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The North American F-86 Sabre, sometimes called the Sabrejet, is a
transonic Transonic (or transsonic) flow is air flowing around an object at a speed that generates regions of both subsonic and supersonic F/A-18F Super Hornet The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twinjet, twin-engine, Carrier-based air ...

transonic
jet
fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine, such as an airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet en ...

fighter aircraft
. Produced by
North American Aviation North American Aviation (NAA) was a major American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly k ...
, the Sabre is best known as the United States' first
swept-wing A swept wing is a wing A wing is a type of fin that produces lift while moving through air or some other fluid. Accordingly, wings have streamlined Cross section (geometry), cross-sections that are subject to aerodynamic forces and act as ...
fighter that could counter the swept-wing Soviet
MiG-15 The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-15; USAF/DoD designation: Type 14; NATO reporting name NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment from Russia, China, and historically, the Eastern B ...

MiG-15
in high-speed dogfights in the skies of the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea and South Korea from 25 June 1950 to 27 July 1953. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following clashes along the border and rebellions in So ...

Korean War
(1950–1953), fighting some of the earliest jet-to-jet battles in history. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in that war, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces. Its success led to an extended production run of more than 7,800 aircraft between 1949 and 1956, in the United States, Japan, and Italy. In addition, 738 carrier-modified versions were purchased by the US Navy as FJ-2s and -3s. Variants were built in Canada and Australia. The
Canadair Sabre The Canadair Sabre is a jet fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of fighter aircraft is to establish air supremacy, ...

Canadair Sabre
added another 1,815 aircraft and the significantly redesigned
CAC Sabre The CAC Sabre, sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CA-27, is an Australian variant of the North American Aviation F-86F Sabre fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for a ...

CAC Sabre
(sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CAC CA-27), had a production run of 112. The Sabre is by far the most-produced Western jet fighter, with a total production of all variants at 9,860 units.Winchester 2006, p. 184.


Development

North American Aviation had produced the propeller-powered
P-51 Mustang The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber A fighter-bomber is a fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primari ...

P-51 Mustang
in
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, which saw combat against some of the first operational jet fighters. By late 1944, North American proposed its first jet fighter to the U.S. Navy, which became the FJ-1 Fury. It was an unexceptional transitional jet fighter that had a straight wing derived from the P-51. Initial proposals to meet a
United States Army Air Forces The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF or AAF) was the major land-based aerial warfare service component of the United States Army and ''de facto'' aerial warfare service branch of the United States during and immediately after World War II ...
(USAAF) requirement for a medium-range, single-seat, high-altitude, jet-powered day
escort fighter The escort fighter was a concept for a fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of fighter aircraft is to establish air sup ...
/
fighter bomber A fighter-bomber is a fighter aircraft that has been modified, or used primarily, as a light bomber or attack aircraft. It differs from bomber and attack aircraft primarily in its origins, as a fighter that has been adapted into other roles, whe ...
were drafted in mid-1944. In early 1945, North American Aviation submitted four designs. The USAAF selected one design over the others and granted North American a contract to build three examples of the XP-86 ("experimental pursuit"). Deleting specific requirements from the FJ-1 Fury, coupled with other modifications, allowed the XP-86 to be lighter and considerably faster than the Fury, with an estimated top speed of , versus the Fury's . Despite the gain in speed, early studies revealed the XP-86 would have the same performance as its rivals, the XP-80 and . Because these rival designs were more advanced in their development stages, it was feared that the XP-86 would be cancelled. Crucially, the XP-86 was not able to meet the required top speed of ; North American had to quickly devise a radical change that could leapfrog its rivals. The North American F-86 Sabre was the first American aircraft to take advantage of flight research data seized from the German aerodynamicists at the end of World War II."North American F-86."
''Aviation History On-line Museum''. Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
These data showed that a thin, swept wing could greatly reduce drag and delay
compressibility In thermodynamics Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, Work (thermodynamics), work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these quan ...
problems that had bedeviled fighters such as the
Lockheed P-38 Lightning The Lockheed P-38 Lightning is an American single seated, piston-engined fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of f ...

Lockheed P-38 Lightning
when approaching the speed of sound. By 1944, German engineers and designers had established the benefits of swept wings based on experimental designs dating back to 1940. A study of the data showed that a swept wing would solve their speed problem, while a slat on the wing's leading edge that extended at low speeds would enhance low-speed stability. Because development of the XP-86 had reached an advanced stage, the idea of changing the sweep of the wing was met with resistance from some senior North American staff. Despite stiff opposition, after good results were obtained in wind tunnel tests, the swept-wing concept was eventually adopted. Performance requirements were met by incorporating a 35° swept-back wing, using modified NACA four-digit airfoils, NACA 0009.5–64 at the root and NACA 0008.5–64 at the tip,Lednicer, David
"The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage."
''ae.illinois.edu,'' 15 October 2010. Retrieved: 19 July 2011.
with an automatic slat design based on that of the
Messerschmitt Me 262 The Messerschmitt Me 262, nicknamed ''Schwalbe'' (German: " Swallow") in fighter versions, or ''Sturmvogel'' (German: " Storm Bird") in fighter-bomber versions, was the world's first operational jet-powered fighter aircraft. Design work started ...

Messerschmitt Me 262
and an electrically adjustable stabilizer, another feature of the Me 262A.Blair, Mac. "Evolution of the F-86" ''AIAA Evolution of Aircraft Wing Design Symposium'', 18 March 1980. Many Sabres had the "6–3 wing" (a fixed leading edge with a 6-inch extended chord at the root and a 3-inch extended chord at the tip) retrofitted after combat experience was gained in Korea. This modification changed the wing airfoils to the NACA 0009-64 modified configuration at the root and the NACA 0008.1–64 mod at the tip. The XP-86 prototype, which led to the F-86 Sabre, was rolled out on 8 August 1947. The first flight occurred on 1 October 1947 with George Welch at the controls, flying from Muroc Dry Lake (now
Edwards AFB Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) is a United States Air Force installation located in Kern County in Edwards, California, about northeast of Lancaster, east of Rosamond and south of California City. It is the home of the Air Force Test Ce ...
), California. The
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
's
Strategic Air Command Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a United States Department of Defense (DoD) List of former Unified Combatant Commands, Specified Command and a United States Air Force (USAF) List of Major Commands of the United States Air Force, Major Comm ...

Strategic Air Command
had F-86 Sabres in service from 1949 through 1950. The F-86s were assigned to the 22nd Bomb Wing, the 1st Fighter Wing, and the 1st Fighter Interceptor Wing. The F-86 was the primary U.S. air combat fighter during the Korean War, with significant numbers of the first three production models seeing combat. The F-86 Sabre was also produced under license by Canadair, Ltd, as the Canadair Sabre. The final variant of the Canadian Sabre, the Mark 6, is generally rated as having the highest capabilities of any Sabre version.


Breaking sound barrier and other records

The F-86A set its first official world speed record of on September 15, 1948, at Muroc Dry Lake, flown by Major Richard L. Johnson, USAF. Five years later, on 18 May 1953,
Jacqueline Cochran Jacqueline Cochran (May 11, 1906 – August 9, 1980) was an American pilot and business executive. She pioneered women's aviation as one of the most prominent racing pilots of her generation. She set numerous records and was the first woman to bre ...

Jacqueline Cochran
became the first woman to break the sound barrier, flying a "one-off" Canadian-built F-86 Sabre Mk 3, alongside Chuck Yeager.Knaack 1978, p. 52. Col. K. K. Compton won the 1951 Bendix air race in an F-86A with an average speed of 553.76 mph (891.19 km/h).


