The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a military jet fighter aircraft that served with the USAF from 1954-1971 and with the ANG until 1979. It was the successor to the F-86 Sabre.

Development work began in 1949 for a supersonic interceptor and prototype construction started in 1951 when the company won a contract for 110 aircraft. The first YF-100 prototype flew on May 25, 1953 with a Pratt & Whitney J57 engine, it broke the sound-barrier on its first flight. The YF-100 set a world speed record in October 1953 at 754.99 mph. The first aircraft, the F-100A, were delivered in late 1953 and became operational from September 1954. Despite the testing, there were a number of operational crashes that grounded the aircraft from November 1954 until February 1955 when the problem (stability) was identified and solved (larger control surfaces).

The F-100A was followed by the F-100C (1954, 476 built) and the F-100D (1956, 1,274 built) fighter-bombers, with increased wing-area, fin and rudder size, six underwing hard-points and improved electronics. The F-100D was an unforgiving aircraft, over 500 were lost in accidents by USAF pilots. The final production variant was the F-100F tandem trainer (339 built), first flown in 1956 it was stretched by 3 m to accommodate the second crew.

The Super Sabre, especially the F-100D was widely used in the Vietnam War, but was replaced from 1966 on tougher missions by the F-4 and the F-105. The aircraft served in Vietnam until 1971.

Specification (F-100D)

  • Wingspan: 11.81 m Area: 36 mē
  • Length: 14.38 m
  • Height: 4.95 m
  • Weight: 9,545 kg (empty) 15,833 kg (maximum)
  • Engine: Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21A (7,727 kg static thrust with afterburning)
  • Performance: 1,239 km/hr (sea level) 1,390 km/hr (at 10,668 m)
  • Ceiling: 14,325 m
  • Range: 859 km (internal) 3,210 km (maximum)
  • Crew: 1
  • Armament: Four 20 mm cannon; 7,000 lb on underwing hard-points, including "special stores"

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