North American Sabreliner Articles on aviation - Aircraft
airports worldwide
Other aviation articles
Airport photos
Aircraft photos
Spacecraft photos
Earth from airplane
Earth from space
Airports worldwide
Advertise for free!
North American Sabreliner

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

T-39 Sabreliner
US Navy T-39N of Training Air Wing SIX at NAS Pensacola, FL
Role Trainer aircraft
Business jet
Manufacturer North American Aviation
Rockwell International
First flight September 16, 1958[1]
Introduced 1962
Status In active service
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Navy
Produced 1959-1982
Number built 800+[2]

BAE Systems Flight Systems T-39A flight test aircraft at the Mojave Airport
BAE Systems Flight Systems T-39A flight test aircraft at the Mojave Airport

NA-265-60 Series 60 Sabreliner at NTPS, Mojave
NA-265-60 Series 60 Sabreliner at NTPS, Mojave

The North American Sabreliner (later sold as the Rockwell Sabreliner) is a mid-sized business jet developed by North American Aviation and was offered to the U.S. Air Force in response to their Utility Trainer Experimental (UTX) program. Due to similarity of the wing and tail to North American's F-86 Sabre, it was dubbed "Sabreliner." Military variants, dubbed T-39 Sabreliner, were used by both the U.S Air Force and U.S. Navy after the Air Force placed an initial order in 1959.The Sabreliner was also developed into a commercial variant.

Design and development

North American began development of the Sabreliner as an in-house project, and in response to the UTX request for proposals, they offered a military version to the Air Force. UTX combined two different roles, personnel transport and combat readiness training into the same aircraft.

The civilian version prototype, which carried the model number NA-265, made its first flight on September 16, 1958. It was powered by a pair of General Electric YJ85 turbojet engines. The type received its FAA certification in April, 1963. The UTX candidate, designated the T-39A was identical in configuration to the NA-265, but when the contract was awarded and the T-39A entered production, it was powered with two Pratt & Whitney JT12A8 turbojet engines.

The civilian production version, or Series 40, was slightly refined over the prototype, with more speed and a roomier cabin. North American then stretched the design by 3 feet 2 inches, giving even greater cabin space, and marketed it as the Series 60, which was certificated in April, 1967. The aerodynamics were cleaned up in the Series 60A, and the cabin made taller in the Series 75.

By 1973, North American had merged with Rockwell International, and the company updated the Sabreliner designs with turbofan engines, selecting the Garrett AiResearch TFE731 for the Series 60, which became the Series 65A, and the General Electric CF700 for the Series 75A. These would be the last two versions, as Sabreliner production came to a close in 1981. The next year, Rockwell sold its Sabreliner division to a private equity firm which formed Sabreliner Corporation, the support organization for continuing operators.

Over 800 Sabreliners were produced, of which 200 were T-39s. A number of retired military T-39s have also entered the civilian world, since the military version also carry FAA type certification. As of 2007, fifty-one examples have been lost in accidents.

The original Navy version, the T3J-1 was redesignated T-39D after the 1962 re-designation), was fitted with the radar system from the F3H-1 Demon all-weather fighter and used as a radar trainer for pilots of that aircraft. The T-39N and T-39G are currently used in the Advanced Jet syllabus in training Naval Flight Officers and USAF and foreign navigators. Foreign students also train in the T-39 in place of the T-1 during the Intermediate Jet syllabus.

The Sabreliner requires a crew of two, and depending on cabin configuration, can carry up to 7 passengers (NA-265 through NA-265-40) or 10 passengers (NA-265-60 and subsequent models).



(NA265 or NA246) Prototype powered by two General Electric J85-GE-X turbojet engines, one built sometimes unofficialy called XT-39.
Sabreliner 40
(NA265-40 or NA282) Civil production variant for 11 passengers powered by two JT12A-6A or -8 engines, two cabin windows each side, 65 built.
Sabreliner 40A
(NA265-40A or NA285) Model 40 with Model 75 wings, improved systems and two General Electric CF700 turbofans, three cabin windows each side.
Sabreliner 50
(NA265-50 or NA287) One built in 1964 as a Model 60 with JT12A engines, experimental platform for radome nose cowling.
Sabreliner 60
(NA265-60 or NA306) Stretched Model 40 for 12 passengers with two JT12-A-8 engines, five cabins each side, 130 built.
Sabreliner 60A
Series 60 with aerodynamice design improvements.
Sabreliner 65
(NA265-65 or NA465) Based on the Series 60 with Garrett AiResearch TFE731-3R-1D engines and new super-critical wing, 76 built.
Sabreliner 75
(NA265-70 or NA370) Series 60A with a raised cabin roof for greater cabin headroom, two JT12A-8 engines, nine built.
Sabreliner 75A
(NA265-80 or NA380) Sabreline 75 with a number of aerodynamics and systems updates, and powered by two General Electric CF700 turbofan engines, 66 built.


NA265 - Initial production version for the United States Air Force based on Sabreliner prototype with longer nose and military equipment, pilot proficiency trainer, two Pratt & Whitney JT12A-6A engines, 143 built.
T-39A modified as a cargo and personnel transport, powered by P&W J60-P-3/-3A engines.
One T-39A modified for electronic systems testing.
(NA270 or NA265-20) Radar systems trainer for the United States Air Force, equipped with doppler radar for pilot training, six built.
Planned Electronic Countermeasures and strategic bomber trainer, not built.
(NA265-20 or NA277) Radar systems trainer for the United States Navy, equipped with AN/APQ-94 radar for radar intercept officer training and the AN/APQ-126 radar for bombardier/navigator training. (T3J-1 prior to 1962 redesignation program.), 42 built.
United States Navy cargo/transport version, with JT12A-8 engines, originally designated VT-39E, seven second-hand aircraft.
Electronic warfare crew training conversion of the T-39A for the United States Air Force.
United States Navy cargo/transport version based on the stretched fuselage Sabreliner 60, JT12 engines equipped with thrust reversers, 13 bought.
CT-39G modified for the Undergraduate Flight Officer Training program.
Navy trainer for the Undergraduate Flight Officer Training program.
Original United States Navy designation that became the T-39D in 1962.


The first Latin American zero-g plane, the Ecuadorian Air Force FAE047, an in-house modified T-39 Sabreliner and its crew
The first Latin American zero-g plane, the Ecuadorian Air Force FAE047, an in-house modified T-39 Sabreliner and its crew
 United States

Specifications (T3J-1/T-39D)

Data from T-39 Sabreliner on Boeing History site

General characteristics

  • Crew: 4-5
  • Capacity: 5-7 passengers
  • Length: 44 ft (13.41 m)
  • Wingspan: 44 ft 6 in (13.56 m)
  • Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
  • Wing area: 342.1 ft² (31.79 m²)
  • Empty weight: 9,257 lb (4,199 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 16,340 lb (7,412 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 17,760 lb (8,056 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney J60-P-3 turbojet, 3,000 lbf (13.3 kN) each


See also

Comparable aircraft

External links

Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.

Published in July 2009.

Click here to read more articles related to aviation and space!

christianity portal
directory of hotels worldwide

Copyright 2004-2024 © by, Vyshenskoho st. 36, Lviv 79010, Ukraine
Legal Disclaimer