North American NA-140 / F-86 Sabre / F-95 Dog Sabre
To meet a US Army Air Force requirement for a day fighter that could be used also as an escort fighter or dive-bomber, North American submitted a design known as the NA-140.
Two XP-86 prototypes of the NA-140 design were contracted in late 1944, but when German research data on the characteristics of swept wings became available soon after the end of the war, North American sought USAAF agreement to redesign the XP-86 to incorporate swept wings and tail surfaces. This cost a year's delay, and it was not until 1 October 1947 that the first prototype was flown with flying surfaces swept at 35 degrees, then powered by a Chevrolet-built General Electric TG-180 (or J35-C-3) turbojet of 1701kg thrust; on 25 April 1948, by then re-engined with a General Electric J47 turbojet as the YP-86A, this aircraft exceeded a speed of Mach 1 in a shallow dive.
The first production version was the P-86A, powered initially by a 2200kg thrust General Electric J47-GE-1 turbojet and flown first on 20 May 1948. A month later USAF redesignation resulted in the P-86A becoming the F-86A and in 1949, by which time it had gained the name Sabre. The new fighter began to enter service with the USAF's 1st, 4th and 81st Fighter Groups, the 94th Squadron of the 1st Fighter Group receiving the first in February 1949.
F-86A production totalled 554, the majority having 2359kg thrust J47-GE-3, -7, -9, or -13 turbo-jets.
Just six months after it was assigned to duty, the F-86 set a world speed record of 670.9 mph. Later the Sabre beat its own record, upping the bar to 715 mph.
The F-86B (deeper fuselage and larger tyres) and F-86C (redesigned fuselage) did not enter production. The F-86C developed into the YF-93A.
The most extensively built was the F-86D (2,054), a redesigned all-weather/night fighter with a nose radome for all-weather fighter duties and rocket armament instead of machine-guns. The F-95 designation was assigned initially to the radar-equipped, all-weather interceptor version of the North American F-86 Sabre. The first two YF-95A airframes (50-577/ 578) were hastily assembled in 1949 with the nose configuration but not the radar of production aircraft. The two YF-95As also lacked the missile armament and afterburner of the production machine, being equipped instead with an extremely crude external reheat device at the exhaust for the 2460kg thrust General Electric J47-GE-17 turbojet engine. By the time the first of these machines had been completed and made its first flight on 22 December 1949 with company test pilot Joseph Lynch at the controls, it had been redesignated F-86D.
F-86D / YF-95 Dog Sabre
Subsequent production included the 1950 F-86E (NA-170, -172) with an all-moving tailplane and power-boost controls, and the F-86F (1,539) with a new wing and J47-GE-27 engine. 336 F-86E were built, plus 60 built by Canadair as Sabre Mk.III/IV.
The sole 1951 F-86G was a provisional designation for an engine test-bed with a modified J47. Production of 406 were completed as F-86D.
The F-86F, QF-86F, RF-86F, and TF-86F (NA-172, -176, -191, -193, -202, -204, -206, -210, -227, -231, -238, -256) of 1952 had new leading edge and boundary layer fences, and six nose guns. First flying on 19 March 1952 (p: George Smith). 2,540 were built, of which one was converted as RF-86F photo-recon and two as two-seat TF-86F (NA-204, -216) trainer (first flying on 5 January 1954). Many were later used as QF-86F targets and drones. The NA-231, 238, and -256 were 300 exports to Japan.
Destined to be the final production version of the Sabre (477) for the USAF, the F-86H featured a deeper fuselage to accommodate the larger air intake required by an 8,920 lb st (4 046 kgp) General Electric J73-GE-3 engine and permitting a substantial increase in internal fuel capacity. The first F-86H was flown on 30 April 1953 piloted byJoe Lynch, this retaining the slatted wing of the F-86E. Two prototypes were built, 52-1975 and 52-1976. Subsequent aircraft omitted the slats and adopted the extended wing leading edge introduced during F-86F production the final 10 aircraft having both slats and extended wing. Intended for the fighter-bomber role, the F-86H had four underwing stores stations, and could carry a pair of 1,000-lb (463,6-kg) GP bombs or 750-lb (340-kg) napalm bombs in addition to drop tanks, or a 1,200-lb (544-kg) 100-kT nuclear store under the port wing.
First flying on 4 September 1953, deliveries of the F-86H (NA-187, -203) to the USAF commenced in January 1954, the first 113 having an armament of six 05-in (12,7-mm) machine guns which gave place to four 20-mm cannon in subsequent aircraft, and a total of 473 (plus two pre-series) F-86H Sabres was built with the last being accepted on 11 April 1956.