Design


Overview

The F-86 was produced as both a
fighter-interceptor An interceptor aircraft, or simply interceptor, is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically for the defensive interception role against an attacking enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft. There are two general ...
and
fighter-bomber A fighter-bomber is a fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing A fixed-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air flying machine, such as an airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft that ...
. Several variants were introduced over its production life, with improvements and different armament implemented (see below). The XP-86 was fitted with a jet engine that produced of thrust. This engine was built by 's
Chevrolet Chevrolet ( ), colloquially referred to as Chevy and formally the Chevrolet Division of General Motors Company, is an American automobile division of the American manufacturer General Motors General Motors Company (GM) is an American Mul ...

Chevrolet
division until production was turned over to Allison. The engine was used in the F-86A-1 producing a thrust of , while the engine of the F-86H produced of thrust. The fighter-bomber version (F-86H) could carry up to of bombs, including an external fuel-type tank that could carry
napalm Napalm is an aluminum soap used to prepare Incendiary device, incendiary mixtures composed by the gelling agent and a compatible volatile petrochemical (usually gasoline (petrol), kerosene and diesel fuel). The name is a portmanteau of two of the ...

napalm
. Unguided
rocket A rocket (from it, rocchetto, , bobbin/spool) is a spacecraft A spacecraft is a vehicle or machine designed to fly in outer space. A type of artificial satellite alt=, A full-size model of the Earth observation satellite ERS 2 ...
s were used on some fighters on training missions, but rockets were later carried on combat operations. The F-86 could also be fitted with a pair of external jettisonable jet fuel tanks (four on the F-86F beginning in 1953) that extended the range of the aircraft. Both the interceptor and fighter-bomber versions carried six M3 Browning machine guns with electrically-boosted feed in the nose (later versions of the F-86H carried four cannon instead of machine guns). Firing at a rate of 1,200 rounds per minute, the 0.50-inch guns were harmonized to converge at in front of the aircraft, using armor-piercing (AP) and armor-piercing incendiary (API) rounds, with one armor-piercing incendiary tracer (APIT) for every five AP or API rounds. The API rounds used during the Korean War contained
magnesium Magnesium is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ordered by link=Periodic table In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science ...

magnesium
, which were designed to ignite upon impact, but burned poorly above as oxygen levels were insufficient to sustain combustion at that height. Initial planes were fitted with the Mark 18 manual-ranging computing gun sight. The last 24 F-86A-5-Nas and F-86Es were equipped with the A-1CM gunsight-AN/APG-30 radar, which used
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

radar
to automatically compute a target's range, which later proved to be advantageous against MiG opponents over Korea.


Flying characteristics

The Sabre's swept wings and jet engine produced a flying experience that was very different from the propeller-driven fighters of the time. The transition from props to jets was not without accidents and incidents even for experienced fighter pilots. Early on in the jet age, some US manufacturers instituted safety and transition programs where experienced test and production pilots toured operational fighter squadrons to provide instruction and demonstrations designed to lower the accident rate. Additionally, the ongoing technical development and long production history of the F-86 resulted in some significant differences in the handling and flying characteristics between the various F-86 models. Some of the important changes to the design included the switch from an elevator/stabilizer to an all-flying tail, the discontinuation of leading edge slats for a solid leading edge with increased internal fuel capacity, increased engine power, and an internal missile bay (F-86D). Each of these design changes impacted the handling and flying characteristics of the F-86, not necessarily for the better. In the case of the solid leading edge and increased internal fuel capacity, the design change produced increased combat performance but exacerbated a dangerous and often fatal handling characteristic upon take-off if the nose were raised prematurely from the runway. This 'over-rotation' danger is now a major area of instruction and concern for current F-86 pilots. The
1972 Sacramento Canadair Sabre accident On September 24, 1972, a privately owned Canadair Sabre, Canadair Sabre Mk. 5 jet, piloted by Richard Bingham, failed to take off while leaving the "Golden West Sport Aviation Air Show" at Sacramento Executive Airport in Sacramento, California, Sacr ...
resulting in 22 fatalities and 28 other casualties was a result of over-rotation on take-off.


Operational history


Korean War

The F-86 entered service with the USAF in 1949, joining the
1st Fighter Wing The 1st Fighter Wing (1 FW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Ninth Air Force. It is stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, Va. where it is a tenant unit, being supported by the 633d Air Base Wing. Its ...

1st Fighter Wing
's and became the primary air-to-air jet fighter used by the Americans in the Korean War. While earlier straight-winged jets such as the
P-80 The Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the first Jet aircraft, jet fighter aircraft, fighter used operationally by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF). Designed and built by Lockheed Corporation, Lockheed in 1943 and delivered just 143 days ...
and
F-84 The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet The turbojet is an airbreathing jet engine, typically used in aircraft. It consists of a gas turbine A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of Internal combustio ...

F-84
initially achieved air victories, when the swept-wing Soviet MiG-15 was introduced in November 1950, it outperformed all UN-based aircraft. In response, three squadrons of F-86s were rushed to the Far East in December.Thompson, Warren
"Sabre: The F-86 in Korea."
''Flight Journal'', December 2002. Retrieved: 30 June 2011.
Early variants of the F-86 could not out turn, but they could out dive the MiG-15. The MiG-15 was superior to early F-86 models in
ceiling A ceiling is an overhead interior surface that covers the upper limits of a room In a building, a room is any space Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction. Physi ...
, acceleration, rate of climb, and zoom. With the introduction of the F-86F in 1953, the two aircraft were more closely matched, with many combat-experienced pilots claiming a marginal superiority for the F-86F. The heavier firepower of the MiG (and many other contemporary fighters) was addressed by fielding eight cannon-armed F-86s in the waning months of the war. Despite being able to fire only two of the four 20 mm cannon at a time, the experiment was considered a success.Ray Wagner, The North American Sabre The MiGs flown from bases in
Manchuria Manchuria is an exonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populatio ...

Manchuria
by Chinese, North Korean, and Soviet VVS pilots were pitted against two squadrons of the forward-based at , Korea. In October 1951, the Soviets managed to recover a downed Sabre, and in their investigation of the type they concluded that the Sabre's advantage in combat was due to the APG-30 gun-sight that facilitated accurate fire at longer ranges. Many of the American pilots were experienced World War II veterans, while the North Koreans and the Chinese lacked combat experience, thus accounting for much of the F-86's success."Fact Sheet: The United States Air Force in Korea."
''National Museum of the United States Air Force.'' Retrieved: 7 June 2011.
However, United Nations pilots suspected many of the MiG-15s were being flown by experienced Soviet pilots who also had combat experience in World War II. Former Communist sources now acknowledge Soviet pilots initially flew the majority of MiG-15s that fought in Korea, and dispute that more MiG-15s than F-86s were shot down in air combat. Later in the war, North Korean and Chinese pilots increased their participation as combat flyers.
''acepilots/com.'' Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
The North Koreans and their allies periodically contested air superiority in
MiG Alley "MiG Alley" was the name given by United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization aiming to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve ...
, an area near the mouth of the Yalu River (the boundary between
Korea Korea is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental ...

Korea
and China) over which the most intense air-to-air combat took place. Although the F-86A could be safely flown through Mach 1, the F-86E's all-moving
tailplane A tailplane, also known as a horizontal stabiliser, is a small lifting surface located on the tail (empennage The empennage ( or ), also known as the tail or tail assembly, is a structure at the rear of an aircraft that provides stability du ...
greatly improved maneuverability at high speeds. The MiG-15 could not safely exceed Mach 0.92, an important disadvantage in near-sonic air combat. Far greater emphasis had been given to the training, aggressiveness, and experience of the F-86 pilots. American Sabre pilots were trained at Nellis, where the casualty rate of their training was so high, they were told, "If you ever see the flag at full staff, take a picture." Despite
rules of engagement Rules of engagement (ROE) are the internal rules or directives military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense arm ...
to the contrary, F-86 units frequently initiated combat over MiG bases in the Manchurian "sanctuary". The needs of combat operations balanced against the need to maintain an adequate force structure in Western Europe led to the conversion of the from the F-80 to the F-86 in December 1951. Two fighter-bomber wings, the and
18th 18 (eighteen) is the natural number following 17 (number), 17 and preceding 19 (number), 19. In mathematics * Eighteen is a composite number, its divisors being 1 (number), 1, 2 (number), 2, 3 (number), 3, 6 (number), 6 and 9 (number), 9. Three ...

