Military Wiki
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
Developed from Vought UO

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

Pleased with the company's VE-7, in 1926 the Navy gave Vought a $459,709 contract for convertible land/sea 20 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 they were launched from catapults. They spent 8 months in this role, but as the squadron went to aircraft carrier operations, the further-aft cockpit proved to a visibility problem when maneuvering around a carrier deck. In response, the forward cockpit was re-opened, the result being designated FU-2.

By this time they were no longer state-of-the-art, and the two-seaters primarily served as trainers and utility aircraft.


United States

Specifications (FU-1)

Data from United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 [1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 28 ft 4½ in (8.65 m)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 4 in (10.47 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
  • Wing area: 270 ft² (25.1 m²)
  • Airfoil: Navy N-9
  • Empty weight: 2,074 lb (943 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,774 lb (1,260 kg)


  • Maximum speed: 106 knots (122 mph, 196 km/h) at sea level
  • Range: 357 NM (410 mi, 660 km)
  • Service ceiling: 26,500 ft (8,080 m)
  • Wing loading: 10.3 lb/ft² (50.2 kg/m²)
  • 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

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