North American YF-107 Ultra Sabre


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  FIGHTER-BOMBERVirtual Aircraft Museum / USA / North American  

North American YF-107 Ultra Sabre

The North American F-107, or company NA-212, was the last USAF fighter to bear this famous manufacturer's name. Originally designated F-100B, it was an all-weather fighter-bomber version of the F-100 powered by a 10660kg thrust Pratt & Whitney YJ75-P-9 turbojet fed via an air inlet above and behind the cockpit, so positioned to create space in the nose for radar. Design work began in June 1953 and a year later the USAF ordered nine aircraft (55-5118/5126), although only three were actually completed. In 1955, the F-107 lost out to the Republic F-105 in a paper competition even though it had not yet flown and its competitor did not, then, have all-weather capability. Thus, the future of the F-107 was already clouded on 10 September 1956 when Robert Baker made the first flight at Edwards AFB, California, in the first of three service-test YF-107As.

Considering the early difficulties encountered by other 'century series' fighters, the YF-107A was relatively troublefree and might well have played an important role in the Tactical Air Command. But despite good performance, the three YF-107As were soon relegated to permanent test status. Features of the aircraft warranting further evaluation included a flush centre-line fuel tank mounted in the indented fuselage bottom, spoilers on the wing surface instead of ailerons, and a one-piece all-moving rudder, later adopted on the A-5 Vigilante attack bomber. The first YF-107A eventually found itself in a scrap heap, the second is now on display at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, and the third was lost in a crash landing while on loan to NACA.

North American YF-107 Ultra Sabre on YOUTUBE

North American YF-107 Ultra Sabre

 ENGINE1 x 1xPratt & Whitney J-75-P-9, 93.0kN
  Take-off weight22204 kg48952 lb
  Empty weight16852 kg37152 lb
  Wingspan11.2 m37 ft 9 in
  Length18.5 m61 ft 8 in
  Height6.0 m20 ft 8 in
  Wing area39.7 m2427.33 sq ft
  Max. speed2200 km/h1367 mph
  Range1900 km1181 miles
 ARMAMENT4 x 20mm cannons, 4540kg of weapons

North American YF-107 Ultra SabreA three-view drawing (1278 x 780)

Mark, 24.02.2017 20:35

I visited Pima back in the mid 90's while dropping off a C-130 at AMARG and took a pic of it outdoors.


Don, e-mail, 09.06.2015 02:13

The F-107 displayed at the Pima Air and Space Museum (55-5118) is beautifully restored and is displayed indoors.


Bob in Texas, e-mail, 03.03.2015 05:29

I was stationed at Clovis AFB later dedicated as Cannon AFB from 1954 to about 1959. We were an interim F-86H newly formed outfit transitioning to the F-100D. We ferried our aircraft from the North American's plant back to Clovis as they came off the line and were tested. On one ferry trip we were toured through a closed hanger space housing the F-107 which at that time was in a contract contest with Republic's F-105. Personally I was impressed during the walk around. Obviously the folks at procurement were not for reasons we'll never know.


deaftom, e-mail, 11.07.2013 07:51

Both completed F-107 prototypes survived and are in museums. One resides outdoors at the Pima Air and Space Museum, near Tucson, Arizona. The other is in the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, currently in a normally-closed hangar with other X-type planes, awaiting the construction of a fourth building for the Museum.


Don Goeke, e-mail, 10.10.2011 23:29

Greg you are correct as I have a picture of the F-107 at the Pima Air and Space Museum and while we were on a tour their I got the picture of it.


napo, 21.06.2011 05:57

pima sat on the end of orange county airport for several months when the tallmance museum was closed.
was trucked out by airforce personnel under armed gaurd.


Ross, e-mail, 16.03.2011 19:36

I worked at North American's Torrance, CA facility from July 1952 to Oct. 1960. We made the epoxy bonded trailing edges and the aluminum honeycomb air intake among other items for the 107. I undersood that only two planes were completed, the third plane was not completed and it and a number of parts /assemblies were located at Fox Field, Lancaster, CA. A full page ad was run in the old Los Angeles Times Mirror newspaper asking for support of North American employees who had assembled the first two planes for their experience in assembling the third plane.


hal, e-mail, 10.12.2010 18:07

while going to college at Northop Aero Institute I worked part time at North American designing part of this airplane.


jerryB, e-mail, 03.12.2010 06:31

I seen one of these A /C at the Orange Co.(Cal)museum somewhere between 1971-74. I got some photo's of it stuck away someplace. I was there to visit the Tallman meseum and somebody told me about the 107.It was parked way down at the end of the field. They were working on it,supposibly taking it apart to truck it out. Later I heard that during the Wee hours of the morning they flew it out of their without permission.


george kamburoff, e-mail, 29.11.2010 23:47

There were two of these birds on the ramp near Test Pilot School when I was at Edwards ABF in '66-'67. Covered with dust, they sat by the B-57's, NF-104, and other assorted stuff near Transient Ops.


RT, e-mail, 30.12.2008 09:53

the 107 at pima sat on the end of orange county airport for several months when the tallmance museum was closed.
was trucked out by airforce personnel under armed gaurd.


Isaac, e-mail, 05.06.2008 00:03

I believe it was called the Super Super Sabre


Greg, e-mail, 20.05.2008 08:47

The article's accounting of the "3" F-107 seems incomplete. Tail number 55-5118 is on display at Pima Air and Space Museum in Tucson. I knew I had seen it there and their web site confirms that.


Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -