North American RF-100A "Slick Chick" (S/N 53-1551), the fifth of six F-100As modified for tactical reconnaissance. Note the bulge in the fuselage below the cockpit for the cameras. (U.S. Air Force photo)
North American TF-100C (S/N 54-1966) takeoff. The TF-100C was the prototype aircraft for the F-100F. North American developed the two-seat trainer version on speculation, at no cost to the USAF. The only TF-100C was lost in a crash on April 9, 1957. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The F-100 was the USAF's first operational aircraft capable of flying faster than the speed of sound (760 mph) in level flight. It made its initial flight on May 25, 1953, and the first production aircraft was completed in October 1953. North American built 2,294 F-100s before production ended in 1959.
Designed originally to destroy enemy aircraft in aerial combat, the F-100 later became a fighter-bomber. It made its combat debut during the Vietnam Conflict where it was assigned the task of attacking such targets as bridges, river barges, road junctions and areas being used by infiltrating enemy soldiers.
The F-100C, which made its first flight in 1955, featured such advances as an in-flight refueling system, provisions for extra fuel drop tanks and bombs under the wings and an improved electronic bombing system.
Six converted from F-100A
Three built as YF-107A
Six production blocks
TECHNICAL NOTES (F-100C): Armament: Four M39 20mm cannons and 42 2.75-inch rockets or 5,000 lbs. of bombs Engine: One Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21 of 16,000 lbs. thrust with afterburner Maximum speed: 900 mph Cruising speed: 600 mph Range: 1,350 miles Service ceiling: 51,000 ft. Span: 38 ft. 10 in. Length: 53 ft. 11 in. (with pitot boom extended); 47 ft. (with boom folded) Height: 15 ft. 6 in. Weight: 36,549 lbs. maximum