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F-100 Super Sabre
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F-100 Super Sabre

North American F-100 Super Sabre

F-100 Super Sabre
Role interceptor fighter, fighter-bomber
Crew 1
First Flight 1953
Entered Service 1954
Manufacturer North American Aviation
Length 50 ft 15.2 m
Wingspan 38 ft 9 in 11.8 m
Height 16 ft 2.75 in 4.9 m
Wing area 400 ft² 37.2 m²
Empty 21,000 lb 9,500 kg
Loaded 28,847 lb 13,084 kg
Maximum takeoff 34,832 lb 15,800 kg
Engine Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21/21A turbojet
Thrust 10,200 lb dry
16,000 lb afterburner
45 kN dry
71 kN afterburner
Maximum speed 864 mph 1,390 km/h
Combat range 1995 miles 3,210 km
Ferry range miles km
Service ceiling 50,000 ft 15,000 m
Rate of climb 19,000 ft/min 5,800 m/min
Wing loading lb/ft² kg/m²
Gun tracking radar AN/APR-25(v)
Radar warning receiver AN/APR-26(v)
Automatic pilot Minneapolis-Honeywell MB-3
Low-altitude bombing system AN/AJB-1B
Guns 4 × 20 mm Pontiac M-39 cannon
Bombs Mk 7, Mk 28, Mk 43, Mk 57, Mk 61 and TX-43 nuclear weapons
Up to 7040 lb (3,190 kg) of conventional bombs
Missiles 4 × AIM-9 Sidewinder
GAM-83 Bullpup

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was a jet fighter aircraft that served with the USAF from 1954 to 1971 and with the ANG until 1979. It was the successor to the F-86 Sabre, the first of the century series of US jet fighters, and the first US fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight.

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 (1,215 km/h). 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.

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