—F-100 Super Sabre —
William J. "Pete" Knight
(November 18, 1929 - my 8, 2004) was a combat pilot, test pilot, Astronaut, and US politician. Knight holds the world's speed record for flight in a winged powered aircraft. Knight enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1951. Starting in 1958, Knight served as a test pilot at Edwards Air Force Base. He was a project test pilot for the F-100, F-101, F-104 and later, T-38 and F-5 test program. In 1963, he completed the astronaut training curriculum at Edwards Air AFB and was selected to fly the X-15. On October 3, 1967, Knight set a world aircraft speed record by piloting the X-15A-2 to 4,520 miles per hour (Mack 6.7) - a record that still stands today. During 16 flights in the aircraft, Knight also became one of only five pilots to earn their astronaut's wings by flying an airplane in space, reaching an altitude of 280,500 feet. After 32 years of service and more than 6,000 hours in the cockpits of more than 100 different aircraft, he retired from the USAF as a Colonel in 1982. In 1984, he was elected to the City Council of Palmdale, California, and four years later became the city's first elected mayor. In 1992, he was elected to serve in the California State Assembly representing the 36th District. He served in the State Senate representing the 17th District from 1996 until
his death on May 8, 2004.
F-100 Super Sabre
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
1953 to 1959
USAF: 100A,C, & D single seat A/C F-100F two-seat A/C
Originally designed as a land-based fair-weather air superiority fighter for the US Air Force; later developed into a land based all-weather multi-mission aircraft for the US Air Force, capable of close air support, interception and forward air control.
Performance and Specifications
(Figures given are for the F-100D model)
910 mph (Mach 1.2)
46,900 feet above sea level
Four M39 20mm cannons, AIM-4 Falcon, AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, and a variety of air to ground rockets and bombs could be carried on the six wing and one fuselage stations
: 54 feet, 2 inches
38 feet, 9 inches
16 feet, 2 inches
Maximum Takeoff Weight:
37, 124 lbs.
Pratt & Whitney J57-P-21/21A turbojet engine with afterburner providing 16,000 lbs. of thrust
First operational USAF aircraft to exceed the speed of sound in level flight; operated by the USAF Thunderbirds and USAF Europe Skyblazer Flight Demonstration teams.
A/C SN: 54-2299
Date Acquired: 8-1-98
From: Loan, USAF George AFB, Ca
Built at Inglewood, California; left production line on Aug-27, 1956.
8th TFW, 80th TFS (Headhunters) Itazuke AB, Japan: The 8th FBW became the 8th TFW on July 1, 1958 with the wing converting from F-86 to the F-100. During this time each squadron rotated to Kunsan Air Base, Korea for training missions and occasionally, an operational mission along the de-militarized zone.
8th TFW, 80th TFS, Osan AB, Korea: Wing transferred to Osan Air Base, Unit on dawn to dusk alert status.
4520 CCTW, Nellis AFB, NV: Aircraft used as a Thunderbird during the Far East Tour in 1959, Thunderbird aircraft were normally the F-100C model, however, these did not possess aerial refueling capability necessary to cross the Pacific.
4520 CCTW, Nellis AFB, NV: Aircraft crashed, but was repairable.
4520 CCTW, Nellis AFB, NV: Aircraft returned after repairs were made.
4510 CCTW, Luke AFB, AZ: Aircraft transferred to 4510 CCTW; still used for combat
58 TFTW, Luke AFB, AZ: Tactical fighter
114 TFG, 175 TFS, Joe Foss ANG Base, SD. Transferred to South Dakota ANG
180 TFG, 112 TFS, Toledo Airport, OH. Transferred back to South Dakota ANG
114 TFG, 175 TFS, Joe Foss ANGB, SD. Transferred back to South Dakota ANG
George AFB, CA,: Displayed as gate guard at George AFB.
Palmdale, Ca. Transferred to Palmdale Heritage Airpark and placed on display on display, designated "Spirit of Palmdale".