F-86 Sabre

TypeFighter
Country of originUnited States
ManufacturerNorth American Aviation
First flight1 October 1947
Introduced1949, with USAF
Produced
Numbers built9,860
Unit costsUS$219,457 (F-86E)
Max speedMaximum speed:
687 mph (1,106 km/h) at sea level at 14,212 lb (6,447 kg) combat weight
also reported 678 mph (1,091 km/h) and 599 at 35,000 feet (11,000 m) at 15,352 pounds (6,960 kg). (597 knots (1,106 km/h) at 6446 m, 1,091 and 964 km/h at 6,960 m.)

Stall speed: 124 mph (power off) (108 knots (200 km/h))
Max rangeRange: 1,525 mi, (1,753)
Service ceiling: 49,600 ft at combat weight (15,100 m)
DimensionsLength: 37 ft 1 in (11.4 m)
Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.3 m)
Height: 14 ft 1 in (4.5 m)
Wing area: 313.4 sq ft (29.11 m²)
WeightEmpty weight: 11,125 lb (5,046 kg)
Loaded weight: 15,198 lb (6,894 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 18,152 lb (8,234 kg)
Powerplant1 × General Electric J47-GE-27 turbojet, 5,910 lbf (maximum thrust at 7.950 rpm for five min) (26.3 kN)
ArmamentGuns: 6 × 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (1,602 rounds in total)

Rockets: variety of rocket launchers; e.g: 2 × Matra rocket pods with 18× SNEB 68 mm rockets each

Bombs: 5,300 lb (2,400 kg) of payload on four external hardpoints, bombs are usually mounted on outer two pylons as the inner pairs are wet-plumbed pylons for 2 × 200 US gallons (760 L) drop tanks to give the Sabre a useful range. A wide variety of bombs can be carried (max standard loadout being 2 × 1,000 lb bombs plus two drop tanks), napalm bomb canisters and can include a tactical nuclear weapon.
OperatorsFormer Operators:
Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Colombia, Ethiopia, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Japan, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Venezuela, Yugoslavia

The North American F-86 Sabre is a legend of Korean War. This transonic jet fighter also known as Sabrejet which developed and manufactured by North American Aviation to be pitted with the Soviet MiG-15. The F-86 was well-known of its versatility and adaptability which in turn made the fighter as a front-line fighter serving with many air forces in the world. The Bolivian Air Force was the last operator of Sabrejet as the air force kept operating the America’s swept wing fighter until 1994.

Throughout 1949 to 1956, there were more than 7,800 units of Sabrejet had been built in the United States, Japan and Italy. Canada and Australia also built the variants of F-86 Sabre. The Canadian version was called CAC Sabre or CAC CA-27 or Avon Sabre. Overall, the F-86 was the most-produced Western jet with total production of all variants at 9,860 units.

The Development of F-86 Sabre

After successfully producing propeller-powered P-51 Mustang in the Second World War, to fulfill the requirement of United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) which desired a new medium-range, single-seat, high-altitude jet-powered day escort fighter/fighter bomber in 1944, North American Aviation developed XP-86. The prototype was based on the FJ-1 Fury but it was lighter and faster than the Fury.    The XP-86 could reach a maximum speed of 582 mph (937 km/h) while the Fury only reached 547 mph (880 km/h).

By the end of the Second World War, Americans made use of the seized flight research data German aerodynamicists which explained that to extensively reduce drag and put off compressibility problems an aircraft could use a thin swept wing. This effort could lead to reaching the speed of sound.

In September 1948, the F-86A printed the first official world speed record of 670 mph (1,080 km/h). On 18 May 1953, Jacqueline Cochran, a female pilot, broke the sound barrier, flying a Canadian-built F-86 Sabre Mk3. She was the first woman who achieves the record.

The Design of F-86 Sabre

F-86 Sabre is a battle-proven jet fighter as it had been in service during Korean War, Taiwan Strait Crisis of 1958, Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as well as Bangladesh Liberation War 1971.

The XP-86 prototype, the embrio of  F-86 Sabre, was rolled out on 8 August 1947 and took its maiden flight on 1 October 1947.

Basically there were two variants of the F-86 Sabre: fighter-interceptor and fighter-bomber. The XP-86 featured a General Electric J35-C-3 jet engine, built by GM’s Chevrolet division until production was turned over to Allison.

The fighter-bomber version (F-86H) could bear up to 2, 000 lb (907 kg) of bombs; this includes an external fuel-type tank that might bring napalm bomb. A number of the fighters on training missions brought unguided 2. 75 in (70 mm) rockets, however 5 inch (127 mm) rockets were subsequently bore on combat operations.

The two interceptor and fighter-bomber versions were armed with six 0.50 in (12. 7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns. Afterwards, other versions of the F-86H were equipped with four 20 mm (0. 79 in) cannons instead of machine guns.

Initial aircraft were equipped with the Mark 18 manual-ranging computing gun sight. The last 24 F-86A-5-Nas and F-86E were loaded with the A-1CM gunsight-AN/APG-30 radar which made use of radar to quickly calculate the range of a target. This would certainly show to be a substantial advantage against MiG opponents throughout Korean War.

The F-86 Sabre was also manufactured under license by Canadair, Ltd., in the Province of Quebec as the Canadair Sabre. The final variant of the Canadian Sabre, the Mark 6, is commonly graded as owning the highest abilities of any Sabre version produced anywhere else.

F-86 Sabre videos

The North American Aviation F-86 Sabre

2010 March ARB Airfest – F-86 Sabre Demonstration

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