The F-86K (120) was a simplified version of the F-86D.Evolved from the F-86D specifically for supply to NATO forces under the MDAP, the F-86K differed from its predecessor primarily in having a simpler fire control system and cannon armament which could be supplemented by a pair of AIM-9B Sidewinder AAMs. Development began on 14 May 1953, two F-86D-40s being modified as YF-86K(NA-205) prototypes (52-3630, -3804) and the first of these flying on 15 July 1954. These were subsequently sent to Italy to serve as pattern aircraft for similar aircraft assembled under licence by Fiat. The parent company built 120 F-86Ks, deliveries commencing in May 1955, these being powered by a 147-GE-17B engine rated at 5,425 lb st (2460 kgp) and boosted to 7,500 lb st (3402 kgp) with afterburning, built in armament comprising four 20-mm cannon.
North American F-86K 54-1231
Of the NAA-built F-86Ks (NA-213, -221, -232, -242), 60 were supplied to Norway and 59 to the Netherlands. The first Fiat-assembled F-86K was flown on 23 May 1955, a total of 221 (from North American-built kits of components) being delivered of which 63 were supplied to the Italian air arm, 60 to France, 88 to Germany, six to the Netherlands and four to Norway. The last 45 Fiat-assembled aircraft had the extended wing of the F-86F-40, others being retroactively modified. The Dutch F-86Ks were passed on to Turkey in 1963-64, and, in 1967-68, 47 ex-German aircraft were passed to Venezuela, four of the latter being sold to Honduras in 1969.
In total, 341 were built, plus those license-built by Fiat in Italy, with four 20mm nose cannon.
Production from North American-built kits of components began in Japan, with Mitsubishi leading a group of Japanese companies which first assembled, then increasingly constructed, a total of 300 similar to the F-86F and RF-86F.
The designation F-86L was applied in 1956 to rebuilds (981) from F-86Ds, which introduced an increased span wing, leading‑edge slats and electronic equipment integrating them into the American SAGE air defence system.
North American F-86L 52-10143
In 1952 North American installed a 6000lb Avro-Canada Orenda in one F-86A-5 pulled from their own production line as an experimental prototype F-86J (NA-167). Canadian-built production with the 6000 lb Avro-Canada Orenda were designated Canadair CL-13. 60 planes for USAF were refitted with GE J47 and re-designated F-86E.
Canadair built 60 F-86Es for the USAF, followed by 290 generally similar Sabre Mk 2 fighters, comprising 230 for the RCAF and 60 for the Mutual Defense Assistance Program. Canadian production continued with one Sabre Mk 3 to flight test the indigenous Orenda engine, 438 Sabre Mk 4 for the RAF with General Electric engines, 370 Sabre Mk 5 aircraft with the 2883kg thrust Orenda 10 turbojet, and 655 Sabre Mk 6 aircraft with the 3300kg thrust Orenda 14.
With the selection in 1948 by the RCAF of the F-86A Sabre as its next-generation fighter it was envisaged from the outset that the indigenous Orenda engine would replace the J47. In the event, this intention was to be frustrated by delays in power plant availability, and it was not until 30 July 1953 that a pre-series aircraft was flown with the Canadian engine as the CL-13A Sabre 5. Almost three years prior to this event, North American had re-engined an F-86A-5 with an Orenda 3 as the F-86A/O, this having flown in October 1950, and the 100th F-86E licence-built airframe completed by Canadair had been similarly powered as the CL- 13 Sabre 3 (alias F-86J) and flown on 4 June 1952. Powered by a 6,355 lb st (2 883 kgp) Avro Orenda 10 turbojet, the Sabre 5 retained the armament of six 05-in (12,7-mm) machine guns and had the slatless extended wing leading edge introduced by the F-86F. A total of 370 Sabre 5s was built, of which 75 were presented to the Federal German Luftwaffe, before production deliveries commenced of what was to prove the definitive Canadair-built model, the CL-13B Sabre 6 first flown on 2 November 1954. This differed essentially from the Sabre 5 in having the two-stage Orenda 14 of 7,275 lb st (3 300 kgp) and initial aircraft had a similar wing to that of the Sabre 5, but later Sabre 6s reinstated wing slats. Of the 655 Sabre 6s built, six were supplied to Colombia, 34 to South Africa and 225 to Federal Germany. The CL-13C was a Sabre 5 with an area ruled fuselage and the CL-13E was a Sabre 6 fitted with an afterburner.
The Sabre 6 served the RCAF from 1950-68. The Sabre 6 with its extra power and slatted wings served in many air forces around the world into the 1970's, though it stood down in Canada in 1968.
Canadair CL-13 Sabre 6
The Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation in Australia also became involved in Sabre production, modifying the airframe for two 30mm Adens and the 3402kg thrust Rolls-Royce Avon 26 engine, and built for the RAAF 21 Sabre Mk 30 and 20 Sabre Mk 31 aircraft, plus 69 Sabre Mk32 fighters with Australian-built engines.
