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Colours & Markings: F-8E(FN) Crusader

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In June 1994, F-8P #3 (BuNo 151734) of Flotille 12.F based at Landivisiau NAS received "invasion stripes" to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Normandy landings. The F-8P (for Prolongé – extended lifespan) was painted in a blue-grey similar to the RAF PRU Blue used in World War II.

F-8E(FN) #34 of Flottille 12.F carrying two Matra 550 Magic II IR missiles. French Crusaders could carry AIM-9 Sidewinders or French-built Magic I and Magic II missiles. #34 was later refurbished to F-8P standard in August 1993. The F-8P was basically an overhauled F-8E(FN) with some extra avionics and a RWR installed in the fin.

F-8P #11 of Flottille 12.F received a special livery for the retirement of the type in 1999. Note the Donald Duck painted on the aircraft's back. Due to attrition and wear, only half a dozen Crusaders were then left in service.

This is F-8P #10 of Flotille 12.F. This aircraft is preserved in the Le Bourget Air & Space Museum. Notice the “Donald Duck” unit badge on the fin. A smaller version of it has also been painted under the canopy.

F-8P #35 is now preserved in Savigny-les-Beaune with these markings. An enlarged version of Flotille 12.F's Donal Duck mascot carrying a trident instead of the usual shotgun is located on the fin, while the air intake has been decorated with a sharkmouth, probably making #34 the most colourful Crusader in French service.

Port view of n°35 as preserved in Savigny-les-Beaune, bearing a different logo on the starboard side of the fin. This aircraft was modified to become the F-8P prototype.