North American YF-100A Super Sabre N-Listings North American F-100A Super Sabre

North American YQF-100 “Super Sabre”
Test unmanned drone version aircraft

The YQF-100 “Super Sabre” 1

The North American YQF-100 “Super Sabre” was a series of nine test unmanned drone versions. The conversions included two F-100D models, one YQF-100F F-100F-model, see DF-100F, and six other test versions.

Archive Photos 1,6

North American YQF-100 “Super Sabre”

Overview ¹

  • North American F-100 “Super Sabre”
  • Role: Fighter, Fighter-bomber, Attack aircraft, Wild Weasel
  • Manufacturer: North American Aviation
  • First flight: 25 May 1953
  • Introduction: 27 September 1954
  • Retired: 1988 Republic of China Air Force
  • Status: Phased out of service
  • Primary users: United States Air Force; Turkish Air Force; Republic of China Air Force; French Air Force
  • Produced: 1953-1959
  • Number built: 2,294
  • Unit cost: US$697,029 (F-100D) ($6.03 million in today's dollars)
  • Developed from: North American North American F-86 “Sabre”
  • Developed into: North American F-107

The North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was a supersonic jet fighter aircraft that served with the United States Air Force (USAF) from 1954 to 1971 and with the Air National Guard (ANG) until 1979. The first of the Century Series collection of USAF jet fighters, it was the first USAF fighter capable of supersonic speed in level flight. The North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was originally designed by North American Aviation as a higher performance follow-on to the North American F-86 “Sabre” air superiority fighter.

Adapted as a fighter bomber, the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” would be supplanted by the Mach 2 class Republic F-105 “Thunderchief” for strike missions over North Vietnam. The North American F-100 “Super Sabre” flew extensively over South Vietnam as the Air Force's primary close air support jet until replaced by the more efficient subsonic LTV A-7 “Corsair II”. The North American F-100 “Super Sabre” also served in other NATO air forces and with other U.S. allies. In its later life, it was often referred to as the “Hun,” a shortened version of “one hundred.”

Design and Development ¹

In January 1951, North American Aviation delivered an unsolicited proposal for a supersonic day fighter to the United States Air Force. Named “Sabre 45” because of its 45° wing sweep, it represented an evolution of the North American F-86 “Sabre”. The mock-up was inspected 7 July 1951 and after over a hundred modifications, the new aircraft was accepted as the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” on 30 November 1951. Extensive use of titanium throughout the aircraft was notable. On 3 January 1952, the USAF ordered two prototypes followed by twenty-three North American F-100A “Super Sabres” in February and an additional 250 North American F-100A “Super Sabres” in August.

The North American YF-100A “Super Sabre” first flew on 25 May 1953, seven months ahead of schedule. It reached Mach 1.05 in spite of being fitted with a de-rated XJ57-P-7 engine. The second prototype flew on 14 October 1953, followed by the first production North American F-100A “Super Sabre” on 9 October 1953. The USAF operational evaluation from November 1953 to December 1955 found the new fighter to have superior performance but declared it not ready for wide scale deployment due to various deficiencies in the design. These findings were subsequently confirmed during “Project Hot Rod” operational suitability tests. Particularly troubling was the yaw instability in certain regimes of flight which produced inertia coupling. The aircraft could develop a sudden yaw and roll which would happen too fast for the pilot to correct and would quickly over stress the aircraft structure to disintegration. It was under these conditions that North American's chief test pilot, George Welch, was killed while dive testing an early-production North American F-100A “Super Sabre” on 12 October 1954. Another control problem stemmed from handling characteristics of the swept wing at high angles of attack. As the aircraft approached stall speeds, loss of lift on the tips of the wings caused a violent pitch-up. This particular phenomenon (which could easily be fatal at low altitude where there was insufficient time to recover) became known as the "Sabre Dance".

Nevertheless, delays in the Republic F-84F “Thunderstreak” program pushed the Tactical Air Command to order the raw North American F-100A “Super Sabre” into service. TAC also requested that future North American F-100 “Super Sabres” should be fighter-bombers, with the capability of delivering nuclear bombs.

The North American YF-107A “Ultra Sabre” was a follow-on Mach 2 development of the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” with the air intake moved above and behind the cockpit. It was not developed in favor of the Republic F-105 “Thunderchief”.

Operational History ¹

The North American F-100 “Super Sabre”A officially entered USAF service on 27 September 1954 with 479th Fighter Wing at George AFB, California. By 10 November 1954, the North American F-100A “Super Sabre” suffered six major accidents due to flight instability, structural failures, and hydraulic system failures, prompting the Air Force to ground the entire fleet until February 1955. The 479th finally became operational in September 1955. Due to ongoing problems, the Air Force began phasing out the North American F-100A “Super Sabre” in 1958, with the last aircraft leaving active duty in 1961. By that time, 47 aircraft were lost in major accidents. Escalating tension due to construction of the Berlin Wall in August 1961 forced the USAF to recall the North American F-100A “Super Sabres” into active service in early 1962. The aircraft was finally retired in 1970.

The TAC request for a fighter-bomber was addressed with The North American F-100C “Super Sabre” which flew in March 1954 and entered service on 14 July 1955 with the 450th Fighter Wing, Foster AFB, Texas. Operational testing in 1955 revealed that the North American F-100C “Super Sabre” was at best an interim solution, sharing all the vices of the North American F-100A “Super Sabre”. The uprated J57-P-21 engine boosted performance but continued to suffer from compressor stalls. On a positive note, the North American F-100C “Super Sabre” was considered an excellent platform for nuclear toss bombing because of its high top speed. The inertia coupling problem was more or less addressed with installation of a yaw damper in the 146th North American F-100C “Super Sabre”, later retrofitted to earlier aircraft. A pitch damper was added starting with the 301st North American F-100C “Super Sabre”, at a cost of US$10,000 per aircraft.

