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North American F-108A "Rapier"

The North American F-108 was designed as a very high speed (mach 3) interceptor and escort fighter for the B-70 "Valkyrie" bomber under development at the same time. The delta wing Rapier, in its pre-mockup phase, was to have a canard (forward-mounted pitch-control surface), and three vertical stabilizers: one on the fuselage centerline a a pair at the halfway point on the wing trailing edge for high speed stabilization at speeds above mach 2. The aircraft design was changed during the mockup phase. The canard was removed and the upper portions of the wing-mounted vertical stabilizers were removed. The wing was changed from a standard delta to a double-delta; the winglet incorporated a droop and 45 degree sweep (the main wing had about a 65 degree sweep). The F-108 program was canceled on 23 September, 1959 never getting past the mockup phase.


Manufacturer:North American
Span: 57.4 ft.
Length: 89.2 ft. (not including nose boom)
Height: 22.1 ft.
Tread: 11 ft.
Weight: 102,000 lbs. maximum design gross weight
  • Four 20mm cannons,
  • 108 2.75 in. rockets and
  • up to 4,000 lbs. of bombs
  • Engines: Two General Electric J93-GE-3 turbojets of 30,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner.
    Crew: Two
    Maximum speed: approximately Mach 3
    Range: 1,150 miles

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