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North American YF-107 (Ultra Sabre) - United States, 1956

Detailing the development and operational history of the North American YF-107 (Ultra Sabre) Research / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 8/4/2016; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  North American YF-107 (Ultra Sabre)  
Picture of North American YF-107 (Ultra Sabre)
Picture of North American YF-107 (Ultra Sabre)

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.

North American YF-107A (Ultra Sabre) Specifications

Service Year: 1956
Type: Research / Fighter-Bomber Aircraft
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): North American Aviation - USA
Total Production: 3

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 1
Overall Length: 61.84 feet (18.85 meters)
Overall Width: 36.58 feet (11.15 meters)
Overall Height: 19.32 feet (5.89 meters)

Weight (Empty): 22,697 lb (10,295 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 39,756 lb (18,033 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

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

Maximum Speed: 1,303 knots (1,500 mph; 2,414 kph)
Maximum Range: 2,098 nautical miles (2,414 miles; 3,885 km)
Service Ceiling: 53,199 feet (16,215 meters; 10.08 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 39,900 feet-per-minute (12,162 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload

PROPOSED (Standard):
4 x 20mm M-39E cannons

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

Global Operators (Customers, Users)

United States

Model 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.

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