The addition of "wet" hardpoints meant the North American F-100C “Super Sabre” could carry a pair of 275 U.S. gal (1,040 liter) and a pair of 200 U.S. gal (770 liter) drop tanks. However, the combination caused loss of directional stability at high speeds and the four tanks were soon replaced by a pair of 450 U.S. gal (1,730 liter) drop tanks. The 450's proved scarce and expensive and were often replaced by smaller 335 US gal (1,290 liter) tanks. Most troubling to TAC was the fact, that, as of 1965, only 125 North American F-100C “Super Sabres” were capable of utilizing all non-nuclear weapons in the Air Force inventory, particularly cluster bombs and AIM-9 “Sidewinder” air-to-air missiles. By the time the North American F-100C “Super Sabre” was phased out in June 1970, 85 had been lost in major accidents.

The definitive North American F-100D “Super Sabre” aimed to address the offensive shortcomings of the North American F-100C “Super Sabre” by being primarily a ground attack aircraft with secondary fighter capability. To this effect, the aircraft was fitted with autopilot, upgraded avionics, and, starting with the 184th production aircraft, the “Sidewinder” capability. In 1959, 65 aircraft were modified to also fire the AGM-12 “Bullpup” air-to-ground missile. To further address the dangerous flight characteristics, the wing span was extended by 26 in (66 cm) and the vertical tail area was increased by 27%.

The first North American F-100D “Super Sabre” (AF 54-2121) flew on 24 January 1956, piloted by Daniel Darnell. It entered service on 29 September 1956 with 405th Fighter Wing at Langley AFB. The aircraft suffered from reliability problems with the constant speed drive which provides constant-frequency current to electrical systems. In fact, the drive was so unreliable that USAF required it to have its own oil system to minimize damage in case of failure. Landing gear and brake parachute malfunctions claimed a number of aircraft, and the refueling probes had a tendency to break away during high speed maneuvers. Numerous post-production fixes created such a diversity of capabilities between individual aircraft that by 1965 around 700 North American F-100D “Super Sabres” underwent High Wire modifications to standardize the weapon systems. High Wire modifications took 60 days per aircraft at a total cost of US$150 million. In 1966, Combat Skyspot program fitted some North American F-100D “Super Sabres” with an X band radar transmitter to allow for ground-directed bombing in inclement weather or at night.

In 1961, at England AFB, Louisiana, (401st Tactical Wing), there were four fighter-bomber squadrons. These were the 612th, 613th, 614th and the 615th (Fighting Tigers). During the Berlin Crisis (approximately September 1961) the 614th was deployed to Ramstein Air Base, Germany to support the West Germans. At the initial briefing, the 614th personnel were informed that due to the close proximity of the USSR, if an ICBM were to be launched, they would only have 30 minutes to launch the 614th aircraft and retire to the nearest German bunker.

In 1967, the USAF began a structural reinforcement program to extend the aircraft's service life from the designed 3,000 flying hours to 7,000. USAF alone lost 500 North American F-100D “Super Sabres”, predominantly in accidents. After one aircraft suffered wing failure, particular attention was paid to lining the wings with external bracing strips. During the Vietnam War, combat losses constituted as many as 50 aircraft per year. On 7 June 1957, a North American F-100D “Super Sabre” fitted with an Astrodyne booster rocket making 150,000 lbf (667.2 kN) of thrust successfully performed a zero length launch. This was accomplished with the addition of a large canister to the underside of the aircraft. This canister contained a black powder compound and was ignited electro-mechanically, driving the jet engine to minimal ignition point. The capability was incorporated into late-production aircraft. After a major accident, the USAF “Thunderbirds” reverted from Republic F-105 “Thunderchiefs” to the North American F-100D “Super Sabre” which they operated from 1964 until it was replaced by the McDonnell Douglas F-4 “Phantom II” in 1968.

The North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was the subject of many modification programs over the course of its service. Many of these were improvements to electronics, structural strengthening, and projects to improve ease of maintenance. One of the more interesting of these was the replacement of the original afterburner of the J-57 engine with the more advanced afterburners from retired Convair F-102 “Delta Dagger” interceptors. This modification changed the appearance of the aft end of the North American F-100 “Super Sabre”, doing away with the original “petal-style” exhaust. The afterburner modification started in the 1970's and solved maintenance problems with the old type as well as operational problems, including compressor stall issues.

The North American F-100F “Super Sabre” two-seat trainer entered service in 1958. It received many of the same weapons and airframe upgrades as the North American F-100D “Super Sabre”, including the new afterburners. By 1970, 74 North American F-100F “Super Sabres” were lost in major accidents.

By 1972, the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was mostly phased out of USAF active service and turned over to tactical fighter groups and squadrons in the ANG. In Air National Guard units, the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was eventually replaced by the McDonnell Douglas F-4 “Phantom II”, LTV A-7 “Corsair II”, and Republic A-10 “Thunderbolt II”, with the last North American F-100 “Super Sabre” retiring in 1979, with the introduction of the General Dynamics F-16 “Fighting Falcon”. In foreign service, Royal Danish Air Force and Turkish Air Force North American F-100 “Super Sabres” soldiered on until 1982.

Over the lifetime of its USAF service, a total of 889 North American F-100 “Super Sabre” aircraft were destroyed in accidents, involving the deaths of 324 pilots. The deadliest year for North American F-100 “Super Sabre” accidents was 1958, with 116 aircraft destroyed, and 47 pilots killed.

