North American F-86D Sabre

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F-86D/K/L Sabre "Dog"
North American F-86D-1s USAF in flight.jpg
The fifth F-86D for the USAF in formation with two other early production aircraft
Role Fighter interceptor
Manufacturer North American Aviation
First flight 22 December 1949,
65 years ago
Primary users United States Air Force
Italian Air Force
SFR Yugoslav Air Force
Venezuelan Air Force
Number built 2,847
Unit cost
$343,839 (F-86D)[1]
Developed from North American F-86 Sabre

The North American F-86D Sabre (sometimes called the "Sabre Dog" or "Dog Sabre") was a transonic jet all-weather interceptor of the United States Air Force and others. 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[edit]

The YF-95 was a development of the F-86 Sabre, the first aircraft designed around the new 2.75-inch (70 mm) Mighty Mouse Folding-Fin Aerial Rocket (FFAR). 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 (24.1 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.

Rocket tray

The fuselage was wider and the airframe length increased to 40 ft 4 in (12.29 m), with a 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 (24.7 kN) (from the F-86D-45 production blocks onward). A total of 2,504 D-models were built.

Operational history[edit]

On 18 November 1952, F-86D, 51-2945, set a speed record of 698.505 mph (1,124.1 km/h). Captain J. Slade Nash flew over a three km (1.8 mi.) course at the Salton Sea in southern 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 F-86D 51-6145, in the same path of the previous flight, achieved 715.697 mph (1,151.8 km/h).

A Wyoming Air National Guard F-86L in the late 1950s.

Variants[edit]

Family tree of Sabre & Fury variants
YF-95A
prototype all-weather interceptor; two built; designation changed to YF-86D (North American model NA-164)
YF-86D 
originally designated YF-95A.
F-86D 
Production interceptor originally designated F-95A, 2,504 built.
F-86G 
Provisional designation for F-86D variant with uprated engine and equipment changes, 406 built as F-86Ds.
YF-86K 
Basic version of F-86D intended for export with rocket tray replaced by four 20 mm cannon and simplified fire control system, two conversions.
F-86K 
NATO version of F-86D; MG-4 fire control system; four 20 mm M24A1 cannon with 132 rounds per gun; APG-37 radar. 120 were built by North American, 221 were assembled by Fiat.
F-86L 
Upgrade conversion of F-86D with new electronics, extended wingtips and wing leading edges, revised cockpit layout, and uprated engine; 981 converted.

Operators[edit]

Source: Dorr[2]
Danish North American F-86D Sabre
A West German F-86K in 1965.
Exhibit at the Hellenic Air Force Museum at Dekelia (Tatoi), Athens, Greece. North American F-86D Sabre Dog
North American F-86K Royal Netherlands Air Force
North American F-86K from Royal Norwegian Air Force.
F-86D of the Philippine Air Force.
 Denmark
Received 59 ex-USAF F-86Ds 1958-1960; assigned to 723, 726 and 728 Squadrons.
 France
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.
 Germany
Acquired 88 U.S. F-86Ks 22 July 1957–23 June 1958. The Ks were assigned to Jagdgeschwader 75/renamed 74.
 Greece
Acquired some U.S. F-86Ds were received in 1961 (no details).
 Honduras
Acquired Six Venezuelan F-86Ks in 1970.
 Italy
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.
 Japan
Acquired 122 US F-86Ds, 1958–1961; assigned to four all-weather interceptor Hikōtai, and Air Proving Ground at Gifu.
 Netherlands
Acquired 57 U.S.-built and six Fiat-built F-86K Sabres, 1955–1956; and assigned to three squadrons, No. 700, 701 and 702. Operated until 1964.
 Norway
Acquired 60 U.S.-built F-86K Sabres, 1955–1956, and four Italian-assembled Fiat K-models.
 Philippines
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)
 Turkey
Acquired 50 US-built F-86Ds, and 40 F-86Ks.
 Thailand
Acquired 20 F-86Ls.
 United States
 Venezuela
Acquired 32 US-built F-86Fs, October 1955–December 1960; 1965 acquired 79 Fiat-built F-86Ks from West Germany.
 Yugoslavia
Acquired 130 U.S.-made F-86Ds and operated them between 1961 and 1974.

Survivors[edit]

Many Sabres of several different Marks are preserved around the world, some examples being:

Specifications (F-86D-40-NA)[edit]

North American F-86K Sabre.

Data from Combat Aircraft since 1945,[5] The American Fighter [6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • 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

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 693 mph (1,115 km/h)
  • Maximum speed: Mach .91
  • Range: 330 miles (531 km)
  • Service ceiling: 49,750 ft (15,163 m)
  • Rate of climb: 12,150 ft/min (61.7 m/s)

Armament

  • 24 × 2.75 in (70 mm) Mighty Mouse FFAR rockets in ventral tray

See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Knaack 1978
  2. ^ Dorr 1993, pp. 65–96.
  3. ^ Dorr 1993, p. 72.
  4. ^ http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/exhibits/aircrafts
  5. ^ Wilson 2000, p. 111.
  6. ^ Angelucci and Bowers 1987, pp. 346–347.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Wilson, Stewart. Combat Aircraft since 1945. Fyshwick, ACT, Australia: Aerospace Publications Pty Ltd, 2000. ISBN 1-875671-50-1.

External links[edit]