Century Series was the moniker given to US military fighter and fighter bomber aircraft in the 1950's and early 1960's. The official designations on the century series fighters went from F-100 through F-110.

After the 1962 Tri-service agreement on unifying the designation schemes for the US Navy, US Army and US Air Force, new fighter aircraft designs were numbered F-1 and upwards. Hence, the last new design of the Century Series was the ill-fated F-107.

Aircraft in the Century Series:

Other, lesser known planes in the century series:

  • Republic XP-103. Cancelled in August 1957 and thus never built. Would have been F-103 in production. Proposed as a delta winged titanium construction, dual engine (ramjet and conventional) mach 3+ flying machine. The name "Excalibur" pops up here and there in connection with the XP-103, but is not official.
  • North American F-108 Rapier. Delta winged, two crew, Mach 3+ long range interceptor. Cancelled in September 1959. None built.
  • McDonnell F-109. A designation originally used on the F-101 Voodoo 'B' variant, a two-seat interceptor, but later dropped. Other explanations for this designation includes a cancelled Mach 2.3 VTOL fighter project by Bell Aircraft.
  • McDonnell F-110 Spectre. Unknown to most people on the face of the earth, this was the official designation for the F-4 Phantom II after the 1962 tri-service designation changes. Rarely used, to say the least.

The only aircraft from the century series operational today is the F-104 Starfighter. It is scheduled to end service with the Italian Air Force some time in 2004.

The F-111 Aardvark and the F-117 Nighthawk are not considered to be in the century series, however odd that may seem.

Further reading:

Although laden with inaccuracies and funny spelling, the web page "Century Series" on http://www.geocities.co.jp/HeartLand-Icho/3902/jf/jf_e_century.html contains some fine drawings on all aircraft mentioned here.

The US Air Force museum has a virtual tour on the century series at http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/tours/vt2.htm

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