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North American NA-265 Sabreliner / Sabre / T-39

Rockwell Sabreliner

Sabreliner Corporation Sabreliner



The NA-246 Sabreliner started its life as a pri-vate venture in the mid-1950s to meet the USAF's UTX requirements for a combat readiness trainer and utility aircraft. Announced on 27 August 1956, It was laid out with a six-seat interior and to be flown by a two-man crew, the civil-registered prototype was completed in May 1958, although the lack of suitable engines delayed the first flight, which took place at Los Angeles, until 16 September, under the designation T-39. The initial powerplant comprised two 1134kg thrust General Electric YJ85 turbojets and, thus powered, the prototype completed its military evaluation programme at Edwards Air Force Base in December 1958.

In October 1958 the Sabreliner won its first order, for seven NA-265 or T-39A aircraft with 1361kg thrust Pratt & Whitney J60 engines. Production of the highly successful T-39 series commenced in 1958, and 213 were purchased by the Air Force and the Navy. All military models of the T-39 series were certificated to civil airworthiness standards, beginning with the T-39A on 23 March 1962.

The commercial version of the T‑39, known as the NA-265-40 Sabreliner / Sabre 40, was type‑certificat­ed on 17 April 1963 and was one of the first jets available to business aviation. It is larger and more rugged and powerful than jets that have been designed solely for civilian use. Its speed by jet standards is modest with a cruise of 489 knots. The aircraft maintained its popularity throughout the 1960s and 1970s as improvements were made to the airframe and powerplants.
In 1965 North American increased the Sabreliner’s gross weight by beefing up landing gear and re-qualifying wheels. The modification allows the twin-jet to carry full fuel with nine people and baggage aboard totalling 18,650 lb. The previous max was 17,760 lb. Changes were offered free to Sabreliner owners.

One of the unusual features that the Sa­breliner was auto­matic leading‑edge slats. The slats added impressive low‑speed han­dling qualities to the bizjet.

Gone are the slats, however, from a Sabreliner 60. The stretched Sabre 60, introduced in 1969, is powered by two 3,300-pound-thrust P&W JT12A-8 turbojets, the same engine that was used in the Dash 8 JetStar.

The Rockwell Sabreliner 65 is essentially a fanjet, supercritical-wing version of the Sabre 60. Its engines are Garrett AiResearch TFE 731-3s, which the factory may also retrofit to Model 60s and the even-earlier Sabre 40s. Its IFR range was just under 2,500 nautical miles. The first production lot of Sabre 65s was sold at an average equipped price of $3,250,000.

Both the 74 and 60 models were fitted with thrust reversers to aid in shorter landings and assist in braking on icy or wet runways.


The Sabre 75A, with its expanded cabin height and higher gross weight, uses two General Electric CF700-2D2 turbofans identical to the 4,315-pound-thrust powerplants employed on the Falcon 20. The 75A model features square windows, a ‘stand-up’ cabin and a long span tailplane.

In 1978 Rockwell International's Sabreliner 80A made a first flight from St. Louis. The new business jet is a modified version of the Model 75A, with a supercritical wing.

Civil production of all models, including the final model, the Sabreliner 65A, totalled well over 600 aircraft when the last aircraft came off the line in 1981.

Rockewell International's Sabreliner Division was acquired in 1983 by the specially formed Sabreliner Corporation of St Louis, Missouri to continue product support. Type Certificate A2WE was reissued to Saberliner Corp in 1983 to cover active Model 265s. At the end of 1990 the company completed the design of a new version of the Sabreliner designated the Model 85. This has a supercritical wing incorporating winglets, a fuselage stretch of 1.5m, and more powerful TFE731-5 turbofan engines, but further development would require a risk-sharing partner.