18th
, converted to the F-86F in the spring of 1953. No. 2 Squadron,
South African Air Force "Through hardships to the stars" , colours = , colours_label = , march = , mascot = , anniversaries = , equipment ...
(SAAF) also distinguished itself flying F-86s in Korea as part of the 18 FBW. On 17 June 1951, at 01:30 hours,
Suwon Air Base Suwon Air Base is a Republic of Korea Air Force (ROKAF) base near Suwon city. Units The base is home to the ROKAF's 10th Fighter Wing (제10전투비행단), comprising: *101st Fighter Squadron flying Northrop F-5, KF-5E/KF-5F/F-5F *201st Fighte ...
was bombed by two
Polikarpov Po-2 The Polikarpov Po-2 (also U-2, for its initial ''uchebnyy'', 'training', role as a flight instruction Flight training is a course of study used when learning to pilot an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by ga ...

Polikarpov Po-2
biplanes. Each Po-2 dropped a pair of fragmentation bombs: one scored a hit on the 802nd Engineer Aviation Battalion's motor pool, damaging some equipment. Two bombs burst on the flightline of the 335th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. One F-86A Sabre (FU-334 / 49-1334) was struck on the wing and began burning. The fire took hold, gutting the aircraft. Prompt action by personnel who moved aircraft away from the burning Sabre prevented further loss. Eight other Sabres were damaged in the brief attack, four seriously. One F-86 pilot was among the wounded. The North Koreans subsequently credited Lt. La Woon Yung with this damaging attack. By the end of hostilities, F-86 pilots were credited with shooting down 792 MiGs for a loss of only 78 Sabres in air-to-air combat, a victory ratio of 10:1. Of the 41 American pilots who earned the designation of
ace An ace is a playing card A playing card is a piece of specially prepared , heavy paper, thin cardboard, , cotton-paper blend, or thin plastic that is marked with distinguishing motifs. Often the front (face) and back of each card has a to ...
during the Korean War, all but one flew the F-86 Sabre, the exception being a Navy
Vought F4U Corsair The Vought F4U Corsair is an American fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of fighter aircraft is to establish air ...

Vought F4U Corsair
night fighter pilot. However, after the war, the USAF reviewed its figures in an investigation code-named ''Sabre Measure Charlie'' and downgraded the kill ratio of the North American F-86 Sabre against the
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 (russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-15; USAF/DoD designation: Type 14; NATO reporting name NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment from Russia, China, and historically, the Eastern Blo ...

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
by half. Internally, the USAF accepted that its pilots in fact downed ~ 200 MiGs According to Soviet data, the Soviets lost 335 MiG-15s in Korea to all causes, including accidents, antiaircraft fire, and ground attacks. Chinese claims of their losses amount to 224 MiG-15s in Korea. North Korean losses are not known, but according to North Korean defectors, their air force lost around 100 MiG-15s during the war. Thus, 659 MiG-15s are admitted as being lost, many of these to F-86 Sabres The Soviets claimed to have downed over 600 Sabres, together with the Chinese claims (211 F-86s shot-down), although these cannot be reconciled with the number of Sabres recorded as lost by the US. The status of many claimed air-to-air victories in the Korean War has been increasingly debated as more data becomes available, showing that instances of over-claiming abounded on both sides. The research by Dorr, Lake and Thompson claimed an F-86 kill ratio closer to 2:1. A recent
RAND The RAND Corporation ("research and development") is an American nonprofit A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organized and ope ...
report made reference to "recent scholarship" of F-86 v MiG-15 combat over Korea and concluded that the actual kill:loss ratio for the F-86 was 1.8:1 overall, and likely closer to 1.3:1 against MiGs flown by Soviet pilots. However, this ratio did not count the number of aircraft of other types (including the B-29, A-26, F-80, F-82, F-84 and Gloster Meteor) shot down by MiG-15 pilots. Data-matching with Soviet records suggests that US pilots routinely attributed their own combat losses to "landing accidents" and "other causes". According to official US data ("USAF Statistical Digest FY1953"), the USAF lost 250 F-86 fighters in Korea. Of these, 184 were lost in combat (78 in air-to-air combat, 19 by anti-aircraft guns, 26 were "unknown causes" and 61 were "other losses") and 66 in incidents. South African Air Force lost 6 F-86s in the war. This gives 256 confirmed F-86 losses during the Korean War.


Cold War

In addition to its distinguished service in Korea, USAF F-86s also served in various stateside and overseas roles throughout the early part of the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
. As newer Century-series fighters came on line, F-86s were transferred to
Air National Guard The Air National Guard (ANG), also known as the Air Guard, is a Reserve components of the United States Armed Forces, federal military reserve force of the United States Air Force, as well as the militia (United States), militia air force of eac ...

Air National Guard
(ANG) units or the air forces of allied nations. The last ANG F-86s continued in U.S. service until 1970.


1958 Taiwan Strait crisis

The
Republic of China Air Force A republic ( la, res publica ''Res publica'' (also spelt as ''rēs pūblica'' to indicate vowel length In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived length of a vowel sound: the corresponding physical measurement is length (phonetics), du ...
of
Taiwan Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and N ...

Taiwan
was an early recipient of surplus USAF Sabres. From December 1954 to June 1956, the ROC Air Force received 160 ex-USAF F-86F-1-NA through F-86F-30-NA fighters. By June 1958, the Nationalist Chinese had built up an impressive fighter force, with 320 F-86Fs and seven RF-86Fs having been delivered. Sabres and MiGs were shortly to battle each other in the skies of Asia once again in the
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis The Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, was a conflict that took place between the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the ...
. In August 1958, the
Chinese Communists The Communist Party of China (CPC), commonly known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the founding and sole governing political party of the People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a ...
of the People's Republic of China attempted to force the
Nationalists Nationalism is an idea and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of people),Anthony D. Smith, Smith, Anthony. ''Nationalism: Theory, Ideology, History''. Polity (publisher), Polity, ...

Nationalists
off of the islands of
Quemoy Kinmen, alternatively known as Quemoy, is a group of islands An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features ...
and Matsu by shelling and blockade. Nationalist F-86Fs flying
combat air patrol Combat air patrol (CAP) is a type of flying mission for fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of fighter aircraft is ...
over the islands found themselves confronted by Communist MiG-15s and
MiG-17 The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 (russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-17; NATO reporting name: Fresco) is a high-subsonic fighter aircraft produced in the USSR from 1952 and operated by numerous air forces in many variants. It is an advanc ...
s, and numerous dogfights resulted. During these battles, the Nationalist Sabres introduced a new element into aerial warfare. Under a secret effort designated Operation Black Magic, the U.S. Navy had provided the ROC with the
AIM-9 Sidewinder The AIM-9 Sidewinder (for ''Air Intercept Missile'') is a short-range air-to-air missile file:Python5-missile001.jpg, The newest and the oldest member of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Rafael's Python (missile), Python family of AAM for co ...