After North American F-100 “Super Sabres” were withdrawn from service, a large number were converted into remote-controlled drones (QF-100) under the USAF Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) program for use as targets for various anti-aircraft weapons, including missile-carrying fighters and fighter-interceptors, with FSAT operations being conducted primarily at Tyndall AFB, FL. A few North American F-100 “Super Sabres” also found their way into civilian hands, primarily with defense contractors supporting USAF and NASA flight test activities at Edwards AFB, CA.

Project Slick Chick ¹

North American received a contract to modify six North American F-100A “Super Sabres” to North American RF-100A “Super Sabres” carrying five cameras, three K-17's in a trimetrogon mounting for photo-mapping and two K-38's in a split vertical mounting with the cameras mounted horizontally, shooting via a mirror angled at 45° to reduce the effects of airframe vibrations. All gun armament was removed and the cameras installed in the gun and ammunition bays covered by a bulged fairing under the forward fuselage.

The selected pilots trained on the North American F-100A “Super Sabre” at Edwards AFB and George AFB in California and then at Palmdale for training with the actual North American RF-100A “Super Sabres” they would be deployed with. Flight tests revealed that the North American RF-100A “Super Sabre” in its intended operational fit of four external tanks was lacking in directional and longitudinal stability, requiring careful handling and close attention to speed limitations for the drop tanks.

Once pilot training was completed in April 1955, three aircraft were deployed to Bitburg Air Base in Germany, flying to Brookley AFB in Mobile, Alabama, cocooned, loaded on an aircraft carrier and delivered to Short Brothers at Sydenham, Belfast for re-assembly/preparation for flight. At Bitburg they were allocated to Detachment 1 of the 7407th Support Squadron, and commenced operations flying over eastern bloc countries at high altitude (over 50,000 ft) to acquire intelligence on military targets. Many attempts were made to intercept these aircraft to no avail, with some photos of fighter airfields clearly showing aircraft climbing for attempted intercepts. The European detachment probably only carried out six missions between mid-1955 and mid-1956 when the Lockheed U-2 took over as the deep penetration reconnaissance asset.

Three North American RF-100A “Super Sabres” were also deployed to the 6021st Reconnaissance Squadron at Yokota Air Base in Japan, but details of operations there are not available. Two North American RF-100A “Super Sabres” were lost in accidents, one due to probable over speeding which caused the separation of one of the drop tanks and resulted in complete loss of control, and the other due to an engine flame-out. In mid-1958, all four remaining North American RF-100A “Super Sabres” were returned to the USA and later supplied to the Republic of China Air Force in Taiwan.

Project High Wire ¹

Project “High Wire” was a modernization program for selected North American F-100C, F-100D and F-100F “Super Sabres”. It consisted of two modifications - electrical rewiring upgrade, and heavy maintenance and IRAN upgrade. Rewiring upgrade operation consisted of replacing old wiring and harnesses with improved maintainable designs. Heavy maintenance and IRAN (inspect and repair as necessary) included new kits, modifications, standardized configurations, repairs, replacements and complete refurbishment.

This project required all new manuals (TO's) and incremented (i.e. -85 to -86) block numbers. All later production models, especially the North American F-100F “Super Sabre” models included earlier High Wire mods. New manuals included colored illustrations and had the Roman numeral (I) added after the aircraft number (i.e. T.O. 1F-100D(I)-1S-120, 12 January 1970). Total Production was 2,294.

Vietnam War ¹

On 16 April 1961 six North American F-100 “Super Sabres” were deployed from Clark Air Base in the Philippines to Don Muang Airfield in Thailand for air defense purposes; the first North American F-100 “Super Sabres” to enter combat in Southeast Asia. From that date until their redeployment in 1971, the North American F-100 “Super Sabres” would be the longest serving U.S. jet fighter-bomber to fight in the Vietnam War. Serving as MiGCAP escorts for Republic F-105 “Thunderchiefs”, “MISTY” FAC's, and “Wild Weasels” over North Vietnam, and then relegated to close air support and ground attacks within South Vietnam.

On 18 August 1964, the first North American F-100D “Super Sabre” to be shot down by ground fire was piloted by 1st Lt Colin A. Clarke, of the 428th TFS; Clarke ejected and survived. On 4 April 1965, as escorts protecting Republic F-105 “Thunderchiefs” attacking the Thanh Hoa Bridge, North American F-100 “Super Sabres” fought the USAF's first air-to-air jet combat duel in the Vietnam War, in which a North American F-100 “Super Sabre” piloted by Capt Donald W. Kilgus shot down a North Vietnamese Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 “Fresco”, using cannon fire, while another fired “Sidewinder” missiles. The surviving North Vietnamese pilot confirmed three of the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 “Fresco” had been shot down. Although recorded by the U.S. Air Force as a probable kill, this represented the first aerial victory by the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. However, the small force of four Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 “Frescos” had penetrated the escorting North American F-100 “Super Sabres” to claim two Republic F-105 “Thunderchiefs”. The North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was soon replaced by the McDonnell Douglas F-4C “Phantom II” for MiG CAP which pilots noted suffered for lacking built-in guns for dogfights.

