North American XF-86 (S/N 45-59597, the first one built). Credit: U.S. Air Force
The F-86 Sabre was the United States Air Force's first swept-wing jet fighter; the F-86 made its initial flight on October 1, 1947. The first production model flew on May 20, 1948, and on September 15, 1948, an F-86A set a new world speed record of 670.9 mph. Originally designed as a high-altitude day-fighter, it was subsequently redesigned into an all-weather interceptor (F-86D) and a fighter-bomber (F-86H).
As a day fighter, the airplane saw service in Korea in three successive series (F-86A, E and F), where it engaged the Russian-built MiG-15. By the end of hostilities, it had shot down 792 MiGs at a loss of only 76 Sabres, a victory ratio of 10 to 1.
More than 5,500 Sabre day-fighters were built in the United States and Canada. The airplane was also used by the air forces of 20 other nations, including West Germany, Japan, Spain, Britain and Australia.
|wing span||37 feet 1 inch|
|length||37 feet 6 inches|
|height||14 feet 8 inches|
|weight||13,791 pounds (loaded)|
|speed||maximum: 685 mph
cruise: 540 mph
|ceiling||49,000 feet (combat)|
|power plant||one General Electric J47
turbojet of 5,200 lb. thrust