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F-86 Sabre Jet
North American Brochure of 1965

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Nearly 20 years after first flight approximately 2500 North American Aviation F—86s are still in service across continental United States and in 25 foreign countries. More than 6000 were manufactured by the company’s Los Angeles and Columbus, (Ohio) Divisions.

The first sweptwing airplane in the U.S. fighter inventory, the F-86 scored consistent victories over Russian—built MiG fighters during the Korean war, accounting for a final ratio of 14-to-1. All 39 United Nations jet aces won their laurels in Sabres.

Four models of the craft (F-86A, E, F and H) are day fighters or fighter bombers, while the F-86D, K and F versions are all-weather interceptors.

Successive models of the daylight versions — all designed to destroy hostile aircraft in flight or on the ground — were equipped with more powerful engines and armament systems that ranged from bombs and rockets to machine guns and cannon. All are rated in the 650 mph class with a 600-mile combat radius and a service ceiling of over 45,000 feet.

The three interceptor versions sport black radome noses, replacing the yawning jet intakes of the other models. The K model, manufactured in Turin, Italy, by Fiat, is flown by NATO forces. The F-86L has added equipment for use in conjunction with the U.S. SAGE (semi-automatic ground environment defense system.

Forerunner of the operational Sabre was the XF-86, first flown Oct. 1, 1947, by North American Test Pilot George Welch. A few months later Welch became the first pilot to fly the plane at Mach 1 (the speed of sound) in routine flight. Although technically rated as subsonic, the Sabre is no stranger to supersonic speeds.

Various models of the Sabre held world’s speed records for six consecutive years, setting five official records and winning several National Aircraft Show Bendix Trophies.

In September, 1948 an F-86A set the Sabre’s first official world speed record of 570 mph. This mark was bettered in 1952 by an F-86D which flew at 698 mph. The “D” became the first model of a fighter to better its own record, in 1953, with a run of 715 mph.

The F-86E and subsequent models incorporated a unique control system, developed by North American, called the “all-flying tail.” Where the F-86A contained a booster control system which called for the pilot to do part of the work of controlling the aircraft, the newer system added full-power operated control for better maneuverability at high speeds. An “artificial feel” was 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.

U.S. production of the Sabre Jet ended in December, 1956.


PERFORMANCE AND SPECIFICATIONS
 

NORTH AMERICAN F-86D SABRE JET

DIMENSIONS   ARMAMENT
Span: 37' 1"
Length: 41' 8"
Height: 15'
  24 2.75-inch Mighty Mouse rockets carried in retractable package in fuselage.
PERFORMANCE
Speed: 565 knots (650 mph) Class
Range: Approximately 870 Nautical miles (1000 Statute miles)
Service Ceiling: over 45,000 ft.
WEIGHT  
Max. Gross T.O.: 18,000 lbs.  
POWER PLANT  
General Electric J-47-GE-17
Thrust: 7,650 lbs. with afterburner
   
FIRST FLIGHT   FIRST DELIVERY
Dec. 22, 1949 (YF-86D)   March, 1952
DESCRIPTION: Special features are 35-degree sweptback wing and tail and an underslung engine air-inlet duct, fairing into the fuselage, which permits installation of air equipment in the nose. It has hydraulic power-operated irreversible controls with artificial feel for an all-movable tail, ailerons and rudder. It is equipped with aerodynamically actuated wing leading-edge slats for high lift.
 

NORTH AMERICAN F-86E SABRE JET

DIMENSIONS   POWER PLANT
Span: 37'
Length: 37'
Height: 14'
  General Electric J-47-13 Turbo-jet
Thrust: 5200 lbs.
WINGS   WEIGHT
Spar: Aluminum
Ribs: Aluminum
Covering: Aluminum
  Combat Weight —— 14.000 lbs.
   