The Vietnam War was not known for utilizing activated Army National Guard, Air National Guard or other U.S. Reserve units; but rather, had a reputation for conscription (military draft) during the course of the war. During a confirmation hearing before Congress in 1973, USAF General George S. Brown, who had commanded the 7th Air Force (7 AF) during the war, stated that five of the best North American F-100 “Super Sabre” squadrons in Vietnam were from the ANG. This included the 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron (120 TFS) of the Colorado Air National Guard, the 136 TFS of the New York Air National Guard TFS, the 174 TFS of the Iowa Air National Guard and the 188 TFS of the New Mexico Air National Guard. The fifth unit was a regular AF squadron manned by mostly Air National Guardsmen.

The Air National Guard North American F-100 “Super Sabre” Squadrons increased the regular USAF by nearly 100 North American F-100 “Super Sabres” in theater, averaging, for the Colorado ANG North American F-100 “Super Sabres”, 24 missions a day, delivering ordnance and munitions with a 99.5% reliability rate. From May 1968 to April 1969, the ANG North American F-100 “Super Sabres” flew more than 38,000 combat hours and more than 24,000 sorties. Between them, at the cost of seven North American F-100 “Super Sabre” Air Guard pilots killed (plus one staff officer) and the loss of 14 North American F-100 “Super Sabres” to enemy action, the squadrons expended over four million rounds of 20-mm cannon, 30 million pounds of bombs and over 10 million pounds of napalm against the enemy.

The “Hun” was also deployed as a two-seat North American F-100F “Super Sabre” model which saw service as a “Fast FAC” or “Misty FAC” (forward air controller) in North Vietnam and Laos, spotting targets for other fighter-bomber aircraft, performing road reconnaissance, and conducting SAR (Search and Rescue) missions as part of the top-secret project “Commando Sabre”, based out of Phu Cat and Tuy Hoa Air Bases. It was also the first “Wild Weasel” SEAD (air defense suppression) aircraft whose specially-trained crews were tasked with locating and destroying enemy air defenses. Four North American F-100F “Wild Weasel I's” were fitted with an APR-25 vector radar homing and warning (RHAW) receivers, IR-133 panoramic receivers with greater detection range, and KA-60 panoramic cameras. The APR-25 could detect early-warning radars and, more importantly, emissions from SA-2 “Guideline” tracking and guidance systems. These aircraft deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand in November 1965, and began flying combat missions with the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing in December. They were joined by three more aircraft in February 1966. All North American F-100F “Wild Weasels” were eventually modified to fire the AGM-45 “Shrike” anti-radiation missile.

By war's end, 242 North American F-100 “Super Sabres” had been lost in Vietnam, as the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was progressively replaced by the McDonnell Douglas F-4 “Phantom II” and the Republic F-105 “Thunderchief”. The “Hun” had logged 360,283 combat sorties during the war and its wartime operations came to end on 31 July 1971.

Algerian War ¹

French Air Force Super Sabres might have flown combat missions, with strikes flown from bases within France against targets in Algeria. The planes were based at Rheims, refueling at Istres on return flight from attacking targets in Algeria. The North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was the main fighter bomber in French Air Force during the 1960's, until replaced by the BAC “Jaguar”.

Cyprus Crisis ¹

Turkish Air Force North American F-100 “Super Sabre” units were used during the operation against EOKA in 1974. Together with Lockheed F-104G “Starfighters”, they provided close air support to Turkish ground troops and bombed targets around Nicosia.

Notable Achievements ¹

  • The first operational aircraft in United States Air Force inventory capable of exceeding the speed of sound in level flight.

  • On 29 October 1953, the first North American YF-100A “Super Sabre” prototype set a world speed record of 755.149 mph (656.207 kn, 1,215.295 km/h) at low altitude.

  • On 20 August 1955, a North American F-100C “Super Sabre” set the first supersonic world speed record of 822.135 mph (714.416 kn, 1,323.098 km/h).

  • On 4 September 1955, a North American F-100C “Super Sabre” won the Bendix Trophy, covering 2,235 mi (2,020 nm, 3,745 km) at an average speed of 610.726 mph (530.706 kn, 982.868 km/h).

  • On 26 December 1956, two North American F-100D “Super Sabres” became the first-ever aircraft to successfully perform buddy refueling.

  • On 13 May 1957, three North American F-100C “Super Sabres” set a new world distance record for single-engine aircraft by covering the 6,710 mi (5,835 nm, 10,805 km) distance from London to Los Angeles in 14 hours and 4 minutes. The flight was accomplished using inflight refueling.

  • On 7 August 1959, two North American F-100F “Super Sabres” became the first-ever jet fighters to fly over the North Pole.

  • On 16 April 1961, the first USAF combat jets to enter the Vietnam War.

  • On 4 April 1965, the first USAF aircraft to engage in aerial jet combat during the Vietnam War, while escorting Republic F-105 “Thunderchiefs” to target.

  • The U.S. Air Force “Thunderbirds” operated the North American F-100C “Super Sabre” from 1956 until 1964. After briefly converting to the Republic F-105 “Thunderchief,” the team flew North American F-100D “Super Sabres” from July 1964 until November 1968, before converting to the McDonnell Douglas F-4E “Phantom II”.

F-100 Variants ¹

  • YF-100A: Prototype, Model NA-180 two built, s/n 52-5754 and 5755.

  • YQF-100: Nine test unmanned drone version: two D-models, one YQF-100F F-model, see DF-100F, and six other test versions.

  • F-100A: Single-seat day fighter; 203 built, Model NA-192.

  • RF-100A “Slick Chick”: Six F-100A aircraft modified for photo reconnaissance in 1954. Unarmed, with camera installations in lower fuselage bay. Used for overflights of Soviet Bloc countries in Europe and the Far-East. Retired from USAF service in 1958, the surviving four aircraft were transferred to the Republic of China Air Force and retired in 1960.

