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F-86 Sabre





North American XF-86
North American XF-86 (S/N 45-59597, the first one built)
Credit: U.S. Air Force

The United States Air Force's first swept-wing jet fighter; the F-86 made its initial flight on Oct. 1, 1947. The first production model flew on May 20, 1948, and on Sept. 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 lbs thrust
crew one
contractor North American


Related category

   • MILITARY AIRCRAFT

Source: U.S. Naval Historical Center