North American F-107A
Airframe Details Close-Up
by Stephen Sutton
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The North American F-107A was
originally designed as a tactical fighter-bomber version of the F-100, with a
recessed weapon bay under the fuselage. However, extensive design changes
resulted in its redesignation from F-100B to F-107A before the first prototype
flew. On June 11,
1954, the USAF authorized a contract for 33 F-100B fighter-bombers.
On July 8, 1954, the Air Force
notified NAA that the designation for the project had been officially changed to
F-107A, the USAF concluding that since this aircraft was so vastly different
from the original F-100A it deserved a completely new fighter designation. On
August 4, 1954, the contract was cut back to only nine service test aircraft
under the designation YF-107A. USAF serials were to be 55-5118/5126.
Special features included an
all-moving vertical fin; a control system, which permitted the plane to roll at
supersonic speeds; and a system (Variable Area Inlet Duct), which automatically
controlled the amount of air fed to the jet engine.
On Sept. 10, 1956, the No. 1 F-107A
made its initial flight, attaining Mach 1.03 (The speed of sound, Mach 1, is
about 760 mph at sea level). The aircraft first achieved Mach 2 (twice the speed
of sound) in tests on Nov. 3, 1956.
Three F-107As were built as
prototypes and were test flown extensively, but the aircraft did not go into
production, the Republic F-105 having been selected as the standard
fighter-bomber for the Tactical Air Command. In late 1957, Nos. 1 and 3 were
leased to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) for high-speed
55-5118 was turned over to the Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson, Arizona,
where it is now on display. F107A number 55-5119 is in the Air Force Museum at
Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio.
You can find more on the F-100B -
F107A via the links below:
Hyperscale Collect-Air Article:
F-107A Airframe Details Close-Up
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Page Created 12 August, 2003
19 April, 2004
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