Aircraft Type: North American T-39A, S/N 62-4487, “Sabreliner”
Mission: Utility Aircraft and combat-readiness trainer
Number built: 149
Powerplant: Two Pratt & Whitney JT-12A-8 turbojets, 3,300 lbs. thrust each
Weight: Empty 9,300 pounds, Maximum takeoff weight 18,650 pounds
Dimensions: Wingspan 44’5″, Length 43’9″, Height 16′
Performance: Maximum speed 563 MPH, Service Ceiling 39,000 feet, Range 1,950 miles
Significance of Type
Development of the T-39A Sabreliner was unusual in that the USAF issued a specification that required the manufacturer to design and fly a prototype as a private venture, with no guarantee of a production order. North American already was pursuing the idea of a small jet transport and adapted it’s early concepts for the prototype of the Sabreliner.
Designed as a utility aircraft that could be used for combat-readiness training, the T-39A was tested in June 1960, and deliveries were made later that year to the USAF Training Command.
About our T-39A: This T-39A was manufactured by North American Aviation and delivered to the Air Force on August 16, 1963 It was dropped from the inventory and delivered to the Strategic Air & Space Museum on July 3, 1985.