Iowa ANG commemorates Aviation History month, part 4: North American F-100 Super Sabre 1961-1977

  • Published
  • By Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Vincent De Groot
  • 185th Air Refueling Wing

The F-100 Super Sabre on display at the Iowa Air National Guard in Sioux City, Iowa, is tail number 54-2005.  The Iowa Air National Guard’s 185th Tactical Fighter Group flew the F-100 from June 1961 until May 1977. Their time with the F-100 included a year-long deployment to Vietnam while assigned to the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing at Phu Cat Airbase.

The unit flew F-100C, D and two seat F models of the Super Sabre. 

According to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, the F-100 was developed as a follow-on to the F-86 Sabre that was 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 plaque in front of the aircraft in Sioux City reads:

“The F-100 was the first of the “Century Series” aircraft as was the first aircraft to fly 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 185th Tactical Fighter Group flew the F-100C from May 1961 until January 1974. The aircraft on display is the first F-100C received by the unit. The 185th deployed with the F-100Cs, including this aircraft to Phu Cat AB, South Vietnam from May 1968 until May 1969. They flew 6,539 combat missions for a total of 11,399 combat flying hours. The unit converted to the updated F-100D in January 1974 and flew it until March 1977.”

 38 ft. 10 in.
Length: 54 ft. 2 in.
Height: 16 ft. 2 in.
Weight: 38,048 lbs. loaded
Armament: Four M-39 20mm cannons, two GAM-83A Bulldog missiles, four GAR-8 sidewinder missiles, rockets, special stores and/or a maximum of 7040 lbs. of bombs.
Engine: Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21 (or -P-21A) of 16,000 lbs. thrust with afterburner
Cost: $704,000

Maximum speed:
 926.6 mph
Cruising speed: 590 mph
Range: 1,970 miles
Service ceiling: 55,000 ft.

The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the 185th Air Refueling Wing, the Iowa Air National Guard, the United States Air Force or the Department of Defense of the external website, or information, products, or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Services/Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) sites, the United States Air Force does not exercise editorial control over the information users may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of the website.