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North American T-39 Sabreliner

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Designed to meet a U.S. Air Force 1956 requirement for a light-weight twin-jet utility trainer, North American design NA-246 first flew in 1958 and designated the T-39.  In the tradition of the F-86 and
F-100 fighters, the new aircraft was named the Sabreliner.

The Sabreliner entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 1961 and the U.S. Navy in 1963.  Despite the trainer designation, many T-39s were used as utility aircraft.  Most U.S. military T-39s were phased out by 1986.

As a commercial aircraft, the Sabreliner was quite successful.  600 military and civil Sabreliners were delivered.  Rights to the Sabreliner were sold to Sabreliner Corp in 1983.

 Specifications (T-39A)  Designations
Type: Trainer
Engine: two 3,000 lb (13.3 kN) Pratt & Whitney J60-P-3 turbojets


NA-246: initial North American designation
T-39: U.S. military trainer designation
CT-39: U.S. military transport designation
T3J: U.S. Navy pre-1962 designation
 Related Pages
More about North American Aviation
More about Sabreliner Corp

page updated 13 February 2008



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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010