Crusader III (Naval Fighters # 87) is a paperback book measuring 8-1/2” X 11” and consists of 92 pages. The cover and pages are printed on polished paper. The book is full of sharp black and white photographs only with accompanying text. Also included are 3-view drawings, comparison tables, line drawings and performance charts.
The author begins by setting the stage for one of the closest aircraft selection competitions the Navy ever experienced. It began in 1953 when Vought’s F8U-1 Crusader beat out McDonnell’s entry for a high-performance day fighter. When the Navy went looking for an all-weather (night) fighter, the competition began.
Thompson states, “The Navy also preferred to deploy two different carrier-based fighters with complementary attributes…” In addition, having different fighters with different engines in a carrier group ensured a degree of safety in case one engine or aircraft type had a problem.