The T-39 is the Air Force version of Rockwell's popular Sabreliner executive aircraft. This handy twin-jet utility plane has been used for many purposes: a four-passenger executive transport, light ... priority cargo and for radar and navigational training. The T-39 Sabreliner is a low wing, twin jet aircraft. The cockpit and cabin compartments are pressurized and soundproofed for high altitude flight. Power is supplied by two Pratt and Whitney, J60 gas turbine engines located on each side of the aft fuselage. The rated sea level static thrust of each engine is 3,000 pounds at military power.
The T-39 was developed by North American Aviation Inc. as a private venture to meet a USAF requirement for a twin jet utility trainer. The prototype T-39 made its first flight on September 16, 1958. In January 1959, the USAF placed a production order and on June 30, 1960, the first production T-39A made its initial flight. In all, 143 T-39As and 6 T-39Bs were built for the USAF.
Another 62 T-39 variants were produced for the Navy. In July 1961, the Navy ordered ten of North American’s Model NA-277 to train radar operators. In that order the aircraft was designated T3J-1, but by the time the first one was delivered in 1962, the designation had been changed to T-39D. A total of 52 additional aircraft were accepted. After the bulk of military contracts had been met, the Sabreliner entered the commercial market where it became a highly successful executive jet transport.
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