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North American YF-107 (Ultra Sabre) Research Testbed / Fighter-Bomber (1956)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 12/23/2014

The North American YF-107 was based on the North American F-100 Super Sabre though it never developed into a viable production form.

The North American YF-107 "Ultra Sabre" prototype represented the final foray into military aviation for the North American Aircraft Corporation - the company responsible for such memorable aircraft as the P-51 "Mustang", the F-86 "Sabre", and the F-100 "Super Sabre" - all war veterans of different decades. Its outgoing work woudl center on an offshoot of the F-100 in the Super Sabre-inspired YF-107 design - an aircraft brought about by a United States Air Force (USAF) need for a Mach 2-capable nuclear delivery platform.

The design of the YF-107 was originally known as the F-100B while later referencing changed its designator to
"YF-107A". The YF-107A was a highly modified F-100 with an all new nose cone and dorsal spine-mounted intake. The nose cone was to house the needed fire control radar for precision weapons delivery while the unique positioning of the intake opening was simply due to the constraints of the existing F-100 layout. The YF-107 design retained the wings, rear fuselage, and tail section of its F-100 origins. The crew numbered one and standard proposed armament was to be 4 x M-39E internal cannons and up to 10,000 pounds of externally stores.

The aircraft competed unsuccessfully against others in a USAF tactical fighter design phase which was won out by the aircraft to become the Republic F-105 "Thunderchief". The three YF-107s completed were still utilized in a variety of air research and development tests to help further high-speed, high-level flying. The North American interceptor concept evolved some during the YF-108 "Rapier" program which was billed as a Mach 3-capable interceptor though this system was not adopted for service either.

Of the three YF-107s completed, one was scrapped during the 1960s while the remaining two ended their service lives as preserved museum showpieces - one at Pima Air and Space Museum of Tucson, Arizona and the other at the National Museum of the United States Air Force of Dayton, Ohio.

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Specifications for the
North American YF-107 (Ultra Sabre)
Research Testbed / Fighter-Bomber


Focus Model: North American YF-107A (Ultra Sabre)
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: North American Aviation - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1956
Production: 3


Crew: 1


Length: 61.84 ft (18.85 m)
Width: 36.58 ft (11.15 m)
Height: 19.32ft (5.89 m)
Weight (Empty): 22,697 lb (10,295 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 39,756 lb (18,033 kg)


Powerplant: 1 x Pratt & Whitney J57-P-9 turbojet with afterburner developing 24,000 lb of thrust.


Maximum Speed: 1,500 mph (2,414 kmh; 1,303 kts)
Maximum Range: 2,414 miles (3,885 km)
Service Ceiling: 53,199 ft (16,215 m; 10.1 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 39,900 feet-per-minute (12,162 m/min)


Hardpoints: 1
Armament Suite:
PROPOSED (Standard):
4 x 20mm M-39E cannons

PROPOSED (Optional):
Up to 10,000 lb of external stores.


Variants:
F-100B - Original product designation


YF-107 - Revised product designation

YF-107 (55-5118) - Initial prototype; showcased at Pima Air and Space of Tucson, Arizona.

YF-107 (55-5119) - Second prototype; on display at the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

YF-107 (55-5120) - Third prototype; scrapped during the 1960s.


Operators:
United States