F-100D “Super Sabre”
BY NORTH AMERICAN
Developed as a follow-on to the F-86 Sabre used in the Korean War, the F-100 was the world’s first production airplane capable of flying faster than the speed of sound in level flight (760 mph). The prototype, the YF-100, made its first flight on May 25, 1953, at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), California.
Of the 2,294 F-100s built before production ended in 1959, 1,274 were Ds, more than all the other versions combined. The D, which made its first flight on January 24, 1956, was the most advanced production version. Its features included the first autopilot designed for a supersonic jet and a low-altitude bombing system.
The Super Sabre had its combat debut in Vietnam where it was used extensively as a fighter-bomber in ground-support missions such as attacking bridges, road junctions, and troop concentrations.
The museum’s F-100D, serial number 56-2995, was built by North American Aviation in Inglewood, California in 1957 and came to Robins AFB for modifications before being assigned to an operational unit. For nine years, the aircraft operated from bases in Europe and North Africa before returning to the United States.
In December 1968, 2995 was assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) and was flown on combat missions from Tuy Hoa and Phan Rang Air Bases in the Republic of Vietnam. In August 1970, the aircraft was assigned to the 35th TFW at Phan Rang.
Of special note, 2995 served as the personal aircraft flown by then First Lieutenant Rick Goddard, who rose to the rank of Major General and served as commander of the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center form November 1997 until March 2000. Between September 1968 and October 1969, Goddard flew 180 of his 226 combat missions in the museum’s aircraft.
56-2995 returned to the United States in July 1971 and was assigned to the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The aircraft was retired from active service in 1978 and put on outdoor display at Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts. The aircraft arrived at the museum in December 2010 and restoration was completed in 2017.
Span: 38 ft. 10 in.
Length: 54 ft. 2 in.
Height: 16 ft. 2 in.
Weight loaded: 38,048 lbs.
Armament: Four M-39 20mm cannon and up to 7,040 lbs. of external weapons such as missiles, rockets and bombs
Engine: Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21 (or -P-21A) of 16,000 lbs. thrust with afterburner
Serial Number: 56-2995
Maximum speed: 926.6 mph.
Cruising speed: 590 mph.
Range: 1,970 miles
Service ceiling: 55,000 ft.