F-86 Sabre

F-86 Sabre

The North American F-86 Sabre (sometimes called the Sabrejet) was a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as America's first swept wing fighter which could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high speed dogfights over the skies of the Korean War. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in the Korean 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 Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable, and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces until the last active operational examples were retired by the Bolivian Air Force in 1994.

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. Variants were built in Canada and Australia. The Canadair Sabre added another 1,815 airframes, and the significantly redesigned CAC Sabre (sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CAC CA-27), had a production run of 112. It was by far the most-produced Western jet fighter, with total production of all variants at 9,860 units.

General Characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 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)
  • Empty weight: 11,125 lb (5,046 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 15,198 lb (6,894 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 18,152 lb (8,234 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 x General Electric J47-GE-27 turbojet, 5,910 lbf (maximum thrust at 7.950 rpm for five min) (26.3 kN)
  • Fuel provisions Internal fuel load: 437 gallons (1,650 l), Drop tanks: 2 x 200 gallons (756 l) JP-4 fuel
  • Performance

  • Maximum 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, 1,105 km/h at 6446 m, 1,091 and 964 km/h at 6,960 m.)
  • Stall speed: 124 mph (power off) (108 kt, 200 km/h)
  • Range: 1,525 mi, (1,753 NM, 2,454 km)
  • Service ceiling: 49,600 ft at combat weight (15,100 m)
  • Rate of climb: 9,000 ft/min at sea level (45.72 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 49.4 lb/ft² (236.7 kg/m²)
  • lift-to-drag: 15.1
  • Thrust/weight: 0.38
  • Landing ground roll: 2,330 ft, (710 m)
  • Time to altitude: 5.2 min (clean) to 30,000 ft (9,100 m)
  • Armament

  • Guns: 6 x 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns (1,602 rounds in total)
  • Rockets: variety of rocket launchers; e.g: 2 x Matra rocket pods with 18 x 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 x 200 gallons drop tanks to give the Sabre a useful range. A wide variety of bombs can be carried (max standard loadout being 2 x 1,000 lb bombs plus two drop tanks), napalm bomb canisters and can include a tactical nuclear weapon.