  • F-100B: See North American F-107

  • F-100BI: Proposed interceptor version of F-100B, did not advance beyond mock-up.

  • F-100C: Seventy Model NA-214 and 381 Model NA-217. Additional fuel tanks in the wings, fighter-bomber capability, probe-and-drogue refueling capability, uprated J57-P-21 engine on late production aircraft. First flight: March 1954; 476 built.

  • 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. First flight: 24 January 1956; 1,274 built.

  • F-100F: Two-seat training version, armament decreased from four to two cannon. First flight: 7 March 1957; 339 built.

  • DF-100F: This designation was given to one F-100F that was used as drone director.

  • NF-100F: Three F-100F's 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-100F's exported to Denmark in 1974, in order to distinguish these from the 10 F-100F's delivered 1959-1961.

  • QF-100: Another 209 F-100D and F-100F models were ordered and converted to 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 U.S. 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.

Operators 1,2

Republic of China (Taiwan)

Republic of China Air Force — It was the only allied air force to operate the North American F-100A “Super Sabre”. The first North American F-100 “Super Sabre” was delivered in October 1958. It was followed by 15 North American F-100A “Super Sabres” in 1959, and by 65 more North American F-100A “Super Sabres” in 1960. In 1961, four unarmed North American RF-100A “Super Sabres” were delivered. Additionally, 38 ex-USAF/Air National Guard North American F-100A “Super Sabres” were delivered later, to bring total strength to 118 North American F-100A “Super Sabres” and four North American RF-100A “Super Sabres”. North American F-100A “Super Sabres” were retrofitted with the North American F-100D “Super Sabre” vertical tail with its AN/APS-54 tail-warning radar and equipped to launch “Sidewinder” air-to-air missiles. Several were lost in intelligence missions over the People's Republic of China.


Royal Danish Air Force — It operated total 72 aircraft. A total of 48 North American F-100D “Super Sabres” and 24 North American F-100F “Super Sabres” were delivered to Denmark from 1959 to 1974. The last Danish North American F-100 “Super Sabres” were retired from service in 1982. The North American F-100 “Super Sabres” were replaced by Saab F-35 “Drakens” and General Dynamics F-16 “Fighting Falcons”. Some Danish North American F-100 “Super Sabres” were transferred to Turkey (21 North American F-100D “Super Sabres” and two North American F-100F “Super Sabres”).

French Republic (République Française)

French Air Force — The Armee de l'Air was the first Western-aligned air force to receive the North American F-100 “Super Sabre” Super Sabre. The first aircraft arrived in France on 1 May 1958. A total of 100 aircraft (85 North American F-100D “Super Sabres” and 15 North American F-100F “Super Sabres”) were supplied to France, and assigned to the NATO 4th Allied Tactical Air Force. They were stationed at German French bases. French North American F-100 “Super Sabres” were used on combat missions flying from bases in France against targets in Algeria. In 1967, France left NATO, and German-based North American F-100 “Super Sabres” were transferred to France, using bases vacated by the USAF.

Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti)

Turkish Air Force — The Turk Hava Kuvvetleri received about 206 North American F-100C, F-100D and F-100F “Super Sabres”. Most came from USAF stocks, and 21 North American F-100D “Super Sabres” and two North American F-100F “Super Sabres” were supplied by Denmark. Turkish North American F-100 “Super Sabres” saw extensive action during the 1974 military operation against Cyprus.

United States

United States Air Force — List of North American F-100 “Super Sabre” Units of the United States Air Force (USAF) and the Air National Guard (ANG). ²

Active Duty North American F-100 “Super Sabre” Units

This is a List of F-100 Units of the United States Air Force by wing, squadron, location, tailcode, features, variant, and service dates.
During the 1960's, squadrons were transferred regularly to different wings and bases temporarily, and sometimes permanently.
In 1972, the Air Force eliminated the tailcode.

WingSquadronLocationTailcodeColorsVariantsService DatesNotes
3d TFW90th TFS
307th TFS
308th TFS
416th TFS
429th TFS
510th TFS
531st TFS
England AFB, LA
England AFB, LA
Engand AFB, LA
England AFB, LA
England AFB, LA
England AFB, LA
England AFB, LA

Light Blue


Call Sign "DICE"

Call Sign "BUZZARD"
Call Sign "RAMROD"

4th FDW/TFW333d TFS
334th TFS
335th TFS
336th TFS
Seymour Johnson AFB, SC
Seymour Johnson AFB, SC
Seymour Johnson AFB, SC
Seymour Johnson AFB,SC


