North American T-39 Sabreliner USAF airplane model. 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 Americans 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.