AIM-9 Sidewinder
, its first
infrared-homing Image:IRIS-T air-to-air-missile.jpg, 300px, A modern German Air Force IRIS-T infrared homing air-to-air missile Infrared homing is a Missile guidance#Passive homing, passive weapon guidance system which uses the infrared (IR) light emission from a ...
air-to-air missile file:Python5-missile001.jpg, The newest and the oldest member of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Rafael's Python (missile), Python family of AAM for comparisons, Python-5 (displayed lower-front) and Shafrir-1 (upper-back) An air-to-air missi ...
, which was just entering service with the United States. A small team from
VMF-323 Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 323 (VMFA-323) is an aircraft carrier-based military aviation, aviation squadron (aviation), squadron of the United States Marine Corps. The squadron is equipped with the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, McDonnell Dou ...
, a Marine
FJ-4 Fury The North American FJ-4 Fury is a swept-wing carrier-capable fighter-bomber for the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps. The final development in a lineage that included the Air Force's North American F-86 Sabre, F-86 S ...
squadron with later assistance from and North American Aviation, initially modified 20 of the F-86 Sabres to carry a pair of Sidewinders on underwing launch rails and instructed the ROC pilots in their use flying profiles with USAF F-100s simulating the MiG-17. The MiGs enjoyed an altitude advantage over the Sabres, as they had in Korea, and Communist Chinese MiGs routinely cruised over the Nationalist Sabres, only engaging when they had a favorable position. The Sidewinder took away that advantage and proved to be devastatingly effective against the MiGs.


Indo-Pakistani War of 1965

In 1954, Pakistan began receiving the first of a total of 120 F-86F Sabres. Many of these aircraft were F-86F-35s from USAF stocks, but some were from the later F-86F-40-NA production block, made specifically for export. Many of the −35s were brought up to −40 standards before they were delivered to Pakistan, but a few remained −35s. The F-86 was operated by nine
Pakistan Air Force , "Be it deserts or seas; all lie under our wings" (traditional) , colours = , colours_label = , march = , mascot = , anniversaries = ...
(PAF) squadrons at various times: Nos. 5, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, and 26 Squadrons. The Sabre was no longer a world-class fighter (due to availability of supersonic jets). However, many sources state the F-86 gave the PAF a technological advantage."Pakistan's Air Power."
''
Flight International ''Flight International'' is a monthly magazine A magazine is a periodical publication Periodical literature (also called a periodical publication or simply a periodical) is a category of serial publications that appear in a new editi ...
'', 5 May 1984, p. 1208 via ''FlightGlobal.com,'' Retrieved: 22 October 2009.


Air to air combat

In the air-to-air combat of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the PAF Sabres claimed to have shot down 15
Indian Air Force #REDIRECT Indian Air Force#REDIRECT Indian Air Force The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. Its primary mission i ...

Indian Air Force
(IAF) aircraft, comprising nine
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Hunters
, four
Vampires A vampire is a creature from folklore that subsists by feeding on the Vitalism, vital essence (generally in the form of blood) of the living. In European folklore, vampires are undead, undead creatures that often visited loved ones and caus ...

Vampires
, and two
Gnats GNAT is a free-software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast t ...

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. India, however, admitted a loss of 14 combat aircraft to the PAF's F-86s."1965 Losses."
''bhart-rakshak.com''. Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
The F-86s of the PAF had the advantage of being armed with AIM-9B/GAR-8 Sidewinder missiles, whereas none of its Indian adversaries had this capability. Despite this, the IAF claimed to have shot down four PAF Sabres in
air-to-air combat's Sukhoi Su-30MKIs during a Thach Weave manoeuvre. Air combat maneuvering (also known as ACM or dogfighting) is the tactical art of moving, turning and/or situating one's fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing ...

air-to-air combat
.Rakshak, Bharat
"IAF Kills in 1965."
''bharat-rakshak.com''. Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
The
Indian Air Force #REDIRECT Indian Air Force#REDIRECT Indian Air Force The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. Its primary mission i ...

Indian Air Force
claimed that seven F-86 Sabres were shot down by
Folland Gnats The Folland Gnat is a British compact swept-wing A swept wing is a wing A wing is a type of fin that produces lift while moving through air or some other fluid. Accordingly, wings have streamlined Cross section (geometry), cross-section ...

Folland Gnats
and six F-86 Sabres were shot down by .


Ground attack

The aircraft remained a potent weapon for use against ground targets. On the morning of 6 September, six F-86s of No. 19 Sqn struck advancing columns of the Indian army using 5-in (127-mm) rockets along with their six .50-in (12.7-mm) M3 Browning machine guns. On the same day, eight F-86 fighters of the same squadron executed an attack against IAF Pathankot. No. 14 PAF Squadron earned the nickname "Tailchoppers" for their successful attack against the Indian bomber base in Kalaikunda. PAF claims of destroying around 36 aircraft on the ground at various Indian
airfield An aerodrome (Commonwealth English The use of the English language in most current and former Member states of the Commonwealth of Nations, member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations was inherited from British Empire, British coloni ...
s."Devastation of Pathankot."
''Defence Journal'', September 2000. Retrieved: 20 August 2010.

''Defence Journal'', December 1998. Retrieved:20 August 2010.
However, India only acknowledges 22 aircraft lost on the ground to strikes partly attributed to the PAF's F-86s and its bomber
Martin B-57 Canberra The Martin B-57 Canberra is an American-built, twinjet A twinjet or twin-engine jet is a jet aircraft powered by two jet engine, engines. A twinjet is able to fly well enough to land with a single working engine, making it safer than a single ...
.


Bangladesh liberation War of 1971 and subsequent Indo-Pakistani war

The Canadair Sabres (Mark 6), acquired from ex-
Luftwaffe The ''Luftwaffe'' () was the aerial-warfare branch of the German ''Wehrmacht The ''Wehrmacht'' (, ) was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1945. It consisted of the German Army (1935–1945), ''Heer'' (army), th ...
stocks via Iran, were the mainstay of the PAF's day-fighter operations during the
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 The Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was a military confrontation between India and Pakistan that occurred during the Bangladesh Liberation War in East Pakistan from 3 December 1971 to the Pakistani Instrument of Surrender, fall of Dacca ( ...
, and had the challenge of dealing with the threat from IAF. At the beginning of the war, PAF had eight squadrons of F-86 Sabres."India and Pakistan: Over the Edge."
''Time'', 13 December 1971. Retrieved: 11 March 2009.
Along with the newer fighter types such as the
Mirage III The Dassault Mirage III () is a family of single/dual-seat, single-engine, fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of f ...

Mirage III
and the
Shenyang F-6 The Shenyang J-6 ( Chinese: 歼-6; designated F-6 for export versions; NATO reporting name NATO reporting names are code names for military equipment from Russia Russia (russian: link=no, Россия, , ), or the Russian Federation, ...

Shenyang F-6
, the Sabres were tasked with the majority of operations during the war. In
East Pakistan East Pakistan was a Pakistani province established in 1955 by the One Unit Policy, renaming the province as such from East Bengal , common_name = East Bengal , status = Province of the Dominion of Pakistan , p1 ...
, only one PAF F-86 squadron (14th Squadron) was deployed to face the numerical superiority of the IAF. In the
Battle of Boyra The Battle of Boyra, on 22 November 1971, was an aerial interception battle that was fought between the Indian Air Force and intruding Pakistani Air Force jets that had crossed into Indian Airspace. The Pakistani Army was engaged in combat again ...
Indian
Folland Gnats The Folland Gnat is a British compact swept-wing A swept wing is a wing A wing is a type of fin that produces lift while moving through air or some other fluid. Accordingly, wings have streamlined Cross section (geometry), cross-section ...

Folland Gnats
of 22 Squadron IAF shot down two F-86Es and severely damaged one F-86E. PAF F-86s performed well, with Pakistani claims of downing 31 Indian aircraft in air-to-air combat. These included 17
Hawker Hunter The Hawker Hunter is a transonic Transonic (or transsonic) flow is air flowing around an object at a speed that generates regions of both subsonic and supersonic F/A-18F Super Hornet The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are ...

