Vought FU

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 obsolescent, and the two-seaters primarily served as trainers and utility aircraft.

Vought FU
Class Aircraft
Type Fighter
Manufacturer Vought
Origin United States of America
Country Name Origin Year
United States of America 1927
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
Peru 1927 1929 View
United States of America 1927 1929 View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Vought 20 View

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

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


  • Guns: 2 x .30 in machine guns

End notes