North American F-100A Super Sabre

  • North American F-100A Super Sabre
  • North American F-100A Super Sabre
  • North American F-100A Super Sabre

History of the F-100A Super Sabre

The F-100A first took flight in 1953 and was the United States (US) Air Force’s first operational aircraft capable of flying faster than the speed of sound (760 mph) in level flight. It eventually set the world speed record in 1955. Originally developed as an air-superiority aircraft to replace the F-86, the F-100 evolved into an effective fighter-bomber and flew many ground-attack missions during the Vietnam War.

North American F-100A-5-NA Super Sabre Blueprint

North American F-100A-5-NA Super Sabre

Serial Number: 52-5777

Manufacturer: North American Aviation

Crew: One

Engines: One Pratt & Whitney J57-P-7 turbojet; 14,800 pounds thrust with afterburner

Wingspan: 47 feet 1 1/4 inches

Length: 38 feet 9 inches

Height: 15 feet 8 inches

Weight: 18,185 pounds (empty); 24,996 pounds (maximum)

Speed: 760 mph at sea level (maximum); 852 mph at 35,000 feet

Range: 358 miles (normal); 1,294 miles (maximum)

Service Ceiling: 51,000 feet

Armament: Four Pontiac M-39 20mm cannon (200 rounds per gun); up to 1,000 pounds ordnance

Cost: $664,000 (approximate)

The F-100A Super Sabre at Hill Air Force Base

At the end of 1960, twenty aircraft were assigned to Hill Air Force Base, two of which were F-100s. The F-100A on display was manufactured in 1954 and served on several different bases in the US. In 1961, the aircraft was sent to Utah State University in Logan, Utah, for display and aircraft maintenance education. In 1981, the aircraft moved to Hill Air Force Base for eventual display. Four years later, this airframe was restored to resemble one of the flights-test F-100s once assigned to Hill Air Force Base and is now on display at Hill Aerospace Museum.

What replaced the F-100 Super Sabre?

First introduced in 1954, the Sabre was primarily used over the skies of South Vietnam for close air support, before being replaced by the F-4 Phantom.

How good was the F-100?

While the F-100 set speed records and performed acceptably as a fighter, it unfortunately never managed to shoot down an enemy aircraft.

Did the F-100 have a radar?

The Sabre did not have a traditional radar—capable of detecting and tracking targets for air-to-air munitions—instead having a range-only radar for its four 20mm cannons.

Can the Sabre go supersonic?

The Super Sabre was the first production aircraft capable of breaking the speed of sound while maintaining level flight.

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