Hawker Hunter
s, eight Sukhoi Su-7 "Fitters", one MiG 21, and three
Gnats GNAT is a free-software Free software (or libre software) is computer software Software is a collection of Instruction (computer science), instructions and data (computing), data that tell a computer how to work. This is in contrast t ...

Gnats
while losing seven F-86s. The most interesting of these was a battle between two Sabres and four MiG-21s. One MiG was shot down, without any Sabres lost. This was achieved due to the greater low-speed performance of the Sabre in comparison to the delta-winged MiG-21.Tufail, Air Cdre M. Kaise
"It is the Man Behind the Gun."
''defencejournal.co'', 2001. Retrieved: 25 November 2015.
India, however, claims to have shot down 11 PAF Sabres for the loss of 11 combat aircraft to the PAF F-86s.
''Bharat Rakshak.com''. Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
The IAF numerical superiority overwhelmed the sole East Pakistan Sabres squadron (and other military aircraft)
subcontinent.com. Retrieved: 30 June 2011.
which were either shot down, or grounded by Pakistani
fratricide Fratricide (from la, fratricidium, from the Latin words ' "brother" and the assimilated root of ' "to kill, to cut down") is the act of killing one's brother. It can either be done directly or via the use of either a hired or an indoctrinat ...
as they could not hold out, enabling complete
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for the IAF. After this war, Pakistan slowly phased out its F-86 Sabres and replaced them with Chinese (Soviet
MiG-19 The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 (russian: Микоян и Гуревич МиГ-19; NATO reporting name: Farmer) is a Soviet Union, Soviet second-generation jet fighter, second generation, single-seat, twinjet fighter aircraft, the world's first mas ...
based) fighters. The last of the Sabres were withdrawn from service in PAF in 1980. They are now displayed in Pakistan Air Force Museum and in the cities in which their pilots lived.


Guinea-Bissau War of Independence

In 1958, the Forca Aerea Portuguesa (FAP) received 50 F-86Fs from ex-USAF stocks. A few former Norwegian Air Force F-86Fs were also purchased as spares in 1968–69. The FAP deployed some of its F-86F Sabres to
Portuguese Guinea Portuguese Guinea ( pt, Guiné), called the Overseas Province of Guinea from 1951 until 1972 and then State of Guinea from 1972 until 1974, was a West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Af ...

Portuguese Guinea
in 1961, being based at AB2 – Bissalanca Air Base,
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Bissau
. These aircraft formed "Detachment 52", initially equipped with eight F-86Fs (serials: 5307, 5314, 5322, 5326, 5354, 5356, 5361, and 5362) from the ''Esquadra 51'', based at the BA5 – Monte Real Air Base. These aircraft were used in the
Guinea-Bissau War of Independence The Guinea-Bissau War of Independence (), or the Bissau-Guinean War of Independence, was an armed independence conflict that took place in Portuguese Guinea Portuguese Guinea ( pt, Guiné), called the Overseas Province of Guinea from 1951 unti ...
, in ground-attack and close-support operations against the insurgent forces. In August 1962, 5314 overshot the runway during an emergency landing with bombs still attached on underwing hardpoints and burned out. F-86F 5322 was shot down by enemy ground fire on 31 May 1963; the pilot ejected safely and was recovered. Several other aircraft suffered combat damage but were repaired. In 1964, 16 F-86Fs based at Bissalanca returned to mainland Portugal due to U.S. pressure. They had flown 577 combat sorties, of which 430 were ground-attack and close-air-support missions.


Philippine Air Force

The
Philippine Air Force The Philippine Air Force (PAF; fil, Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas) is the service branch of the . Initially formed as part of the (), the PAF is responsible for both defending the Philippine , and conducting aerial operations throughout t ...
(PhAF) first received the Sabres in the form of F-86Fs in 1957, replacing the
North American P-51 Mustang The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter aircraft, fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts. The Mustang was designed in April 1940 by a design ...

North American P-51 Mustang
as their primary interceptor. F-86s first operated from Basa Air Base, known infamously as the "Nest of Vipers", where the 5th Fighter Wing of the PhAF was based. Later on, in 1960, the PhAF acquired the F-86D as their first all-weather interceptor. The most notable use of the F-86 Sabres was in the Blue Diamonds aerobatic display team, which operated eight Sabres until the arrival of the newer, supersonic Northrop F-5. The F-86s were subsequently phased out of service in the 1970s as the Northrop F-5, Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter and Vought F-8 Crusaders became the primary fighters and interceptors of the PhAF. Antonio Bautista was a Blue Diamonds pilot and a decorated officer. He was killed on 11 January 1974 during a combat sortie against rebels in the south of the country.


Soviet Sabre

During the Korean War, the Soviets were searching for an intact U.S. F-86 Sabre for evaluation/study purposes. Their search was frustrated, largely due to the U.S. military's policy of destroying their weapons and equipment once they had been disabled or abandoned; in the case of U.S. aircraft, USAF pilots destroyed most of their downed Sabres by strafing or bombing them. However, on one occasion, an F-86 was downed in the tidal area of a beach and subsequently was submerged, preventing its destruction. The aircraft was ferried to Moscow and a new OKB (Soviet Experimental Design Bureau) was established to study the F-86, which later became part of the Sukhoi OKB. "At least one F-86… was sent to the Soviet Union, the admitted, and other planes and prizes such as U.S. G-suits and Radar gunsight, radar gun sights also went."Sauter, Mark
"Ghost pilots and mystery aircraft of the Korean War."
''Korean Confidential'', 4 December 2012. Retrieved: 31 March 2013.
The Soviets studied and copied the optical gunsight and radar from the captured aircraft to produce the ASP-4N gunsight and SRC-3 radar. Installed in the MiG-17, the gunsight system was later used against American fighters in the Vietnam War. The F-86 studies also contributed to the development of aircraft aluminum alloys such as V-95.


Feather Duster

The old but nimble MiG-17 had become such a serious threat against the Republic F-105 Thunderchief over North Vietnam that the USAF created project "Feather Duster" to test which tactics supersonic American fighters could use against fighters such as the MiG-17. ANG F-86H units proved to be an ideal stand-in for the Soviet jets. One pilot remarked, "In any envelope except nose down and full throttle", either the North American F-100 Super Sabre, F-100 or F-105 was inferior to the F-86H in a dogfight.