8th TFW Itazuke AB  F-100C1955-1963 
 35th TFS  BlueF-100D/F1956-1963 
 36th TFS  RedF-100D/F1956-1963 
 80th TFS  YellowF-100D/F1956-1963 
18th TFW    F-100  
 12th TFS   F-100  
 44th TFS   F-100  
 67th TFS   F-100  
20th TFW    F-100  
 55th TFS   F-100  
 77th TFS   F-100  
 79th TFS   F-100  
21st TFW    F-100  
 416th TFS   F-100 "Silver Knights"
 531st TFS   F-100  
27th TFW    F-100D  
 481st TFS   F-100D  
 522d TFS   F-100D  
 523d TFS   F-100D  
 524th TFS   F-100D  
31st TFW    F-100D  
 306th TFS   F-100D  
 307th TFS   F-100D  
 308th TFS   F-100D  
 309th TFS   F-100D  
35th TFW    F-100  
 120th TFS   F-100 CO ANG
 352d TFS   F-100  
 612th TFS, Det 1   F-100 MISTY FAC
 614th TFS   F-100  
 615th TFS   F-100  
36th TFWTFS   F-100  
 22d TFS   F-100  
 23d TFS   F-100  
 32d TFS   F-100  
 53d TFS   F-100  
 461st TFS   F-100  
 "SKYBLAZERS"   F-100  
37th TFWTFS   F-100  
 174th TFS   F-100  
 355th TFS   F-100  
 416th TFS   F-100  
 612th TFS, Det 1   F-100 MISTY FAC
39th Air Division    F-100  
 356th TFS   F-100  
 418th TFS   F-100 "Green Demons"
 531st TFS   F-100  
48th FBW/TFW Chaumont AB later Lakenheath AB  F-100  
 492d TFS   F-100  
 493d TFS   F-100  
 494th TFS   F-100  
49th FBW/TFW Étain-Rouvres AB later Spangdahlem AB  F-100  
 7th TFS  BlueF-100  
 8th TFS  YellowF-100  
 9th TFS  RedF-100  
50th FBW/TFW Toul AB  F-100  
 10th TFS   F-100  
 81st TFS   F-100  
 417th TFS   F-100  
57th FWW Nellis AFB  F-100  
 65th FWS   F-100  
58th TFTWTFS   F-100  
 310th TFS   F-100  
 311th TFS   F-100  
 426th TFS   F-100  
67th TRWTFS   F-100  
83d FDWTFS   F-100  
95th BWTFS   F-100  
113th TFWTFS   F-100  
312th TFWTFS   F-100  
316th Air DivisionTFS   F-100  
322d FDGTFS   F-100  
323d FBWTFS   F-100  
325th FWWTFS   F-100  
354th TFW Myrtle Beach AFB  F-100D/F1957-1969 
 352d TFS  YellowF-100DSep 57 - Aug 66"Yellow Jackets"
 353d TFS MNRedF-100DMar 57 - Apr 66"Black Panthers"
 355th TFS MRBlueF-100DMar 57 - Feb 68"Fighting Falcons"
 356th TFS MBGreenF-100DMar 57 - Mar 65"Green Demons"
366th TFWTFS   F-100  
388th TFWTFS   F-100  
401st TFW    F-100D  
 612th TFS   F-100D  
 613th TFS   F-100D  
 614th TFS   F-100D  
 615th TFS   F-100D  
402d FDWTFS   F-100  
405th FBW/TFWTFS   F-100  
413th FDW/TFWTFS   F-100  
450th FDW/TFWTFS   F-100  
474th FBW/TFWTFS   F-100  
475th TFWTFS   F-100  
475th WEGTFS   F-100  
479th FDW/TFWTFS   F-100  
506th TFWTFS   F-100  
3525th CCTWTFS   F-100  
3595th CCTWTFS   F-100  
3600th CCTWTFS   F-100  
4403d TFWTFS   F-100  
4510th CCTWTFS   F-100  
4520th CCTWTFS   F-100  
4525th CCTW/FWWTFS   F-100  
4530th CCTWTFS   F-100  
4554th CCTWTFS   F-100  
6000th Ops WingTFS   F-100  
6200th ABWTFS   F-100  
6585th Test GroupDet 1, 82d TATSWSMR  QF-100  
7272d Flying
Training Wing
7235th SSWheelus AB  F-100  
7499th Support Group7407th SS   RF-100A1955-1958 

North American F-100 “Super Sabre” ANG Units

In 1969 F-100D's began transferring out of Vietnam to state-side Air National Guard bases.
By 1972, the Guardsmen had received 335 F-100D models.

Wing/GroupSquadronLocationTailcodeIdentifying FeaturesVariantsService Dates
102d TFG101st TFSOtis AFB
Massachusetts ANGF-100A1971-1972
103d TFG118th TFS 
White nosebandF-100A/D1960-1966
104th TFG131st TFSBarnes Municipal Airport
red/white/red tailfinF-100D1971-1979
107th TFG136th TFSNiagara Falls International Airport
New York ANGF-100C1960-1969
113th TFG121st TFSAndrews AFB
Dist of Columbia ANGF-100A/C1960-1971
114th TFG175th TFSSioux Falls Regional Airport
White line drawing of Wolf headF-100D1970-1977
116th TFG128th TFSDobbins ARB
Yellow fin cap, lower tail blue fin stripeF-100D1973-1979
121st TFG166th TFSLockbourne AFB
Ohio ANGF-100C/D1962-1971
122d TFG163d TFSIndiana ANG
Yellow fin band, edged in whiteF-100D1971-1979
127th TFG107th TFSSelfridge ANGB
Red fin band w/white "MICHIGAN"F-100D1972-1978
131st TFG110th TFSLambert Field
Red fin band, w/white "MISSOURI"F-100C/D1962-1979
132d TFG124th TFSDes Moines Airport, Iowa ANG
138th TFG125th TFSTulsa International Airport
Red fin band w/white "OKLAHOMA"F-100D1973-1978
140th TFG120th TFSBuckley ANGB
Vietnam only
Large tailfin chevron, Red mountain lion headF-100C/D1961-1971
149th TFG182d TFSLackland AFB
Red fin band w/white "TEXAS"F-100D1971-1979
150th TFG188th TFSKirtland AFB
Yellow Roadrunner w/DSM,
yellow edged black chevrons&flash
159th TFG122d TFSNAS New Orleans
 152d TFSTucson International Airport
Yellow fin chevron,
intake band both outlined in black
 119th TFSAtlantic City International Airport
New Jersey ANGF-100C/D1964-1970
 162d TFSSpringfield-Beckley Municipal Airport
Red or green fin band, w/white "OHIO"F-100D1970-1978
179th TFG164th TFSMansfield Lahm Regional Airport, OH
White-edged yellow tail bandF-100D1972-1975
180th TFG112th TFSToledo Express Airport
Black & White checkerboard fin band,
thinly edged in yellow
181st TFG113th TFSHulman Field
Red/white/blue fin band w/white "INDIANA"F-100D1971-1979
184th TFG127th TFSMcConnell AFB
Kansas ANGF-100C/D1961-1971
185th TFG174th TFSSioux City Municipal Airport
Yellow chevron on tail,
curved flash on fuselage, yellow nose
188th TFG Fort Smith MAP, Arkansas
Red fin band w/white "ARKANSAS"F-100D1972-1979

