North American F-100 Super Sabre

TypeFighter, Fighter-bomber, Attack aircraft, Wild Weasel
Country of originUnited States
ManufacturerNorth American Aviation
First flight25 May 1953
Introduced27 September 1954
Numbers built2,294
Unit costsUS$697,029 (F-100D) ($5.7 million in today's dollars)
Max speed750 kn (864 mph, 1,390 km/h, Mach 1.13)
Max rangeRange: 1,733 NM (1,995 mi, 3,210 km)
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
DimensionsLength: 50 ft (15.2 m)
Wingspan: 38 ft 9 in (11.81 m)
Height: 16 ft 2¾ in (4.95 m)
Wing area: 400 ft² (37 m²)
WeightEmpty weight: 21,000 lb (9,500 kg)
Loaded weight: 28,847 lb (13,085 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 34,832 lb (15,800 kg)
Powerplant1 x Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21/21A turbojet
Dry thrust: 10,200 lbf (45 kN)
Thrust with afterburner: 16,000 lbf (71 kN)
ArmamentGuns: 4x 20 mm (0.787 in) Pontiac M39A1 revolver cannon

4x AIM-9 Sidewinder or
2x AGM-12 Bullpup or
2x or 4× LAU-3/A 2.75" unguided rocket dispenser

Bombs: 7,040 lb (3,190 kg) of weapons, including
Conventional bombs or
Mark 7 nuclear bomb or
Mk 28 nuclear bomb or
Mk 38 nuclear bomb or
Mk 43 nuclear bomb
OperatorsFormer Operators:
Denmark, France, Republic of China (Taiwan), Turkey, United States

The North American F-100 Super Sabre was developed from the famous F-86 Sabre. The F-100 Super Sabre, often called as the Hun which means one hundred, served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971. The fighter also served with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979. The F-100 was the first USAF fighter that could reach supersonic speed in level flight. The fighter was developed to maintain air superiority as the F-86 did.

The F-100 saw combats over the sky of South Vietnam providing close air support to ground troops during the Vietnam War until supplanted by the A-7 Corsair II. The F-100 also served with several air forces of NATO members.

The Development of F-100

North American Aviation proposed a supersonic day fighter to the USAF in January 1951. The design was developed from F-86 Sabre and it was called Sabre 45 referring its 45 degree wing sweep. The aircraft used titanium at almost all parts of the structure.

In November 1951, the design used a new designation of F-100 and the proposal was accepted by the USAF. Starting January 1952, the USAF ordered 275 units of F-100A (including two prototypes).

The first prototype, the YF-100A, had its maiden flight on 25 May 1953. However, the initial production started out in 1954 as some design deficiencies were found despite the new fighter had superior performance.

The Tactical Air Command (TAC), however, was forced to order F-100A into service as the expected F-84F Thunderstreak program was postponed with new request: the F-100 should be able to carry nuclear bombs.

The Variants of F-100

  • YF-100A – A prototype.
  • YQF-100 – Test unmanned drone version.
  • F-100A – Single-seat day fighter.
  • RF-100A (“Slick Chick”) – Six F-100A aircraft modified for photo reconnaissance in 1954.
  • F-100B – Featured many innovations and radical design features.
  • F-100BI – Proposed interceptor version of F-100B.
  • F-100C – Featured additional fuel tanks in the wings, fighter-bomber capability, probe-and-drogue refueling capability, uprated J57-P-21 engine on late production aircraft.
  • TF-100C – One F-100C converted into a two-seat training aircraft.
  • F-100D – Single-seat fighter-bomber, more advanced avionics, larger wing and tail fin, landing flaps.
  • F-100F – Two-seat training version, armament decreased from four to two cannon.
  • DF-100F – This designation was given to one F-100F that was used as drone director.
  • NF-100F – Three F-100Fs used for test purposes, the prefix “N” indicates that modifications prevented return to regular operational service.
  • TF-100F – Specific Danish designation given to 14 F-100Fs exported to Denmark in 1974, in order to distinguish these from the 10 F-100Fs delivered 1959–1961.
  • QF-100 – Unmanned radio-controlled FSAT (Full Scale Aerial Target) drone and drone directors for testing and destruction by modern air-to-air missiles used by current US Air Force fighter jets.
  • F-100J – Unbuilt all-weather export version for Japan.
  • F-100L – Unbuilt variant with a J57-P-55 engine.
  • F-100N – Unbuilt version with simplified avionics.
  • F-100S – Proposed French-built F-100F with Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan engine.

North American F-100 Super Sabre videos

North American F-100 Super Sabre

F-100 Super Sabre – Bob Hoover – flight test

Report an error

Related Military Aircraft: