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North American F-100 Super Sabre

This model has been completely redesigned and is now available in 2 paint schemes: USAF Thunderbirds and SE Asia Camouflage. It features a easy to build 3 piece fuselage and prints out in full color. It also includes full color, photo illustrated, step by step assembly instructions to make building it a snap.


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F-100 Super Sabre - Thunderbirds Edition - $1.99

F-100 Super Sabre - SE Asia Camouflage Edition - $1.99

F-100 Super Sabre Package - Includes both models - $2.99


History of the F-100 Super Sabre

F-100 Super Sabre



In January 1951, North American Aviation delivered to the United States Air Force an unsolicited proposal for a supersonic day fighter. Named Sabre 45 because of its 45° wing sweep, it represented evolution of the F-86 Sabre. The mockup was inspected 1951-11-07 and after over a hundred corrections, the new aircraft was accepted as the F-100 on 1951-11-30. On 1952-01-03, the USAF ordered two prototypes followed by 23 F-100As in February and an additional 250 F-100As in August.

The YF-100A first flew on 1953-05-25, 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 1953-10-14, followed by the first production F-100A on 1953-10-29. The USAF operational evaluation from November 1953 to December 1955 found the new fighter to have superior performance but declared it not ready for widescale 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 overstress 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 F-100A on 1954-10-12. A related 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.

Nevertheless, delays in the F-84F Thunderstreak program pushed the Tactical Air Command to order the raw F-100A into service. TAC also requested that future F-100s should be fighter-bombers with nuclear bomb capability.

Operational history

f-100 3 aircraft formation

The F-100A officially entered USAF service on 1954-09-27 with 479th Fighter Wing at George AFB. By 1954-11-10, the F-100As suffered six major accidents due to fight 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 F-100A 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 F-100As into active service in early 1962. The aircraft was finally retired in 1970.

The TAC request for a fighter-bomber was addressed with the F-100C which flew in March 1954 and entered service on 1955-07-14 with 450th Fighter Wing, Foster AFB. Operational testing in 1955 revealed that the F-100C was at best an interim solution, sharing all the vices of the F-100A. The uprated J57-P-21 engine boosted performance but continued to suffer from compressor stalls. On a positive note, the F-100C 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 F-100C, later retrofitted to earlier aircraft. A pitch damper was added starting with the 301st F-100C, at a cost of US$10,000 per aircraft. The addition of "wet" hardpoints meant the F-100C could carry a pair of 275 US gal (1,040 L) and a pair of 200 US gal (770 L) 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 US gal (1,730 L) drop tanks. The 450s proved scarce and expensive and were often replaced by smaller 335 US gal (1,290 L) tanks. Most troubling to TAC was the fact that as of 1965, only 125 F-100Cs 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 F-100C was phased out in June 1970, 85 had been lost in major accidents. The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds operated the F-100C from 1956 until 1964.

F-100 Super Sabre

The definitive F-100D aimed to address the offensive shortcomings of the F-100C 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 inches (66 cm), and the vertical tail area was increased by 27%. The F-100D flew on 1956-01-24, entering service on 1956-09-29 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 F-100Ds 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 F-100Ds with an X band radar transmitter to allow for ground-directed bombing in inclement weather or at night. In 1967, USAF began a structural reinforcement program to extend the aircraft's service life from the designed 3,000 flying hours to 7,000. Particular attention was paid to reinforcing the wings with external bracing strips after one aircraft suffered wing failure. Over 500 F-100Ds were lost, predominantly in accidents. During the Vietnam War, combat losses constituted as many as 50 aircraft per year. The aircraft was phased out of USAF active duty by 1972. On 1957-06-07, an F-100D fitted with an Astrodyne booster rocket making 150,000 lbf (667.2 kN) of thrust successfully performed a zero length launch. The capability was incorporated into late-production aircraft. After a major accident, the USAF Thunderbirds reverted from F-105 Thunderchief to the F-100D which they operated from 1964 until it was replaced by the F-4 Phantom II in 1968. In the early 1970s, Air National Guard units began fitting their F-100Ds with F-102 Delta Dagger-type afterburners which finally solved the compressor stall problems. The modifications cost US$8 million.

The F-100F two-seat trainer entered service in 1958. It received many of the same weapons and airframe upgrades as the F-100D, including the new afterburners. By 1970, 74 F-100Fs were lost in major accidents, and they mostly left USAF service by 1972.


The F-100Ds arrived in Southeast Asia in 1962 but did not begin flying combat missions over Vietnam until 1965. The aircraft was used for ground attack within South Vietnam. The two-seat F-100F operated as a "fast-FAC" (forward air controller) spotting targets for other aircraft. It was also the first Wild Weasel SEAD aircraft whose specially trained crews were tasked with locating and destroying enemy air defenses. Four F-100F Wild Weasel I were fitted with an APR-25 vector radar homing and warning (RHAW) receiver, an IR-133 panoramic receiver with greater detection range, and a KA-60 panoramic camera. The RHAW could detect early warning radars and, most importantly, emissions from SA-2 Guideline tracking and guidance systems. These aircraft deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand in November 1965, and began flying combat missions with 388th Tactical Fighter Wing in December. They were joined by three more aircraft in February 1966. All Wild Weasel F-100Fs were eventually modified to fire the AGM-45 Shrike anti-radiation missile.

The F-100 was progressively replaced in Vietnam by the F-4 Phantom II and the F-105 Thunderchief. In the Air National Guard units, the F-100 was replaced by the F-4, the A-7 Corsair II, and the A-10 Thunderbolt II, with the last aircraft retiring in 1979.



F-100 3 View
airplane model radio controlled hobby card model aviation military air force craft


General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 Length: 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) Empty weight: 21,000 lb (9,500 kg) Loaded weight: 28,847 lb (13,085 kg) Max takeoff weight: 34,832 lb (15,800 kg) Powerplant: 1× Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21/21A turbojet



  • Maximum speed: 864 mph (1,390 km/h) Range: 1,995 mi (3,210 km) Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m) Rate of climb: 22,400 ft/min (113.8 m/s) Wing loading: 72.1 lb/ft² (352 kg/m²) Thrust/weight: 0.55
  • Lift-to-drag ratio: 13.9


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