 served principally in the Vietnam War. The Crusader was the last American fighter with guns as the primary weapon, earning it the title "The Last of the Gunfighters"; the RF-8 Crusader was a photo-reconnaissance development and operated longer in U. S. service than any of the fighter versions. RF-8s played a crucial role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, providing essential low-level photographs impossible to acquire by other means. U. S. Naval Reserve units continued to operate the RF-8 until 1987. In September 1952, the United States Navy announced a requirement for a new fighter, it was to have a top speed of Mach 1.2 at 30,000 ft with a climb rate of 25,000 ft/min, a landing speed of no more than 100 mph. Korean War experience had demonstrated that 0.50 inch machine guns were no longer sufficient and as the result the new fighter was to carry a 20 mm cannon.
In response, the Vought team led by John Russell Clark, created the V-383. Unusual for a fighter, the aircraft had a high-mounted wing which necessitated the use of a fuselage-mounted short and light landing gear; the Crusader was powered by a Whitney J57 turbojet engine. The engine was equipped with an afterburner that, unlike on engines, was either lit, or off; the engine produced 18,000 lb of thrust at full power, enough to allow the F-8 to climb straight up in clean configuration. The Crusader was the first jet fighter in US service to reach 1,000 mph. S. Navy pilot R. W. Windsor reached 1,015 mph on a flight in 1956; the most innovative aspect of the design was the variable-incidence wing which pivoted by 7° out of the fuselage on takeoff and landing. This allowed a greater angle of attack; this innovation helped the F-8's development team win the Collier Trophy in 1956. The lift was augmented by leading-edge slats drooping by 25° and inboard flaps extending to 30°; the rest of the aircraft took advantage of contemporary aerodynamic innovations with area-ruled fuselage, all-moving stabilators, dog-tooth notching at the wing folds for improved yaw stability, liberal use of titanium in the airframe.
The armament, as specified by the Navy, consisted of four 20 mm autocannon. S. fighter designed with guns as its primary weapon. They were supplemented with a retractable tray with 32 unguided Mk 4/Mk 40 Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket, cheek pylons for two guided AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. In practice, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles were the F-8's primary weapon. Moreover, it achieved nearly all of its kills with Sidewinders. Vought presented a tactical reconnaissance version of the aircraft called the V-392. Major competition came from the Grumman F-11 Tiger, the upgraded twin-engine McDonnell F3H Demon, lastly, the North American F-100 Super Sabre hastily adapted to carrier use and dubbed the "Super Fury". In May 1953, the Vought design was declared a winner and in June, Vought received an order for three XF8U-1 prototypes; the first prototype flew on 25 March 1955 with John Konrad at the controls. The aircraft exceeded the speed of sound during its maiden flight; the development was so trouble-free that the second prototype, along with the first production F8U-1, flew on the same day, 30 September 1955.
On 4 April 1956, the F8U-1 performed its first catapult launch from Forrestal. In parallel with the F8U-1s and -2s, the Crusader design team was working on a larger aircraft with ever-greater performance, internally designated as the V-401. Although the Vought XF8U-3 Crusader III was externally similar to the Crusader and sharing with it such design elements as the variable incidence wing, the new fighter was larger and shared few components. Prototype XF8U-1s were evaluated by VX-3 with few problems noted. Weapons development was conducted at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and a China Lake F8U-1 set a U. S. National speed record in August 1956. Commander "Duke" Windsor set and set a new Level Flight Speed Record of 1,015.428 mph on 21 August 1956 beating the previous record of 822 mph set by a USAF F-100. An early F8U-1 was modified as a photo-reconnaissance aircraft, becoming the first F8U-1P. Subsequently, the RF-8A was equipped with cameras rather than missiles. On 16 July 1957, Major John H. Glenn Jr, USMC, completed the first supersonic transcontinental flight in a F8U-1P, flying from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to Floyd Bennett Field, New York, in 3 hours, 23 minutes, 8.3 seconds.
VX-3 was one of the first units to receive the F8U-1 in December 1956, was the first to operate the type in April 1957, from USS Franklin D. Roosevelt. VX-3 was the first unit to qualify for carrier operations but several aircraft were lost in accidents, several of them fatal to their pilots; the first fleet squadron to fly the Crusader was VF-32 at NAS Cecil Field, Florida, in 1957, which deployed to the Mediterranean late that year on Saratoga. VF-32 renamed the squadron the "Swordsmen" in keeping with the Crusade