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.
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».
The F-108 program was canceled on 23 September, 1959 never getting past the mockup phase.
Armament control system Hughes AN/ASG-18 and rockets GAR-9 (after their designation it was replaced on AIM-47A), developed for XF-108, were used on Lockheed YF-12.
|NATO code name||Rapier|
|Function||interceptor and escort fighter|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|Length (not including nose boom), m||27,2|
|Overall height, m||6,74|
|Wing area, sq.m.||173,5|
|Weight, kg||maximum take-off||46270 (46510)|
|Thrust with afterburner, kgf (kN)||2x 13620 (133,5)|
|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)|
|Cannons||4 õ 20 mm|
|Bombs, kg||up to 1800|
|Rockets||108 õ 70 mm|
|AA missiles||3õ GAR-9 «Super Falcon»|
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