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North American YF-107 Ultra Sabre Research Testbed / Fighter-Bomber (1957)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 9/9/2009

The YF-107 was based on the F-100 Super Sabre, though it never developed into a production model.

The YF-107 "Ultra Sabre" prototype represented the final foray into military aviation for the North American Aircraft Corporation. The company that was responsible for such memorable airframes as seen embodied by the P-51 Mustang, the F-86 Sabre and the F-100 Super Sabre would see one final toast to the flight community in their Super Sabre-inspired YF-107 design - a design brought about by the United States Air Force need for a Mach 2 / nuclear payload-capable design.

Initial design of the YF-107 was actually a Super Sabre design in the form of the F-100B. Later reference to the system, particularly after orders were placed by the USAF, redesignated the F-100B system as the more identifiable "YF-107A". The YF-107A differed somewhat from her beginnings as an F-100 model. The highly identifiable front nose intake was removed - or covered being the optimal word - and fitted over with a more traditional nose cone assembly. This design move was necessitated by the need to mount an internal fire control radar into the fuselage. As such, the YF-107 featured a unique and somewhat gangly top-mounted intake just aft of the cockpit. The YF-107 design retained the wings, rear fuselage and tail section of its F-100 brethren. Crew accommodations amounted to a single pilot while standard armament included 4 x M-39E cannons. Up to 10,000 pounds of stores could be carried.

Though the system was never put into production, the YF-107 program produced three flyable prototypes. These prototypes were used in a variety of air research and development tests to further high-speed, high-level aviation. The YF-107 spawned the F-108 Rapier which was billed as a Mach 3 interceptor, though that system was never put into production either. The USAF went on to choose te Republic F-105 Thunderchief (detailed elsewhere on this site) for its high speed nuclear needs.

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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 - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1957
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 generating 24,000lbs of thrust.

Maximum Speed: 1,500 mph (2,414kmh; 1,303 kts)
Maximum Range: 2,414 miles (3,885km)
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:
4 x 20mm M-39E cannons

Up to 10,000lbs of stores.

F-100 "Super Sabre" - Initial Production Model on which the YF-107A was developed from.

F-100B - Super Sabre Model Designation when proposed as the required nuclear-capable Mach 2 fighter-bomber; later redesignated to YF-107.

YF-107 - Designation applied to F-100B series when prototypes of the F-100B were ordered by the USAF.

YF-107 "Aircraft #1" - s/n 55-5118

YF-107 "Aircraft #2" - s/n 55-5119; on display at the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

YF-107 "Aircraft #3"

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