The Thunderchiefs were assigned to the bombing run and the Super Sabres to escort. While accounts from a MiG pilot after the war confirmed that three of his mates were shot down, the US Air Force never officially credited the F Super Saber pilots with an air victory.
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This came as a bitter disappointment to the F fleet pilots who spent a very long time deployed to bomber escort runs during the conflict. Since , Fs were used extensively as close air support for ground troops and only briefly striking targets north of the 17th parallel. Their losses were extensive, as were many fighter-bombers.
For an aircraft that was almost exclusively designed for speed and air-to-air combat, the F was used in a single capacity to which it faced a great deal more peril: ground fire. Amongst the roles that the F also played in other arenas, it served as a reconnaissance jet over Soviet-allied territory.
This was well before the days of satellite imagery.
F-100 Super Sabre Image Gallery
If strategic planning wanted ground intel, it needed to send a jet. The F saw extensive service in the Vietnam War. Article Media. Info Print Cite.
North American FC Super Sabre, Pioneer 2 (a)
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See Article History. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. It reached Mach 1.
The USAF operational evaluation from November to December found the new fighter to have superior performance but declared it not ready for wide scale deployment due to various deficiencies in the design. Particularly troubling was the yaw instability in certain regimes of flight which produced inertia coupling.
The aircraft could develop a sudden yaw and roll which would happen too fast for the pilot to correct and would quickly over stress the aircraft structure to disintegration. Another control problem stemmed from handling characteristics of the swept wing at high angles of attack.
As the aircraft approached stall speeds, loss of lift on the tips of the wings caused a violent pitch-up. This particular phenomenon which could easily be fatal at low altitude where there was insufficient time to recover became known as the "Sabre Dance". The th finally became operational in September By that time, 47 aircraft were lost in major accidents.
The aircraft was finally retired in The uprated JP engine boosted performance but continued to suffer from compressor stalls. However, the combination caused loss of directional stability at high speeds and the four tanks were soon replaced by a pair of U.
The 's proved scarce and expensive and were often replaced by smaller US gal 1, liter tanks. The aircraft suffered from reliability problems with the constant speed drive which provides constant-frequency current to electrical systems. In fact, the drive was so unreliable that USAF required it to have its own oil system to minimize damage in case of failure.
Landing gear and brake parachute malfunctions claimed a number of aircraft, and the refueling probes had a tendency to break away during high speed maneuvers. These were the th, th, th and the th Fighting Tigers. At the initial briefing, the th personnel were informed that due to the close proximity of the USSR, if an ICBM were to be launched, they would only have 30 minutes to launch the th aircraft and retire to the nearest German bunker.
North American F-100F Super Sabre
In , the USAF began a structural reinforcement program to extend the aircraft's service life from the designed 3, flying hours to 7, After one aircraft suffered wing failure, particular attention was paid to lining the wings with external bracing strips. During the Vietnam War, combat losses constituted as many as 50 aircraft per year. This was accomplished with the addition of a large canister to the underside of the aircraft.
This canister contained a black powder compound and was ignited electro-mechanically, driving the jet engine to minimal ignition point. The capability was incorporated into late-production aircraft.