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CAC CA-27 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.

The F-86F was redesigned and built by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC).

Equipping five RAAF squadrons, the type saw action in the Malayan Emergency in the late 1950s, and was employed for air defence in Malaysia and Thailand in the 1960s.

Ex-RAAF models also saw service with the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Indonesian Air Force.

In 1951, CAC obtained a licence agreement to build the F-86F Sabre.

In a major departure from the North American blueprint, it was decided that the CA-27 would be powered by a licence-built version of the Rolls-Royce Avon R.A.7, rather than the General Electric J47.

In theory, the Avon was capable of more than double the maximum thrust and double the thrust-to-weight ratio of the US engine.

This necessitated a re-design of the fuselage, as the Avon was shorter, wider and lighter than the J47.

Because of the engine change the type is sometimes referred to as the Avon Sabre.

To accommodate the Avon, over 60 percent of the fuselage was altered and there was a 25 percent increase in the size of the air intake.

Another major revision was in replacing the F-86F’s six machine guns with two 30mm ADEN cannon, while other changes were also made to the cockpit and to provide an increased fuel capacity.

The prototype aircraft (designated CA-26 Sabre) first flew on 3 August 1953.

The production aircraft were designated the CA-27 Sabre and first deliveries to the Royal Australian Air Force began in 1954.

The first batch of aircraft were powered by the Avon 20 engine and were designated the Sabre Mk 30.

Between 1957 and 1958 this batch had the wing slats removed and were redesignated Sabre Mk 31.

These Sabres were supplemented by 20 new-build aircraft.

The last batch of aircraft were designated Sabre Mk 32 and used the Avon 26 engine, of which 69 were built up to 1961.



37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)


37 ft 1 in (11.30 m)


14 ft (4.3 m)

Wing area

302.3 sq ft (28.08 m2)



NACA 0009-64 mod


NACA 0009-64 mod

Empty weight

12,000 lb (5,443 kg)

Gross weight

16,000 lb (7,257 kg)

Max take-off weight

21,210 lb (9,621 kg)


1 × Rolls-Royce Avon RA.26 turbojet engine, 7,500 lbf (33 kN) thrust


Maximum speed

700 mph (1,100 km/h, 610 kn)


1,153 mi (1,856 km, 1,002 nmi)

Service ceiling

52,000 ft (16,000 m)

Rate of climb

12,000 ft/min (61 m/s) at sea level



2× 30 mm ADEN cannons with 150 rounds per gun


24× Hispano SURA R80 80mm rockets


2× AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-air missiles


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 gallons drop tanks to give the CAC Sabre a useful range.

A wide variety of bombs can be carried with maximum standard loadout being 2 x 1,000 lb bombs plus 2 drop tanks.


Sabre Recollections of the RAAF CAC CA27 Avon Sabre.

On Target Profile 6: North American Canadair and Commonwealth F-86 Sabre-Matt Bittner.

Meteor, Sabre & Mirage in Australian Service-Stewart Wilson.









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