American postwar aircraft
North American F-100 Super Sabre
The F-100 began life as a company funded project to improve on the basic F-86 Sabre
design. The program didn't receive any military interest until the F-86
was pitted against the Russian MiG-15
in the skies over Korea.
Early Korean War experience made it evident that the
Communist Bloc had brought themselves close to their western enemies in fighter design.
The U.S. Air Force, not content with this, awarded North American Aviation a contract to
produce two YF-100A prototypes and an F-100A production version in Nov. 1951. Thus was
born the first of the century series fighters.
The Super Sabre became the first fighter to attain
level flight supersonic speed, doing so during its maiden flight Oct. 29, 1953. The F-100
became operational in Sept. 1954.
The F-100 had originally been designed as an air
superiority fighter, but the "A" model was the only pure air superiority
version. The "B" model was an all weather fighter. As the Air Force began to
realize the F-84
fighter-bomber fleets were showing
signs of senility, the logical choice was to modify the F-100. Thus was born the F-100C.
The "D" model was the definitive version with 1,274 examples eventually
produced. It had improvements in both aerodynamics and weapons delivery, capable of
carrying nuclear weapons.
The F-100 is best remembered for the years it spent on
the United States Air Force Thunderbirds
aerial demonstration team.
This F-100 was delivered to the Air Force Sept. 14,
1955 and served with the 450th Fighter Day Group and the 322nd Fighter Day Group, Foster
AFB, Texas, from September 1955 until June 1958. It was later retired in January 1975.
||North American Aviation
||Pratt & Whitney J-57-P-21A turbojet with afterburner
||864 mph (Mach 1,3)
||1 390 km/h
|Initial climb rate
||5 800 m/min
||15 250 m
||3 210 km
|Max. takeoff weight
||15 800 kg
||4x cannon 20mm Pontiac M-39; 6 underwing hard points for
bombs, rockets, external fuel tanks, nuclear bomb Mk-28 or Mk-43/57/61 (up to 3,190 kg);
later version 4x AIM-9
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