  LANDING GEAR
FIRST FLIGHT   Type: Conventional tricycle retractable with steerable nose gear
September 23, 1950   ARMAMENT
FIRST DELIVERY   Six .50 cal. machine guns
Feb. 9, 1951   16 five-inch HVAR rockets or 2000 lb. max. bomb load
MISSION: The destruction of hostile aircraft in flight.
DESCRIPTION: Special features are swept-back wing and tail, electrically operated flaps, hydraulically operated speed brakes, automatic wing leading-edge slats, hydraulic-power-operated irreversible controls with artificial feel for the all-movable horizontal tail and ailerons.
DEVELOPMENT: The F-86E is basically an F-86A modified to incorporate aerodynamic and system changes.
The original model, the F-86A, was first operational sweptwing airplane to fly in the United States.
 

NORTH AMERICAN F-86F SABRE JET

DIMENSIONS   POWER PLANT
Span: 37'
Length: 37'
Height: 14'
  General Electric J-47-GE-27 Turbo-jet
Thrust: 5970 lbs.
WINGS   WEIGHT
Swept back 35 degrees
Spar-aluminum alloy
Ribs-aluminum alloy
Covs-tapered skins
  Max. Gross T.O.: Approximately 17,000 lbs.
   
  PERFORMANCE
  Speed: 565 Knots (650 mph) class.
Range: Over 870 nautical (1000 statute miles)
Service ceiling: Over 45,000 ft.
LANDING GEAR
Type: Tricycle
FIRST FLIGHT   ARMAMENT
March 19, 1952   Six .50 cal. machine guns
16 five-inch HVAR rockets (external) or 2000 lb. bomb load
FIRST DELIVERY
March 21, 1952    
DEVELOPMENT: The F-86F is basically an F-86E modified to incorporate the J-47-GE-27 engine. At one time the F-86F held the world’s speed record of 679.981 mph.
 

NORTH AMERICAN F-86H SABRE JET

DIMENSIONS   POWER PLANT
Span: 37'1"
Length over-all: 38'8"
Height over-all: 15'
  General Electric J-73-GE-3
Thrust: 9000 lb. class
WINGS   PERFORMANCE
Sweptback 35 degrees covering aluminum alloy tapered skins   Speed: Over 550 knots
Range: Over 1,000 nautical miles (1,200 statute miles)
Service ceiling: Over 45,000 ft.
FIRST FLIGHT    
April 30, 1953   ARMAMENT
LANDING GEAR   Four 20 mm guns
Type: Tricycle    
DESCRIPTION: Special features include hydraulically-operated speed brakes and controls, electrically-operated flaps, a geared elevator, modified wing with stationary, extended leading edge and self-sufficient starting system. It also has a clamshell type cockpit canopy, a companion feature to the improved ejection-seat mechanism.
DEVELOPMENT: The F-86H is the fifth model of the F-86 series, incorporating the increased thrust of the GE J-73-GE-3 engine and providing structural and system improvements.
 

NORTH AMERICAN F-86K SABRE JET

DIMENSIONS   POWER PLANT
Span: 37'1"
Length: 42'4"
Height: 15'
  General Electric J-47-33 turbo-jet
Thrust: 5,600 lbs. plus afterburner
WEIGHT   ARMAMENT
Gross take-off:
With Ext. tanks 20,347 lbs.
“Clean” 18,500 lbs.
  Four 20 mm cannon
PERFORMANCE   TYPE
Speed: More than 650 mph
Combat radius: Approx. 500 miles
Service ceiling: over 45,000 ft.
  Single-place fighter
LANDING GEAR   FIRE-CONTROL SYSTEM
Type: Tricycle, hydraulically retractable.
Tread: 8'3"
  North American Electrical
DESCRIPTION: Special features are 35-degree swept wings and tail and an underslung engine air-inlet duct, fairing into the fuselage, beneath prominent black “nose” housing radar equipment for fire-control system. It features the North American “all-flying tail,” and is equipped with aerodynamically actuated wing leading edges for high lift. Although similar to the F-86D interceptor, the F-86K features visible gun ports in lower front fuselage.

All information on this page is from North American Aviation, Inc. brochure dated December, 1965.
 

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