Survivors ¹


  • F-100F GT-927 Denmark Flying Museum, Billund


  • F-100D (52736) is on display at the Musée de l'Air et de l'Espace, Paris / Le Bourget
  • Two French F-100's seen in Balbala wrecking yard, Djibouti, in May 2010.
  • F-100 of the USAF is on display at the ailes ancien de toulouse.


  • French Air Force F-100D (42136) is displayed at the Schwäbisches Bauern Technical Museum, Eschach-Seifertshofen
  • French Air Force F-100D 42185 is displayed at the Schwäbisches Bauern Technical Museum, Eschach-Seifertshofen
  • F-100F (AF 56-3944) of the USAF is on display at The Virtual Museum, Flugausstellung Leo Junior, Hermeskeil


  • F-100D (AF 54-2265) to French AF. Returned to USAF, repainted in USAF markings and in 1976 to gate guardian at RAF Wethersfield, England. Removed 20 January 1988 and reported at the time to be destined for AMARC, to be held in storage on behalf of USAFM (now NMUSAF). Aircraft is now on display at Militaire Luchtvaartmuseum, Kamp van Zeist, Soesterberg, Netherlands, marked as 54-1871.


  • F-100A on display Chengkungling barrack in Central Taiwan. It was formally displayed at the National Taiwan University campus, Taipei.
  • F-100A on display at the Chung Cheng Aviation Museum.


  • F-100C (54-1766, c/n 217-27) on display at the Turkish Air Force Aviation Museum, Etimesgut, Ankara.
  • F-100C (54-2009/3-089) on display at the Istanbul Aviation Museum.
  • F-100C (54-2013, c/n 217-274) on display at Konya Air Force Base, Konya.
  • F-100D (E-245) on display at the Istanbul Aviation Museum.
  • F-100D (16690) on at the Eskisehir Aviation Museum, Eskisehir.
  • F-100D (55-2763, c/n 224-30) on display at Diyarbakir Air Force Base, Diyarbakir.
  • F-100F (56-3788/8-788) on display at the Istanbul Aviation Museum, Istanbul.

United Kingdom

  • F-100D (54-2165) Imperial War Museum, Duxford
  • F-100D (54-2174) Midland Air Museum, Coventry
  • F-100D (54-2196) Norfolk and Suffolk Aviation Museum, Bungay
  • F-100D (54-2223) Newark Air Museum, Newark
  • F-100D (54-2613) Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum, Dumfries
  • F-100F (63938) formerly of the French Air Force was on display at the Lashenden Air Warfare Museum, Ashford, England, an aircraft accident at the museum damaged 938 and the remains will be shipped to the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, USA.

United States

  • YF-100A (52-5755) is on display at Keesler AFB Air Park, Keesler AFB, Mississippi
  • F-100A (52-5759) is on display at USAF History and Traditions Museum, Lackland AFB, Texas
  • F-100A (52-5761) is on display at New England Air Museum, Bradley International Airport, Connecticut
  • F-100A (53-1688, N100X) is in storage at the Mojave California Airport.
  • F-100C (53-1709) is displayed as F-100D 55-2879, Castle Air Museum (former Castle AFB), Atwater, California
  • F-100C (53-1716) on display at the entrance to the 177th FW, Atlantic City International Airport, Egg Harbor TWP, New Jersey.
  • F-100C (54-1752) is on display at Dyess Linear Air Park, Dyess AFB, Texas
  • F-100C (54-1785) is on display at Prairie Aviation Museum in Bloomington, Illinois
  • F-100C (54-1823) is on display at Pima Air & Space Museum (adjacent to Davis-Monthan AFB), Tucson, Arizona in the markings of the 4510th Combat Crew Training Wing, Luke AFB, Arizona, 1968.
  • F-100C (54-1851) is on display at Museum of Aviation, Robins AFB, Georgia
  • F-100C (54-1986) is on display at Air Force Armament Museum, Eglin AFB, Florida - displayed as F-100C (54-1954) as flown by local northwest Florida resident and Medal of Honor recipient, Colonel George Bud Day, USAF Ret.
  • F-100C-25-NA (54-2091) is on display at the Yanks Air Museum, Chino, California
  • F-100D (54-2145) is on display at Air Power Park near Langley AFB in Hampton, Virginia
  • F-100D (54-2299) is on display at Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California
  • F-100D (55-0884) is on display at RickenBacker ANGB, Ohio
  • F-100D (55-3805) is on display at Bradley ANGB, Connecticut
  • F-100D (56-2928) is on display at Dobbins AFB in Marietta, Georgia.
  • F-100D (56-2940) is on display at Cannon AFB, New Mexico
  • F-100D (56-2967) is on display at Myrtle Beach AFB Warrior Park at the former Myrtle Beach AFB, South Carolina.
  • F-100D (56-2992) is on display at Carolinas Aviation Museum, Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • F-100D (56-3055) is on display at 162nd Fighter Wing, Tucson ANGB, Tucson International Airport, Tucson, Arizona
  • F-100D (56-3081) is on display at MAPS Air Museum, Akron/Canton Airport Ohio
  • F-100D (56-3154) is on display at Lone Star Flight Museum, Galveston, Texas.
  • F-100D (56-3288) is on display at the Aerospace Museum of California, Sacramento, CA
  • F-100D (56-3417), High Wire Mod, is on display at Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum (former Lowry AFB), Denver, Colorado
  • F-100D (56-3436) is on display at Maxwell AFB, Alabama
  • F-100D (56-3440) is in storage at the Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility of the National Air and Space Museum, Suitland, Maryland
  • F-100F-1-NA (56-3727, c/n 3) is on display at Davis-Monthan AFB Heritage Air Park, Arizona
  • F-100F (56-3812) is on display at Duncan Legion Park in Duncan, Arizona
  • F-100F (56-3832) is on display at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon
  • F-100F (56-3837) is on display at National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio
  • F-100F (56-3844) is in flying condition and flies displays with the Collings Foundation, based in Houston, Texas
  • F-100F (56-3894) is on display at Selfridge Air Museum at Selfridge ANGB, near Mount Clemens, Michigan.
  • F-100F is on display in Riverside Park, Independence, Kansas
  • F-100F (GT-842, N417FS) is in storage at the Mojave California Airport.
  • F-100F (GT-996, N418FS) is in storage at the Mojave California Airport.

