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Watch: Rare Video Shows Off The Pride Of North American Aviation’s Mid-Century Aircraft

North American gave us the Texan, the Trojan, the Mustang, the Mitchell, and Much More

Official US Air Force photograph

When North American Aviation produced the film “The North American Story” during the 1950s, their new F-100 Super Sabre fighter bomber had only been in service for a short time. The film features several variants of North American’s finest, including FJ Fury fighter bombers, F-86 Sabre fighters, BT-9 trainers, O-47 observation aircraft, XB-21 Dragon bombers, T-6/SNJ/Harvard trainers, B-25 Mitchell medium bombers, P-51 Mustang fighter bombers, B-45 Tornado bombers, AJ-1 Savage carrier-borne strategic bombers, T-28 Trojan trainers, and F-100 Super Sabre fighter-bombers. The film, uploaded to YouTube by PeriscopeFilm, stars all of the most memorable North American designs of the 1940s and 1950s.

Official US Navy photograph

North American would go on to develop the X-15 and continue to refine the F-100 Super Sabre. One of the company’s most ambitious projects, the XB-70 Valkyrie supersonic bomber, would end in disaster but the company would also work on the Apollo Command Module and Service Module, the second stage of the Saturn V rocket, the Space Shuttle orbiter and as Rockwell would develop the B-1 Lancer. North American Aviation eventually became part of North American Rockwell, which in turn became Rockwell International, and is part of Boeing today.

Official US Air Force photograph

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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