- North American F-86D Sabre
F-86D/K/L Sabre "Dog" Early USAF F-86D-1-NA fighters Role Fighter interceptor Manufacturer North American Aviation First flight 22 December 1949 Primary users United States Air Force
Italian Air Force
SFR Yugoslav Air Force
Venezuelan Air Force
Number built 2,847 Unit cost US$343,839 (F-86D) Developed from F-86 Sabre
The North American Aviation F-86D Sabre (sometimes called the "Sabre Dog" or "Dog Sabre") was a transonic jet all-weather interceptor. Based on North American's F-86 Sabre day fighter, the F-86D had only 25 percent commonality with other Sabre variants, with a larger fuselage, larger afterburning engine, and a distinctive nose radome.
Design and development
The YF-95 was a development of the F-86 Sabre, the first aircraft designed around the new 2.75 in (70 mm) Mighty Mouse FFAR (Fin-Folding Aerial Rocket). Begun in March 1949, the unarmed prototype, 50-577, first flew on 22 December 1949 piloted by North American test pilot George Welch and was the first U.S. Air Force night-fighter design with only a single crewman and a single engine, a J47-GE-17 with afterburner rated at 5,425 lbf (24 kN) static thrust. Gun armament was eliminated in favor of a retractable under-fuselage tray carrying 24 unguided Mk. 4 rockets, then considered a more effective weapon against enemy bombers than a barrage of cannon fire. A second prototype, 50-578, was also built, but the YF-95 nomenclature was short-lived as the design was subsequently redesignated YF-86D.
The fuselage was wider and the airframe length increased to 40 ft 4 in, with clamshell canopy, enlarged tail surfaces, and AN/APG-36 all-weather radar fitted in a radome in the nose, above the intake. Later models of the F-86D received an uprated J-47-GE-33 engine rated at 5,550 lbf/25 kN (from the F-86D-45 production blocks onward). A total of 2,504 D-models were built.
On 18 November 1952, F-86D-20-NA, 51-2945, set a speed record of 698.505 mph (1,124.135 km/h). Captain J. Slade Nash flew over a three km course at the Salton Sea in California at a height of only 125 ft (38 m). Another F-86D broke this world record on 16 July 1953, when Lieutenant Colonel William F. Barns, flying the first F-86D-35-NA, 51-6145, in the same path of the previous flight, achieved 715.697 mph (1,151.803 km/h).
- prototype all-weather interceptor; two built; designation changed to YF-86D (North American model NA-164)
- originally designated YF-95A.
- Production interceptor originally designated F-95A, 2,506 built.
- Provisional designation for F-86D variant with uprated engine and equipment changes, 406 built as F-86Ds.
- Basic version of F-86D intended for export with rocket tray replaced by four 20 mm (.79 in) cannon and simplified fire control system, two conversions.
- NATO version of F-86D; MG-4 fire control system; four 20 mm (.79 in) M-24A1, with 132 rpg each; APG-37 radar. 120 were built by NAA, 221 were assembled by Fiat.
- Upgrade conversion of F-86D with new electronics, extended wingtips and wing leading edges, revised cockpit layout, and uprated engine; 981 converted.
- Source: Dorr
- Received 59 ex-USAF F-86Ds 1958-1960; assigned to 723, 726 and 728 Squadrons.
- Fiat built 62 F-86Ks for France (1956-1957), assigned to EC 1/13 Artois, EC 2/13 Alpes, and EC 3/13 Squadrons. Serials were 55-4814/4844, 55-4846/4865, 55-4872/4874, 55-4876/4879.
- Luftwaffe (West German Air Force)
- Acquired 88 U.S. F-86Ks 22 July 1957-23 June 1958. The Ks were assigned to Jagdgeschwader 75/renamed 74.
- Greek Air Force
- Acquired some U.S. F-86Ds were received in 1961 (no details).
- Honduran Air Force
- Acquired Six Venezuelan F-86Ks in 1970.
- Fiat produced 121 F-86Ks for Italy, 1955-1958. Also, 120 U.S. F-86Ks were acquired. F-86s were assigned to the AMI air groups: 6 Gruppo COT/1 Stormo, 17 Gruppo/1 Stormo, 23 Gruppo/1 Stormo, 21 Gruppo/51 Aerobrigata, 22 Gruppo/51 Aerobrigata and 12 Gruppo/4 Aerobrigata.
- Japanese Air Self-Defense Force
- Acquired 122 US F-86Ds, 1958-1961; assigned to four all-weather interceptor hikotai, and Air Proving Ground at Gifu.