NA-246 Sabreliner / T-39
Engines: 2 x General Electric YJ85 turbojets 1134kg thrust

Engines: 2 x P&W
Wing span: 44 ft 5 in (13.54 m)
Length: 43 ft 9 in (13.34 m)
Height: 16 ft 0 in (4.88 m)
Max TO wt: 17,760 lb (8055 kg)
Max level speed: 595 mph (958 kph)

NA-265 / T-39A
Engines: 2 x Pratt & Whitney J60-P3A, 1361kg thrust

CT-39A Sabreliner

NA-265-40 Sabreliner / Sabre 40

Cruise: 489 kts

Rockwell Sabreliner 60

Engines: 2 x P&WAC JT12A-8, 3300 lb
Wing loading: 58.47 lb/sq.ft
Pwr loading: 3.3 lb/lb
Max TO wt: 20,172 lb
Operating wt: 11,650 lb
Equipped useful load: 8552 lb
Payload max fuel: 1400 lb
Zero fuel wt: 13,800 lb
Range max fuel/cruise: 2091 nm/4.2 hr
Range max fuel / range: 1933 nm/ 4.8 hr
Service ceiling: 45,000 ft
Max cruise: 489 kt
Max range cruise: 407 kt
Vmc: 90 kt
Stall: 102-109 kt
1.3 Vso: 123 kt
ROC: 4700 fpm
SE ROC: 1100 fpm @ 186 kt
SE Service ceiling: 26,000 ft
BFL: 5050 ft
Cabin press: 8.8 psi
Fuel cap: 7122 lb
Seats: 8/10
Crew: 2

Sabre 60
Engines: 2 x P&W JT12A-8 turbojets, 3,300 lb

NA 265-65 Sabreliner 65
Engines: 2 x Garrett TFE 731-3R-1D, 3700 lbs / 1678kg thrust
Seats: 10
Length: 14.30 m / 46 ft 11 in
Height: 4.88 m / 16 ft
Wingspan: 15.37 m / 50.5 ft
Wing area: 380 sq.ft
Wing aspect ratio: 6.7
Maximum ramp weight: 24,000 lbs
Maximum takeoff weight: 10886 kg / 24,000 lbs
Standard empty weight: 13,350 lbs
Maximum useful load: 10,650 lbs
Zero-fuel weight: 16,250 lbs
Maximum landing weight: 21,755 lbs
Wing loading: 63.2 lbs/sq.ft
Power loading: 3.2 lbs/lb
Maximum usable fuel: 8644 lbs
Best rate of climb: 3540 fpm
Certificated ceiling: 13715 m / 45,000 ft
Max pressurisation differential: 8.8 psi
8000 ft cabin alt @: 45,000 ft
Maximum single-engine rate of climb: 950 fpm @ 127 kts
Single-engine climb gradient: 452 ft/nm
Single-engine ceiling: 25,000 ft
Maximum speed: 513 kts
Normal cruise @ 43,000ft: 430 kts
Fuel flow @ normal cruise: 1090 pph
Stalling speed clean: 117 kts
Stalling speed gear/flaps down: 81 kts
Turbulent-air penetration speed: 225 kts

Sabreliner 65A

Sabreliner 75A

Engines: 2 x General Elec-tric CF700-2D2, 4315 lb
Seats: 8/10
Wing loading: 68.11 lb/sq.ft
Pwr loading: 2.53 lb/lb
Max TO wt: 22,800 lb
Operating wt: 13,600 lb
Equipped useful load: 9200 lb
Payload max fuel: 1820 lb
Zero fuel wt: 15,620 lb
Range max fuel/cruise: 1985 nm/4.0 hr
Range max fuel / range: 1897 nm/ 4.6 hr
Service ceiling: 45,000 ft
Max cruise: 489 kt
Max range cruise: 417 kt
Vmc: 92 kt
Stall: 105-113 kt
1.3 Vso: 137 kt
ROC: 4500 fpm
SE ROC: 1050 fpm @ 190 kt
SE Service ceiling: 24,000 ft
Cabin press: 8.8 psi
Fuel cap: 7380 lb
Takeoff run (balanced) 4,420 ft
Landing roll 2,525 ft

Rockwell International Sabreliner 80A

Sabreliner 85
Engines: 2 x  TFE731-5 turbofan




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