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, Calif.
Of the 2,294 F-100s built before production ended in 1959, 1,274 were Ds, more than all the other series combined. The D, which made its first flight on Jan. 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.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Four M-39 20mm cannons, two GAM-83A Bulldog missiles, four GAR-8 sidewinder missiles, rockets, special stores and/or a maximum of 7,040 lbs. of external stores Engine:Pratt & Whitney J-57-P-21 (or -P-21A) of 16,000 lbs. thrust with afterburner Maximum speed: 926.6 mph Cruising speed: 590 mph Range: 1,970 miles Service ceiling: 55,000 ft. Span: 38 ft. 10 in. Length: 54 ft. 2 in. including boom (49 ft. 4 in. with folded boom) Height: 16 ft. 2 in. Weight: 38,048 lbs. loaded