XF-108 Rapier

North American

high speed interceptor and escort fighter

XF-108. V 1958

    The North American F-108 was designed as a very high speed (mach 3) interceptor and escort fighter for the XB-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.
F-108 Mock-up. 1959
    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).
Engines: Two General Electric J93-GE-3 turbojets of 30,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner.
Armament: Four 20mm cannons, 108 2.75 in. rockets and up to 4,000 lbs. of bombs. 3 Hughes GAR-9 «Super Falcon».

Design North American
Type XF-108
NATO code name Rapier
Function interceptor and escort fighter
Crew 2
Dimensions & Weight
Length (not including nose boom), m 27,2
Overall height, m 6,74
Wingspan, m 17,5
Wing area, sq.m. 173,5
Aspect ratio 1,68
Weight, kg maximum take-off 46270 (46510)
standard 34530
empty 23090
Engines turbojet J95-GE-5(3)
Thrust with afterburner, kgf (kN) 2x 13620 (133,5)
Performance (project)
Max. speed, km/h (M=) 3,186 (3)
Rate of climb, m/min 5486
Practical ceiling, m 20 400
Range, km (miles) operating 1641 (1020/1150)
maximum 4000 (2485)
Cannons 4 х 20 mm
Bombs, kg up to 1800
Rockets 108 х 70 mm
AA missiles 3х GAR-9 «Super Falcon»

Проекции XF-108. 1958XF-108A на стадии макета
Компоновка XF-108A на стадии проектированияКомпоновка XF-108A на стадии макета
Компоновка XF-108
Макет F-108
Макет F-108
Рисунок F-108Модель F-108

References and Credits:

  1. North American F-108A / USAF Museum /
  2. Black bird of Clarens Jones / M.Nikolskiy. Aviatsia i Kosmonavtika 11/2000 /
  3. North American XF-108 Rapier / Prototypes.com /
  4. «Vojenska letadla» / Vaclav Nemecek, Praha, 1982 /
  5. «Bombers» / V.Ilyin, M.Levin, 1997 /