F-100 Super Sabre – Supersonic Close Air Support in the Vietnam War

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The F-100 is one of the best-known planes of the Vietnam War, having flown the most missions during the conflict. This swept-back-wing fighter plane also earned a special place in history after giving the United States its first supersonic aircraft.

Its design was quite different from other Cold War-era aircraft. Its thin, long wing, a low-set horizontal tail, and signature long snoot were a result of years of aerodynamic research.

The creators of the Super Sabre believed it would be a classic air-to-air fighter for the modern era. It would be an American design that could compete with the Soviet Union’s latest technology.

And even though the United States Air Force’s first supersonic jet did not succeed as a fighter (and had a higher than average accident rate), it was still a pioneer in modern technologies and tactics and was a guinea pig for many risky Vietnam War close-support operations.