Academic journal article Air Power History

History Mystery

Academic journal article Air Power History

History Mystery

Article excerpt

Air Power History readers made short work of the F-107A, alias the Ultra Sabre. It was a supersonic fighter that might have found its way to Vietnam if history had turned out differently. Conceived as an improvement over the F-100A Super Sabre and initially dubbed the F-100B, the plane underwent numerous design changes at North American Aviation, Inc., before emerging as a fighter-bomber with nuclear and conventional capabilities.

The Air Force ordered three F-107 As (serial numbers 55-3118/3120). The first completed its maiden flight at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on September 10, 1956, with civilian test pilot Robert Baker at the controls.

The F-107A was powered by the Pratt & Whitney J75 turbojet engine, an improved version of the J57 used by the F-100A. The F-107A was 60 feet 10 inches long and weighed about 41,000 pounds when fully loaded.

The F-107A performed well in tests and had clear potential. However, the Air Force preferred an aircraft with similar capabilities being offered by Republic Aviation. …

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