North American F-100 “Super Sabre” Production ³

North American F-100 “Super Sabre” Production
NAA ModelDesignationSerial NumbersNo. Built
NA-180YF-100AAF 52-5754/57552
RF-100AModified photo version(6)
F-100BRedesignated YF-107A
F-100EDesignation not used
NA-254F-100DThirteen F-100D canceled
TotalF-100A/F fighters, fighter-bombers and trainers, 1949-19572,294

Specifications (F-100D) 3,4,5

Note: Since the YQF-100's were converted F-100D and F-100F models, we have included the specifications for the F-100D.

Type: 4

  • Single-seat supersonic fighter-bomber.

Wings: 4

  • Low-wing cantilever monoplane with 7% thickness-chord ratio.
  • 45° sweep-Back.
  • Aluminum alloy spars, ribs and tapered skin.
  • Insert ailerons each split into two sections.
  • Automatic leading-edge slats.
  • No flaps.

Fuselage: 4

  • All-metal structure.
  • Rectangular air brake hinged beneath fuselage approximately in line with front wing spar.

Tail Unit: 4

  • Monoplane type.
  • All surfaces have 45° sweepBack.
  • One-piece “all-flying” horizontal-stabilizer.
  • Braking parachute housed in bottom of fuselage.

Landing Gear: 4

  • Retractable tricycle type, with steerable twin nose-wheels.
  • Hytrol anti-skid sensing units on segmented-rotor brakes.

Power Plant: 3,4

  • One 16,000-lb-thrust Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21 turbojet engine with afterburner. ³
  • Automatic fuel system. 4
  • Total internal fuel capacity 1,185 US gallons (4,487 L) in wing, fuselage and annular engine bay tanks, filled from single point on port rear fuselage. 4
  • Two 250 US gallons (945 L) and to 225 US gallons (850 L) tanks may be carried under the wings. 4
  • Provision for flight-refueling internal tanks only. 4
  • Probe on starboard wing inboard of underwing tank shackles. 4
  • Some Tactical Air Command F-100's carried two 450 US gallons (1,700 L) under-wing tanks, which could be replenished in flight. 4

Accommodation: 4

  • Pilot's cockpit forward of wings, with one-piece clamshell-type jettisonable canopy.
  • Automatically-regulated air conditioning and pressurizing system.
  • Ejection seat.

Armament: ³

  • Four 20-mm M-39E cannon with 200 rpg.
  • Provision for six external stores.
  • 500-750 lb (226.80-340.19 kg) bombs
  • Provision for AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, 2.75-in or 5-in rockets, napalm or cluster bombs

Dimensions: 3,5

  • Wing span: 38 ft 9 in (11.81 m) ³
  • Length: 47 ft 5 in (14.45 m) ³
  • Height: 15 ft 0 in (4.57 m) 5
  • Wing area: 400.2 ft² (37.18 m²) ³

Weight: ³

  • Weight, empty: 20,638 lb (9,361.24 kg)
  • Weight, gross: 30,061 lb (13,635.44 kg)
  • Weight, maximum: 38,048 lb (17,258.28 kg)

Performance: ³

  • Cruising speed: 590 mph (949.51 km/h)
  • Maximum speed: 864 mph (1,390.47 km/h)
  • Climb rate: 19,000 ft/min (5,791.20 m/min)
  • Service ceiling: 36,100 ft (11,003.28 m)
  • Combat radius: 534 miles (162.76 km)
  • Ferry range: 1,995 miles (608.08 m)


  1. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia North American F-100 Super Sabre
  2. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia List of F-100 Units of the United States Air Force
  3. Thompson, Kevin. North American Aircraft 1934-1999, Volume 2, Narkiewicz//Thompson, Santa Ana, CA, 1999, ISBN 0-913322-06-7, pp 44-66.
  4. Bridgman, Leonard. "The North American Super Sabre," Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1957-58, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc., 1958, pp 338-339
  5. Swanborough, Gordon and Peter M. Bowers. "North American F-100 Super Sabre," United States Military Aircraft since 1908, London: Putnam & Company, Ltd., 1963, ISBN 0-370-00094-3, pp 429-432

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