Variants


North American F-86

;XF-86: three prototypes, originally designated XP-86, North American model NA-140 ;YF-86A: this was the first prototype fitted with a General Electric J47 turbojet engine. ;F-86A: 554 built, North American model NA-151 (F-86A-1 block and first order of A-5 block) and NA-161 (second F-86A-5 block) ;DF-86A: A few F-86A conversions as drone directors ;RF-86A: 11 F-86A conversions with three cameras for reconnaissance ;F-86B: 188 ordered as upgraded A-model with wider fuselage and larger tires but delivered as F-86A-5, North American model NA-152 ;F-86C: Original designation for the North American YF-93, YF-93A, two built, ''48–317'' & ''48–318'', order for 118 cancelled, North American model NA-157 ;YF-95A: Prototype night fighter, all-weather interceptor aircraft, interceptor, two built, designation changed to YF-86D, North American model NA-164 ;F-86D/L:Production transonic all-weather search-radar equipped interceptor originally designated F-95A, 2,506 built. The F-86D had only 25 percent commonality with other Sabre variants, with a larger fuselage, larger afterburning engine, and a distinctive nose radome. Sole armament was Mk. 4 unguided rockets instead of machine guns. F-86Ls were upgraded F-86Ds. ;F-86E: Improved flight control system and an "all-flying tail" (This system changed to a full power-operated control with an "artificial feel" built into the aircraft's controls to give the pilot forces on the stick that were still conventional, but light enough for superior combat control. It improved high-speed maneuverability); 456 built, North American model NA-170 (F-86E-1 and E-5 blocks), NA-172, essentially the F-86F airframe with the F-86E engine (F-86E-10 and E-15 blocks); 60 of these built by Canadair for USAF (F-86E-6) ;F-86E(M): Designation for ex-Royal Air Force, RAF Sabres diverted to other NATO air forces ;QF-86E: Designation for surplus Royal Canadian Air Force, RCAF Sabre Mk. Vs modified to target drones ;F-86F: Uprated engine and larger "6–3" wing without leading-edge slats, 2,239 built; North American model NA-172 (F-86F-1 through F-15 blocks), NA-176 (F-86F-20 and −25 blocks), NA-191 (F-86F-30 and −35 blocks), NA-193 (F-86F-26 block), NA-202 (F-86F-35 block), NA-227 (first two orders of F-86F-40 blocks comprising 280 aircraft that reverted to leading-edge wing slats of an improved design), NA-231 (70 in third F-40 block order), NA-238 (110 in fourth F-40 block order), and NA-256 (120 in final F-40 block order); 300 additional aircraft in this series assembled by Mitsubishi in Japan for Japan Self-Defense Forces, Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. Sabre Fs had much improved high-speed agility, coupled with a higher landing speed of over . The F-35 block had provisions for a new operational role: the tactical nuclear weapon, tactical nuclear attack utilizing newer, smaller, and lighter nuclear weapons ("second generation" nuclear ordnance). The F-40 had a new slatted wing with a slightly higher span, resulting in a slight decrease in speed, but also much better agility at both high and low speeds and a reduced landing speed of . The USAF upgraded many previous F versions to the F-40 standard. One E and two Fs were modified for improved performance via rocket boost. ;F-86F(R): F-86F-30 (52-4608) had a Rocketdyne AR2-3 with thrust at , giving a top speed of M1.22 at . ;F-86F-2: Designation for 10 aircraft modified to carry the M39 cannon in place of the M3 .50 caliber machine gun "six-pack". Four F-86E-10s (serial numbers 51-2803, 2819, 2826 and 2836) and six F-86F-1s (serial numbers 51-2855, 2861, 2867, 2868, 2884 and 2900) were production-line aircraft modified in October 1952 with enlarged and strengthened gun bays, then flight tested at Edwards Air Force Base and the Air Proving Ground at Eglin Air Force Base in November. Eight were shipped to Japan in December and seven forward-deployed to Kimpo Airfield as "Project GunVal" for a 16-week combat field trial in early 1953. Two were lost to engine compressor stalls after ingesting excessive propellant gases from the cannons. ;QF-86F: About 50 former Japan Self-Defense Forces (JASDF) F-86F aircraft converted to drones for use as targets by the U.S. Navy ;RF-86F: Some F-86F-30s converted with three cameras for reconnaissance; also 18 Japan Self-Defense Forces (JASDF) aircraft similarly converted ;TF-86F: Two F-86F converted to two-seat training configuration with lengthened fuselage and slatted wings under North American model NA-204 ;YF-86H: Extensively redesigned fighter-bomber model with deeper fuselage, uprated engine, longer wings and power-boosted tailplane, two built as North American model NA-187 ;F-86H: Production model, 473 built, with Low Altitude Bombing System (LABS) and provision for nuclear weapon, North American model NA-187 (F-86H-1 and H-5 blocks) and NA-203 (F-86H-10 block) ;QF-86H: Target conversion of 29 aircraft for use at United States Naval Weapons Center ;F-86J: Single F-86A-5-NA, ''49-1069'', flown with Orenda Engines, Orenda turbojet under North American model NA-167 – same designation reserved for A-models flown with the Canadian engines but project not proceeded with ;F-86K: ;F-86L:


North American FJ Fury

: ''See: North American FJ-2/-3 Fury for production figures of U.S. Navy versions.''


CAC Sabre (Australia)

Two types based on the U.S. F-86F were built under licence by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) in Australia, for the Royal Australian Air Force as the CA-26 (one prototype) and CA-27 (production variant). The RAAF operated the CA-27 from 1956 to 1971."Sabre."
''RAAF Museum''. Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
The CAC Sabres included a 60% fuselage redesign, to accommodate the Rolls-Royce Avon Mk 26 engine, which had roughly 50% more thrust than the General Electric J47, J47, as well as ADEN cannon, 30 mm Aden cannon and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. As a consequence of its powerplant, the Australian-built Sabres are commonly referred to as the Avon Sabre. CAC manufactured 112 of these aircraft. Ex-RAAF Avon Sabres were operated by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (''TUDM'') between 1969 and 1972. From 1973 to 1975, 23 Avon Sabres were donated to the Military of Indonesia, Indonesian Air Force (''TNI-AU''); five of these were ex-Malaysian aircraft. CA-27 marques: *Mk 30: 21 built, wing slats, Avon 20 engine. *Mk 31: 21 built, 6–3 wing, Avon 20 engine. *Mk 32: 69 built, four wing pylons, F-86F fuel capacity, Avon 26 engine.


Canadair Sabre

The F-86 was also manufactured by Canadair in Canada as the CL-13 Sabre to replace its de Havilland Vampires, with the following production models: ;Sabre Mk 1: one built, prototype F-86A ;Sabre Mk 2: 350 built, F-86E-type, 60 to USAF, three to Royal Air Force, RAF, 287 to Royal Canadian Air Force, RCAF ;Sabre Mk 3: one built in Canada, test-bed for the Orenda jet engine ;Sabre Mk 4: 438 built, production Mk 3, 10 to RCAF, 428 to RAF as Sabre F-4 ;Sabre Mk 5: 370 built, F-86F-type with Orenda engine, 295 to RCAF, 75 to Luftwaffe ;Sabre Mk 6: 655 built, 390 to RCAF, 225 to Luftwaffe, six to Colombia and 34 to South Africa


Production summary

* NAA built a total of 6,297 F-86s and 1,115 FJs, * Canadair built 1,815, * Australian CAC built 112, * Fiat built 221, and * Mitsubishi built 300; * for a total Sabre/Fury production of 9,860.


Production costs

Note: The costs are in approximately 1950 United States dollars and have not been adjusted for inflation.


Operators

: ''Source:'' F-86 Sabre Jet: History of the Sabre and FJ Fury''Dorr 1993, pp. 65–96. ; * Argentine Air Force : Acquired 28 F-86Fs, 26 September 1960, FAA s/n CA-101 through CA-128. The Sabres were already on ''reserve'' status at the time of the Falklands War but were reinstated to active service to bolster air defences against possible Chilean involvement. Finally retired in 1986. ; * Royal Australian Air Force ; * Bangladesh Air Force : 8 F-86F-40-NAs captured from Pakistan, phased out. ; * Belgian Air Force : 5 F-86F Sabres delivered, no operational unit. ; * Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) ; * Colombian Air Force : Acquired four F-86Fs from Spanish Air Force (s/n 2027/2028), five USAF F-86F (s/n 51-13226) and other nine Canadair Mk.6; assigned to Escuadron de Caza-Bombardero. ; *Royal Danish Air Force : 59 F-86D-31NA(38) F-86D-36NA(21)s in service from 1958 – 1966 ESK 723, ESK 726, ESK 728Schrøder 1991, p. 62. ; * Ethiopian Air Force : Acquired 14 F-86Fs in 1960.Baugher, Joe
"F-86 Foreign Service."
''USAAC/USAAF/USAF Fighter and Pursuit Aircraft: North American F-86 Sabre.'' Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
; * German Air Force (''Luftwaffe'') – see North American F-86D Sabre and
Canadair Sabre The Canadair Sabre is a jet fighter aircraft Fighter aircraft are fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat. In military conflict, the role of fighter aircraft is to establish air supremacy, ...