The RAAF received its aircraft 1956, based at Williamstown, NSW.
More than 9,000 Sabres were built; 1,815 of them in Canada.
This fighter was the prime contender against the North Korean MiG-15, typically flown by Russian and Chinese pilots. The tally at the end of the war was telling, both about American technology and pilot skills. By the end of hostilities, it had shot down 729 MiGs, loosing only 76 Sabres—a victory ration of 10:1. During the Korean War, approximately 22 Canadian pilots were attached to the USAF (United States Air Force) and flew Sabres in combat.
The Royal Thai Air Force received 45 F-86F-30/40 Sabres. Designated ‘Fighter Type 17’, they served from 1961 to 1973.
A radical development of the F-86 Sabre was the FJ Fury naval fighter.
Engine: 1 x General Electric J47-GE-3, -7, -9, or -13
Span: 37ft 1in
Length: 37ft 6in
Height: 14ft 9in
Empty Weight: 10,854lbs
Max Take-off Weight: 15,800lbs
Max Speed: 679mph at sea level
Cruising Speed: 533mph
Service Ceiling: 48,000ft
Time to 40,000ft: 10.4 mins
Fuel Capacity is 436 gallons internal - external two 100 gallon drop tanks
An F-86A-5 re-engined to serve as the prototype of the Canadair CL-13 Sabre
Engine: 1 x General Electric J47-GE-17B, 33.34kN / 5,400 lb
Max take-off weight: 7756 kg / 17099 lb
Empty weight: 5656 kg / 12469 lb
Wingspan: 11.30 m / 37 ft 1 in
Length: 12.29 m / 40 ft 4 in
Height: 4.57 m / 14 ft 12 in
Wing area: 27.76 sq.m / 298.81 sq ft
Max. speed: 1138 km/h / 707 mph
Ceiling: 16640 m / 54600 ft
Range: 1344 km / 835 miles
Armament: 24 x 69.9mm missiles
Engine: 1 x General Electric J47-GE-27, 5970 lb
Wing span: 39 ft 1 in (11.91 m)
Length: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
Height: 14 ft 8 in (4.47m)
Max TO wt: 17,100 lb (7756 kg)
Max level speed: 707 mph (1138 kph)
Cruise speed: 603 mph
Range: 1270 mi
Ceiling: 50,000 ft
Engine: GE YJ73, 9300 lb
Useful load: 8016 lb
Max speed: 692 mph
Range: 1040 mi
Ceiling: 49,000 ft
Engine: G.E.C. J73, 8920 lb
Max speed at sea level, 692 mph (1114 km/h)
Max speed at 35,000 ft (10 670 m) 617 mph (993 km/h)
Initial climb, 12,900 ft/min (65,53 m/sec)
Range (two 200-US gal/757-lt drop tanks), 1,040 mls (1674 km)
Empty weight, 13,836 lb (6 276 kg)
Loaded weight (with two drop tanks), 21,852 lb (9912kg)
Span, 39ft 1½ in(l1,92m)
Length, 38ft l0in(11,84 m)
Wing area, 313.37 sq ft (29,11 sq.m)
Max speed at sea level, 692 mph (1114km/h)
Max speed at 40,000 ft (12 190 m), 612 mph (985 km/h)
Initial climb, 12.000 ft/min (60,96 m/sec)
Range (with two 120-US gal/454-lt drop tanks), 744 mls (1197 km)
Empty weight. 13,367 lb (6063 kg)
Loaded weight (clean), 18,379 lb (8337kg)
Span, 37 ft 1.5 in (11,31 m)
Length. 40 ft 11 1/8 in(12,47 m)
Height, 15 ft0 in (4.57 m)
Wing area. 287.9 sq ft (26,7 5 sq.m)
Canadair F-86 Sabre 6
Engine: Avro Canada Orenda 14 turbojet, 7275 lb
Dimensions as for F-86A
Wing Span: 37 ft 11.5 in
Empty weight; 10,618 lb / 4816 kg
Loaded weight (clean): 14,613 lb / 6628 kg
MTOW: 17,560 lb / 7965 kg
Engine: Orenenda 14, 7275 lb / 3300 kg
Max speed at sea level, 710 mph (1143 km/h)
Max speed at 36,000 ft (10 975 m) 620 mph (998 km/h)
Range: 363 miles / 584 km
Ferry range: 1486 miles / 2391 km
Service ceiling: 54,700 ft / 16,460 m
Initial climb, 11,800 ft/ min (59,94m/sec)
Rate of Climb: 35,000 ft / 10,670m in 4 min 42 sec
Armament: 6 x 0.50in (12.7mm) mg , 1602 rounds total (267 rounds per gun)
North American F-86 Sabre
North American F-86D / YF-95 Dog Sabre