When Chuck Yeager blasted
through the sound barrier in 1947,
it was the beginning of a
Within ten years a whole new
family of American aircraft were
routinely flying supersonic
One branch of that family was
the so-called “Century Series”
of USAF fighters.
The first of these fighters was the
F-100 Super Sabre and the series
ended with the F-106 Delta Dart
It was one thing to prove you
could fly faster than the speed of
sound in an experimental
rocket-powered research aircraft.
It was quite another thing to build
an aircraft that could do it on a
That first aircraft would be the
F-100 Super Sabre, popularly
shortened to the “Hun”.
This was the first operational
supersonic fighter and first
aircraft to explore sustained
It also pioneered areal fuelling on
a routine basis which allowed the
Hun to stay in the air for long
periods of time.
The Hun made its first flight in
1953 and entered service in 1954
The last F-100 was withdrawn
from US service in 1979
In Vietnam, the Hun flew 250,000
sorties—more than any other
By the war's end, 186 F-100's
had been lost to anti-aircraft fire,
seven to Viet Cong assaults and
45 to operational incidents.
In 1955 the two-seat version
F-100F came operational.
It was primarily built as a trainer,
but was soon was used in
combat sorties both as the first
Wild Weasel anti-SAM aircraft
and as forward aircraft controllers
(FAC) north of the DMZ.
The model I am making belongs
to the forward aircraft controllers.
Their mission was to fly the
Super Sabre fast and low over
enemy territory, armed with only
their cannons and White Phosphor
They flew so low that they could
see spot enemy targets on the
infamous Ho Chi Minh trail in
North Vietnam: SAMs, AAA sites,
trucks, bridges, boats, bulldozers,
troops and so on.
Their goal was straightforward:
disrupt the transfer of enemy
supplies and equipment by
attacking the target and then
direct Air Force and Navy fighter
strikes against them to finish the
General characteristics for
North American F-100F Super Sabre
CREW: Two (Pilot and Air Controller
PROPULSION: Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21A
SPAN: 38 feet 9 inches (11.81 m)
LENGTH: 57 feet (17.37 m)
HEIGHT: 16 feet 2 inches (4.95 m)
WEIGHT: 39,122 pounds (13,085 kg)
MAXIMUM SPEED: 871 mph (1,406 km/h)
SERVICE CEILING: 47,800 feet (14,569 m)
RANGE: 508 nautical miles (817.5 k)
Building the Super Sabre
The kit is a Trumpeter 1/48.
As soon as I opened the box, it was obvious that the Super Sabre was
a big and brutal aircraft.
The kit was easy to build and looks good as far I can see, except for the cockpit and seats which was not
very good and needed a little scratch building, among other the cross brace between the rear and front seat.
The pictures to the right show the progress in the building the model:
Priming, pre-shading, painting, decaling and weathering.
I had the canopy both open and closed.
The same with the wheels.
The canisters on the outer pylons are the White Phosphor rockets used for marking enemy positions.
This of course because I wanted to picture the model both on the ground and in the air.
The plane was painted in typical Vietnam camo.
The model is from the 614th TFS at Phan Rang Air Base
(TFS =Tactical Fighter Squadron)
And here is the finished model:
Making a scale model is all about having fun.
And what’s more fun than to imagine your model is really flying?
I hope you enjoyed this website!
Thank you for visiting!
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments
"Super Sabre / Vietnam" - Diorama:
If you want to see more of the F-100 Super Sabre in Vietnam, please have a look at the diorama on the next page (51)
In this diorama. a F-100 Super Sabre from the Misty squadron attacks a North Vietnamese Army convoy on the Ho Chi Minh trail.