North American F-86 Sabre

The North American F-86 Sabre, is a transonic jet fighter aircraft.

Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as the United States’ first swept-wing fighter that could counter the swept-wing Soviet MiG-15 in high-speed dogfights in the skies of the 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.

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 and NA-161.

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 tyres but delivered as F-86A-5, North American model NA-152

F-86C

original designation for the YF-93A, two built, 48–317 & 48–318, order for 118 cancelled, North American model NA-157

YF-86D

prototype all-weather interceptor originally ordered as YF-95A, two built but 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.

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 manoeuvrability, North American model NA-170, NA-172, essentially the F-86F airframe with the F-86E engine, 60 of these built by Canadair for USAF.

F-86E(M)

Designation for ex-RAF Sabres diverted to other NATO air forces

QF-86E

Designation for surplus RCAF Sabre Mk. Vs modified to target drones

F-86F

Uprated engine and larger “6–3” wing without leading-edge slats, North American model NA-172, NA-176, NA-191, NA-193, NA-202, NA-227, NA-231, NA-238, NA-256, 300 additional aircraft in this series assembled by Mitsubishi in Japan for Japanese Air Self-Defence Force.

Sabre Fs had much improved high-speed agility, coupled with a higher landing speed of over 145 mph (233 km/h).

The F-35 block had provisions for a new task: the nuclear tactical attack with one of the new small “nukes”.

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 124 mph (200 km/h).

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 3,000–6,000 lbf thrust at 35,000 ft (10,668 m), giving a top speed of M1.22 at 60,000 ft (18,288 m).

F-86F-2

Designation for 10 aircraft modified to carry the M39 cannon in place of the M3 .50 calibre machine gun “six-pack”.

Four F-86E-10s and six F-86F-1s 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-Defence 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-Defence 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 tail plane, 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 Centre

F-86J

Single F-86A-5-NA, 49-1069, flown with 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

Upgrade D model

F-86L

Upgrade D model

North American FJ Fury 

CAC CA-27 Sabre 

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

Sabre Mk 1

One built, prototype F-86A

Sabre Mk 2

350 built, F-86E-type, 60 to USAF, 3 to RAF, 287 to 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

Specifications

F-86F 40-NA

Crew

1

Length

37 ft 1 in (11.30 m)

Wingspan

39 ft 1 in (11.91 m)

Height

14 ft 1 in (4.29 m)

Wing area

313.4 sq ft (29.12 m2)

Airfoil

Root

NACA 0009-64 mod

Tip

NACA 0008.1-64 mod.

Empty weight

11,125 lb (5,046 kg)

Gross weight

15,198 lb (6,894 kg)

Max take-off weight

18,152 lb (8,234 kg)

Fuel capacity

JP-4 fuel, 437 US gallons (364 imp gal; 1,650 L) internals + 2x 200 US gallons (170 imp gal; 760 L) drop tanks

Powerplant

1 × General Electric J47-GE-27 turbojet engine, 5,910 lbf (26.3 kN) thrust

Performance

Maximum speed

687 mph (1,106 km/h, 597 kn) at sea level at 14,212 lb (6,446 kg) combat weight

678 mph (589 kn; 1,091 km/h) / M1.02

599 mph (521 kn; 964 km/h) at 35,000 ft (10,668 m) at 15,352 lb (6,964 kg)

597 mph (519 kn; 961 km/h) at 21,148 ft (6,446 m)

599 mph (521 kn; 964 km/h) at 22,835 ft (6,960 m)

Stall speed

124 mph (200 km/h, 108 kn)

Range

1,525 mi (2,454 km, 1,325 nmi)

Combat range

414 mi (666 km, 360 nmi) with two 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs and 2x 200 US gallons (170 imp gal; 760 L) drop tanks

Service ceiling

49,600 ft (15,100 m) at combat weight

Rate of climb

9,000 ft/min (46 m/s) at sea level

Time to altitude

30,000 ft (9,144 m) in 5 minutes 12 seconds

Lift-to-drag

15

Thrust/weight

0.42

Armament

Guns

6 X 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns (1,800 rounds in total)

Rockets

Variety of rocket launchers; e.g.: 2 Matra rocket pods with 18 SNEB 68 mm rockets per pod

Bombs

5,300 lb (2,400 kg) of payload on four external hardpoints,

Bombs were usually mounted on outer two pylons as the inner pairs were plumbed for 2 200 US gallons (760 L) drop tanks which gave the Sabre a more useful range.

A wide variety of bombs could be carried (max standard load out being two 1,000 lb bombs plus two drop tanks), napalm canisters and could have included a tactical nuclear weapon.

 

 

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