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North American Aviation Sabre V/STOL Attack Bomber

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Behold the Sabre V/S attack bomber by North American Aviation. This concept was based on the Bristol Siddeley Pegasus vectoring thrust engine (used in the Harrier) and had nothing in common with the F-86 or F-100, except the name.

The Sabre V/S could carry two gravity bombs internally. These were placed at the CG of the aircraft, just outside the center of thrust, which explains the very wide fuselage. Four additional turbojets were used during vertical flight.

These four lift jets were lined-up horizontally, facing backwards inside the rear section and fed via a louvered, top intake. Hot gases would be combined in pairs and ducted forward toward the CG where they would elbow downward, right between the hot and cold exhausts of the Pegasus.

See cutaway photo for a layout of the Sabre V/S propulsion arrangement: red means hot, while green is cold. The concentrated exhaust of five jet engines into such a small area means the aircraft could probably clear its own landing site just about anywhere...

Presumably, the Sabre V/S could also park itself directly above a target to drop its bombs (while the enemy politely refrained from shooting at it). This would certainly simplify aiming and targeting tasks ;D.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Can't find anything useful.

North American Aviation received Pegasus brochures from the very start of the program (1957 onwards) but there doesn't seem to have been any significant contact with Bristol about it, so it seems unlikely to have gone very far in design.

Like Scott said, could be a D-24 Alliance type design, but I would expect mandatory VG wings by that stage.

One possibility would be circa 1958-59 GOR. 169 study. Most likely it never proceeded past an RD- designation.
 

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Wow.

It looks like something designed in the early NATO VSTOL days (cf VAK 191, early G.95 studies) when the basic mission was 0.92/sea level/250 nm instant sunshine delivery.

I wonder if Boeing had seen the weapons arrangement when they did the X-32 design....
 

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Underside view of the Sabre V/S model. Red rectangles represent the hot exhaust from each pair of lift engines.
 

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Stargazer2006

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XB-70 Guy said:
Is it just me or does this design have a bit too much canopy -SP

Not any more than the TAV-8A Harrier did!
 

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Abraham Gubler

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XB-70 Guy said:
I wonder what the NA number is?... -SP

Unlikely to be one. NAA only assigned NA-x numbers for a specific contract. It was an accounting system not a prototype tracking system. This is why many North American aircraft have multiple NA-x numbers assigned as each one was for the relevant contract (and CAC who copied their internal model). So unless this VSTOL aircraft was in response to a contract rather than an internal study it won’t have a NA-x number.
 

Abraham Gubler

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XB-70 Guy said:
Is it just me or does this design have a bit too much canopy -SP

As much glass as is needed to provide the pilot with excellent visibility without using a dreggier teardrop canopy.
 

Mike Pryce

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Wow! Presumably designed for very short missions, as all the space for fuel is full of engines and ducts.

And two doses of 'instant sunshine', dropped directly into the Pegasus jet flows!

And if you size the canopies from the engine inlets (if it is a Pegasus) then it has way more glass than any Harrier. Maybe a sealed greenhouse for the crew to live in during the post-war big chill?
 

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A most reliable source (aim9xray) tells me the NAA Sabre V/S was an alternate point design study for ADO-12 (USAF Advanced Development Objective No.12), dated June, 1964.
 

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A classic nato nuclear strike fighter to replace the f100 super sabre. France had a .Mirage v for thd same job. One for the modelers?
 
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