50 - F-100 Super Sabre

North American F-100 Super Sabre

The first operational supersonic fighter

Model and diorama by Bjørn Jacobsen

When Chuck Yeager blasted

through the sound barrier in 1947,

it was the beginning of a

technological revolution.

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

day-to-day basis.

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

supersonic flight.

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The last F-100 was withdrawn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

fixed-wing aircraft.

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

marking rockets.

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







Bjørn Jacobsen

September 2016

"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.