- Royal Netherlands Air Force (Koninklijke Luchtmacht) (KLu)
- Acquired 57 U.S.-built and six Fiat-built F-86K Sabres, 1955-1956; and assigned to three squadrons, No. 700, 701 and 702.
- Acquired 60 U.S.-built F-86K Sabres, 1955-1956, and four Italian-assembled Fiat K-models.
- Acquired 20 F-86Ds, beginning 1957; part of the U.S. military assistance package.
- South Korea
- Acquired 40 F-86Ds, beginning 20 June 1955.
- Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Acquired 50 US-built F-86Ds, and 40 F-86Ks.
- Acquired 20 F-86Ls.
- United States
- Acquired 74 Fiat-built F-86Ks, October 1955 - December 1960; acquired 51 US-built F-86Ks from West Germany.
- Acquired 130 US-made F-86Ds and operated them between 1961 and 1974.
Many Sabres of several different Marks are preserved around the world, some examples being:
- F-86D Sabre, 51-6171, Former USAF & Greek AF (as 6171), on display at the North East Aircraft Museum, United Kingdom
- F-86D Sabre, 51-8453, Danish F-453, Danish AF, Copenhagen, Denmark.
- F-86D Sabre, 52-3863, National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
- F-86D Sabre, 52-10023 Yugoslav 14102, YUAF, manufacturers number 190-748; at Yugoslav Aeronautical Museum, Nikola Tesla Airport, Belgrade, Serbia.
- F-86L Sabre, 53-0965 Pima Air Museum, Tucson Arizona
- Crew: 1
- Length: 40 ft 3 in (12.27 m)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 1.5 in (11.31 m)
- Height: 15 ft in (4.57 m)
- Empty weight: 13,518 lb (6,132 kg)
- Gross weight: 19,975 lb (9,060 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × General Electric J47-GE-17B, 5,425 lbf (24.1 kN)dry, 7,500 lbf (33.4 kN) with afterburner
- Maximum speed: 693 mph (1,115 km/h)
- Range: 330 miles (531 km)
- Service ceiling: 49,750 ft (15,163 m)
- Rate of climb: 12,150 ft/min (61.7 m/s)
- 24 × 2.75 in (70 mm) Mighty Mouse FFAR rockets in ventral tray
- Air Defense Command
- Semi-Automatic Ground Environment
- Related development
- FJ-1 Fury
- F-86 Sabre
- Canadair Sabre
- CAC Sabre
- FJ-2/3/4 Fury
- North American YF-93
- Fuji T-1
- F-100 Super Sabre
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- List of military aircraft of the United States
- List of fighter aircraft
- Allward, Maurice. F-86 Sabre. London: Ian Allen, 1978. ISBN 0-7110-0860-4.
- Angelucci, Enzo and Peter Bowers. The American Fighter: the Definite Guide to American Fighter Aircraft from 1917 to the Present. New York: Orion Books, 1987. ISBN 0-517-56588-9.
- Curtis, Duncan. North American F-86 Sabre. Ramsbury, UK: Crowood, 2000. ISBN 1-86126-358-9.
- Dorr, Robert F.F-86 Sabre Jet: History of the Sabre and FJ Fury. St. Paul, Minnesota: Motorbooks International Publishers, 1993. ISBN 0-87938-748-3.
- Käsmann, Ferdinand C.W. Die schnellsten Jets der Welt: Weltrekord- Flugzeuge (in German). Oberhaching, Germany: Aviatic Verlag-GmbH, 1994. ISBN 3-925505-26-1.
- Knaack, Marcelle Size. Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems, Volume 1, Post-World War Two Fighters, 1945-1973. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1978. ISBN 0-912799-59-5.
- Wilson, Stewart. Combat Aircraft since 1945. Fyshwick, ACT, Australia: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2000. ISBN 1-875671-50-1.
- Swanborough, F. Gordon. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909. London: Putnam, 1963. ISBN 0-87474-880-1.
- Wagner, Ray. American Combat Planes - Second Edition. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, 1968. ISBN 0-370-00094-3.
- Wagner, Ray. The North American Sabre. London: Macdonald, 1963. No ISBN.
- Westrum, Ron. Sidewinder. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1999. ISBN 1-55750-951-4.
- Globalsecurity.org profile of the F-86D/L Sabre
- Four part series about the F-86 Sabre – Extended F-86 Sabre article set
- Sabre site
- North American F-86D Sabre
- Aviation Museums of the World
USAAS/USAAC/USAAF/USAF fighter designations 1924–1962 Pursuit (pre-1948)
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