Canadair Sabre
; * Honduran Air Force : Acquired and 10 CL.13 Mk2 (F-86E) from Yugoslavia. ; * Imperial Iranian Air Force : Acquired an unknown number of F-86Fs. ; * Iraqi Air Force :Bought some units of the type but they were never operated and were returned. ; * Japanese Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) : Acquired 180 U.S. F-86Fs, 1955–1957. Mitsubishi built 300 F-86Fs under license 1956–1961, and were assigned to 10 fighter hikōtai or squadrons. JASDF called F-86F the "Kyokukō" (旭光, Rising Sunbeam) and F-86D the "Gekkō" (月光, Moon Light). Their Blue Impulse Aerobatic Team, a total of 18 F-models were converted to reconnaissance version in 1962. Some aircraft were returned to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, as drones. ; * Royal Norwegian Air Force : Acquired 115 F-86Fs, 1957–1958; and assigned to seven squadrons, Nos. 331, 332, 334, 336, 337, 338 and 339. ; * Pakistani Air Force : Acquired 102 U.S.-built F-86F-35-NA and F-86F-40-NAs, last of
North American Aviation North American Aviation (NAA) was a major American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly k ...
's production line, 1954–1960s. ; * Peruvian Air Force : Acquired 26 U.S.-built F-86Fs in 1955, assigned to Escuadrón Aéreo 111, Grupo Aéreo No.11 at Talara air force base. Finally retired in 1979. ; *
Philippine Air Force The Philippine Air Force (PAF; fil, Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas) is the service branch of the . Initially formed as part of the (), the PAF is responsible for both defending the Philippine , and conducting aerial operations throughout t ...
: Acquired 50 F-86Fs in 1957. Retired in the late 1970s. ; * Portuguese Air Force : A total of 65 acquired: 50 U.S.-built F-86Fs, 1958, including some from USAF's 531st Fighter Bomber Squadron, Chambley and 15 ex-Royal Norwegian Air Force. In Portugal, they served in 201 Squadron (Portugal), Squadron 201 (formerly designated as Sqn. 50 and later Sqn. 51, before being renamed in 1978) and Squadron 52, both based at Monte Real Air Base, Air Base No. 5, Monte Real. In 1961, the Portuguese Air Force deployed some of its F-86Fs to
Portuguese Guinea Portuguese Guinea ( pt, Guiné), called the Overseas Province of Guinea from 1951 until 1972 and then State of Guinea from 1972 until 1974, was a West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Af ...

Portuguese Guinea
, where they formed Detachment 52, based at Base-Aerodrome No. 2, Bissalanca/Bissau. ; *
Republic of China Air Force A republic ( la, res publica ''Res publica'' (also spelt as ''rēs pūblica'' to indicate vowel length In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived length of a vowel sound: the corresponding physical measurement is length (phonetics), du ...
: Acquired 320 U.S.-built F-86Fs,7 RF-86Fs,18 F-86Ds, The 18 F-86Ds back to U.S. military and US send 6 to Republic of Korea Air Force,8 to
Philippine Air Force The Philippine Air Force (PAF; fil, Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas) is the service branch of the . Initially formed as part of the (), the PAF is responsible for both defending the Philippine , and conducting aerial operations throughout t ...
in 1966. ; * Royal Saudi Air Force : Acquired 16 U.S.-built F-86Fs in 1958, and three Fs from Norway in 1966; and assigned to RSAF No. 7 Squadron at Dhahran. ; *
South African Air Force "Through hardships to the stars" , colours = , colours_label = , march = , mascot = , anniversaries = , equipment ...
: Acquired on loan 22 U.S.-built F-86F-30s during the Korean War and saw action with 2 Squadron SAAF. ; * Republic of Korea Air Force : Acquired U.S.-built 112 F-86Fs and 10 RF-86Fs, beginning 20 June 1955; and assigned to ROKAF 10th Wing. It also served with the ROKAF Black Eagles aerobatic team for annual event from 1959 to 1966. The last F-86s retired in 1990. ; * Spanish Air Force : Acquired 270 U.S.-built F-86Fs, 1955–1958; designated C.5s and assigned to 5 wings: Ala de Caza 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6. Retired 1972. ; * Royal Thai Air Force : Acquired 40 U.S.-built F-86Fs, 1962; assigned to RTAF Squadrons, Nos. 12 (Ls), 13, and 43. ; * Tunisian Air Force : Acquired 15 used U.S.-built F-86F in 1969. ; * Turkish Air Force : Acquired ex-RCAF 107 Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk.2 “F-86E(M)„ in 1954, retired 1968. ; * United Nations Operation in the Congo : Received 5 F-86E(M)s from Italy as MAP redeployment 1963, manned by Philippine pilots; F-86F units from Ethiopia and Iran also used in ONUC. ; *
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
; * Venezuelan Air Force : Acquired 30 U.S.-built F-86Fs, October 1955 – December 1960; and assigned to one group, Grupo Aéreo De Caza No. 12, three other squadrons. ; * SFR Yugoslav Air Force, Yugoslav Air Force : Acquired 121 Canadair CL-13s and F-86Es, operating them in several fighter aviation regiments between 1956 and 1971.


Civil aviation

According to the FAA there are 50 privately owned and registered F-86s in the US, including Canadair CL-13 Sabres."FAA Registry: F-86."
''FAA''. Retrieved: 17 May 2011.


Notable pilots

* Squadron Leader, Sqn Ldr (later Air commodore) M. M. Alam,
Pakistan Air Force , "Be it deserts or seas; all lie under our wings" (traditional) , colours = , colours_label = , march = , mascot = , anniversaries = ...
, became a flying ace by shooting down five
Indian Air Force #REDIRECT Indian Air Force#REDIRECT Indian Air Force The Indian Air Force (IAF) is the air arm of the Indian Armed Forces. Its complement of personnel and aircraft assets ranks fourth amongst the air forces of the world. Its primary mission i ...

