Early on the morning of March 25, 1955, John W. Konrad, chief
test pilot for Chance Vought Aircraft Company, climbed into the
cockpit of the first XF8U-1 Crusader, taxied the airplane onto
the dry lake bed of the Muroc test area at Edwards AFB, Calif.,
and took off. That first flight of the F-8, an historic one,
lasted 52 minutes.
Konrad pushed the F-8 past Mach-1 on its maiden flight and
proved to the world that the Crusader was the airplane that
would take the Navy "out of the third row and put it right up
front" in aerospace history.
The prototype XF8U-1 was powered by a Pratt and Whitney
J57-P-11 turbojet engine, developing 9,700 pounds static thrust
and 14,800 pounds with afterburner.
That original, prototype F-8 Crusader made its last flight on
October 25, 1960, a cross-country mission from Dallas to
Washington, D.C. where it landed at National Airport and was
presented to the Smithsonian Air Museum. It's on display there