Vought FU


Vought FU-1 of VF-2.jpg
FU-1 of VF-2 in 1928
Role Fighter aircraft
National origin United States of America
Manufacturer Vought
Introduction 1927
Retired 1929
Primary user United States Navy
Number built 20

The Vought FU was a biplane fighter aircraft of the United States Navy in service during the late 1920s.

Design and development

Vought UO-1 photo from Aero Digest June 1926

Pleased with the company's VE-7, in 1926 the Navy gave Vought a $459,709 contract for 20 convertible land/sea fighters. Vought already had a two-seat observation plane, the UO-1, basically a VE with additional fuselage streamlining and a Wright J-3 radial engine. This was made into a fighter simply by covering over the front cockpit of the observation plane, mounting machine guns in that area, and upgrading to a 220 hp Wright R-790 Whirlwind with a supercharger. With the help of the supercharger, the newly designated FU-1 was able to reach a speed of 147 mph at 13,000 ft.

The FU-1s were delivered to VF-2B based in San Diego, California. With their float gear mounted, one was assigned to each of the battleships of the Pacific Fleet, where these observation seaplanes were launched from catapults. They spent eight months in this role, but as the squadron went to aircraft carrier operations, the further-aft cockpit proved to have a visibility problem when maneuvering around a carrier deck. In response, the forward cockpit was re-opened, the resulting aircraft being designated FU-2.

By this time they were obsolescent, and the two-seaters served primarily as trainers and utility aircraft.


 United States

Specifications (FU-1)

Vought UO-1 3-view drawing from Aero Digest July 1926

Data from United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Length: 28 ft 4.5 in (8.65 m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 4 in (10.47 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
  • Wing area: 270 sq ft (25.1 m2)
  • Airfoil: Navy N-9
  • Empty weight: 2,074 lb (943 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,774 lb (1,260 kg)
  • Powerplant: × Wright J-5 Whirlwind 9 cylinder air cooled radial engine, 220 hp (164 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 106 kn (122 mph, 196 km/h) at sea level
  • Range: 357 nmi (410 mi, 660 km)
  • Service ceiling: 26,500 ft (8,080 m)
  • Wing loading: 10.3 lb/sq ft (50.2 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.079 hp/lb (0.13 kW/kg)
  • Climb to 5,000 ft (1,520 m): 5 minutes




  1. ^ Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p.389.


  • Jones, Lloyd S. U.S. Naval Fighters. Fallbrook CA: Aero Publishers, 1977, ISBN 0-8168-9254-7, pp. 53–54.
  • Swanborough, Gordon and Bowers, Peter. United States Navy Aircraft since 1911. London:Putnam, Second edition, 1976. ISBN 0-370-10054-9.

External links

Media related to Vought FU at Wikimedia Commons