Indian Air Force
fighters within one minute in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. He was awarded the Sitara-e-Jurat ("''The star of courage''") and Medal bar, bar.Tufail, Air Cdre M. Kaiser
"Alam's Speed-shooting Classic."
''defencejournal.com''. Retrieved: 20 August 2010.
* Colonel Buzz Aldrin, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, USAF test pilot and National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA astronaut of Apollo 11 fame. Credited with shooting down two MiGs over Korea. * Major Rudolf Anderson, Jr. USAF (4028th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron). Shot down and killed in 1962 while flying a Lockheed U-2, U-2 spy plane over Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. * Colonel Royal N. Baker (13 victories), commander USAF 4 FIW. * Wing Commander John Robert Baldwin DSO & Bar, DFC & Bar, AFC was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot and the top scoring fighter ace flying the Hawker Typhoon exclusively during the Second World War. He was posted missing, presumed killed, during service with the United States Air Force in the Korean War flying a Sabre. * Lieutenant Colonel Antonio Bautista of the
Philippine Air Force The Philippine Air Force (PAF; fil, Hukbong Himpapawid ng Pilipinas) is the service branch of the . Initially formed as part of the (), the PAF is responsible for both defending the Philippine , and conducting aerial operations throughout t ...
received the Distinguished Conduct Star for his valor and bravery in providing close air support to ground forces. * Major General Frederick C. Blesse (10 victories) * 1st Lieutenant [Later Colonel] John Boyd (military strategist), John Boyd, USAF, flying 22 missions in the F-86E and F models, with the 25th FIS (51st FIW) June–July 1953. * 1st Lieutenant John M. Conroy, completed "Operation Boomerang" on 21 May 1955, a record-setting coast-to-coast and back in one day during daylight hours of 5058 miles in 11 hours, 26 mins, 33 secs. * Major George Andrew Davis, Jr., George Davis (14 victories), USAF 4 FIW, awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously * Captain Manuel "Pete" Fernandez, (14.5 victories), USAF 4 FIW * Colonel Gabby Gabreski, Francis S. "Gabby" Gabreski (six and one-half victories), USAF 51 FIW commander, top European U.S. ace in World War II * Colonel Vermont Garrison (five victories), USAF 4 FIW, ace in World War II and combat veteran of three wars * Colonel Ralph Gibson (fighter pilot), Ralph "Hoot" Gibson (five victories), USAF 4 FIW * Major John Glenn, a US Marine Corps, U.S. Marine Corps exchange pilot with the USAF 51 FIW (3 victories). First American astronaut to orbit the Earth, later a United States Senate, U.S. Senator from Ohio. * Lieutenant Colonel Gus Grissom, Virgil "Gus" Grissom, astronaut in the Project Mercury, Mercury, Project Gemini, Gemini and Apollo programs, died in a fire during testing for the Apollo 1 mission. * 1st Lieutenant Bob Hoover, Robert A. "Bob" Hoover, USAF 52 FIW, North American Aviation experimental engineering test pilot. * Captain James Salter, James Horowitz (1 victory), USAF 4 FIW, novelist and author of ''The Hunters (novel), The Hunters'' under the pen name James Salter * Colonel James Jabara (15 victories), USAF 4 FIW * Colonel James H. Kasler (six victories), USAF 4 FIW and only three-time recipient of the Air Force Cross (United States), Air Force Cross * Flying Officer Waleed Ehsanul Karim,
Pakistan Air Force , "Be it deserts or seas; all lie under our wings" (traditional) , colours = , colours_label = , march = , mascot = , anniversaries = ...
, youngest Sabre pilot (first flew Sabres when he was 18). * Captain Iven Kincheloe (five victories) USAF 51 FIW, test pilot selected to fly the North American X-15 * Second Lieutenant Gene Kranz, NASA flight director for Gemini and Apollo and assistant flight director on Project Mercury- flew with 69th FBS in South Korea * Squadron Leader Andy Mackenzie, Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom), DFC. RCAF Second World War fighter ace (8.5 victories); taken POW when his F-86 was shot down while flying with the USAF 51 FIW in Korea in 1952. * Colonel Bud Mahurin, Walker "Bud" Mahurin, USAF 4 FIG commander and World War II ace * Captain Joseph C. McConnell (16 victories), USAF 51 FIW, who later died in a crash at Edwards Air Force Base testing the F-86H * General John C. Meyer (two victories), USAF 4 FIW commander and later Vice Chief of Staff of the USAF. * Squadron Leader Sarfaraz Ahmed Rafiqui, PAF no. 5 squadron, awarded the Hilal-i-Jur'at during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 * Brigadier General James Robinson Risner (eight victories), USAF awarded the Air Force Cross (United States), Air Force Cross, later Vietnam War POW * Colonel Harrison Thyng, Harrison R. Thyng (five victories), USAF 4 FIW commander * Major General Howard Thomas Markey, first chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit * Lieutenant Commander Theodore H Faller, 13 August 1979 – U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Theodore "Ted" Faller was killed when his QF-86 Sabre suffered an engine failure moments after takeoff. Faller managed to bring the stricken aircraft down in a vacant lot 600 yards south of the Ridgecrest, California, Ridgecrest Heights Elementary School, later renamed Theodore Faller Elementary School.Goldstrand, Theresa
"Faller's heroic act remembered by community."
''The New Review'' (Ridgecrest, California), 14 August 2014. Retrieved: 25 November 2015.


Surviving aircraft


Specifications (F-86F-40-NA)


See also


References


Notes


Citations


Bibliography

* Allward, Maurice. ''F-86 Sabre''. London: Ian Allan, 1978. . * * * Curtis, Duncan. ''North American F-86 Sabre''. Ramsbury, UK: Crowood, 2000. . * Davies, Peter
''USN F-4 Phantom II vs VPAF MiG-17: Vietnam 1965–72.''
Oxford, UK: Oxford, 2009. . * Dorr, Robert F. ''F-86 Sabre Jet: History of the Sabre and FJ Fury''. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International Publishers, 1993. . * Futrell, Robert F. ''The United States Air Force in Korea, 1950-1953''. Air Force History and Museums Program, 2000. . * Dunlap, Roy F. ''Ordnance Went Up Front.'' Plantersville, South Carolina: Samworth Press, 1948. * * * Hoover, R.A. ''Forever Flying: Fifty Years of High-Flying Adventures, From Barnstorming in Prop Planes to Dogfighting Germans to Testing Supersonic Jets: An Autobiography''. New York: Pocket Books, 1997. . * Jenkins, Dennis R. and Tony R. Landis. ''Experimental & Prototype U.S. Air Force Jet Fighters.'' North Branch, Minnesota, USA: Specialty Press, 2008. . * Joos, Gerhard W. ''Canadair Sabre Mk 1–6, Commonwealth Sabre Mk 30–32 in RCAF, RAF, RAAF, SAAF, Luftwaffe & Foreign Service''. Kent, UK: Osprey Publications Limited, 1971. . * Käsmann, Ferdinand C.W. ''Die schnellsten Jets der Welt: Weltrekord- Flugzeuge'' (in German). Oberhaching, Germany: Aviatic Verlag-GmbH, 1994. . * Knaack, Marcelle Size. ''Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, Volume 1, Post-World War Two Fighters, 1945–1973''. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1978. . * Leyes, Richard A. and William A. Fleming
''The History of North American Small Gas Turbine Aircraft Engines. (Library of Flight Series)''
Washington, D.C.: AIAA, 1999. . * Michel, Marshall L., III
Air Combat Over North Vietnam, 1965–1972.''
Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2007. . * Radinger, Willy and Walter Schick. ''Me 262: Entwicklung und Erprobung des ertsen einsatzfähigen Düsenjäger der Welt, Messerschmitt Stiftung'' (in German). Berlin: Avantic Verlag GmbH, 1996. . * Robinson, Robbi

120 p. Le Havre, France: Editions Minimonde76, 2018. . * Schrøder, Hans. ''Royal Danish Airforce''. Copenhagen, Denmark: Tøjhusmuseet, 1991. . * Singh, Sarina et al. ''Pakistan & the Karakoram Highway''. London: Lonely Planet Publications, 2004. . * Swanborough, F. Gordon. ''United States Military Aircraft Since 1909''. London: Putnam, 1963. . * Thompson, Warren E. and David R. McLaren. ''MiG Alley: Sabres vs. MiGs Over Korea''. North Branch, Minnesota: Specialty Press, 2002. . * ''United States Air Force Museum Guidebook''. Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio: Air Force Museum Foundation, 1975. * Wagner, Ray. ''American Combat Planes – Second Edition''. New York: Doubleday and Company, 1968. . * Wagner, Ray. ''The North American Sabre''. London: Macdonald, 1963. No ISBN. * * Westrum, Ron. ''Sidewinder''. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1999. . * * * Winchester, Jim, ed. ''Military Aircraft of the Cold War'' (The Aviation Factfile). London: Grange Books plc, 2006. .


External links


F-86 Sabre Pilots Association




* [http://www.warbirdalley.com/f86.htm Warbird Alley: F-86 Sabre page – Information about F-86s still flying today]
Sabre site


{{Authority control North American Aviation aircraft, F-086 Sabre 1940s United States fighter aircraft Single-engined jet aircraft Low-wing aircraft F-86 Sabre, Aircraft first flown in 1947