North American F-86D Sabre
|A USAF North American F-86D|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||North American Aviation|
|First flight||22 December 1949,|
72 years ago
|Primary users||United States Air Force|
Italian Air Force
SFR Yugoslav Air Force
Venezuelan Air Force
|Developed from||North American F-86 Sabre|
The North American F-86D Sabre (sometimes called the "Sabre Dog") was an American transonic jet all-weather interceptor of the United States Air Force and others. Based on the North American F-86 Sabre day fighter, the F-86D had only 25 percent commonality with other Sabre variants, with a larger fuselage, a 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-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.
The fuselage was wider and the airframe length increased to 40 ft 4 in (12.3 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.
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).
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- 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, 2,504 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 cannon and simplified fire control system, two conversions.
- 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.
- 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 "Auvergne" Squadrons. Serials were 55-4814/4844, 55-4846/4865, 55-4872/4874, 55-4876/4879.
- West Germany
- Acquired 88 U.S. F-86Ks 22 July 1957–23 June 1958. The Ks were assigned to Jagdgeschwader 75/renamed 74.
- Acquired 35 F-86Ds from the US. Were received in 1961 and retired in 1967 but kept as back up until 1969. F-86D was the first all weather fighter in Greek Air Force. F-86Ds were assigned to 337 & 343 Squadrons. Until 1964 they were in natural metal. Until after retirement they were in NATO camo.
- 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.
- Acquired 122 US F-86Ds, 1958–1961; assigned to four all-weather interceptor Hikōtai, 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. Operated until 1964.
- Acquired 60 U.S.-built F-86K Sabres, 1955–1956, and four Italian-assembled Fiat K-models.
- Acquired 20 F-86Ds, assigned to 8th Fighter Interceptor Squadron "Vampires" beginning 1960; part of the U.S. military assistance package.
- South Korea
- Acquired 40 F-86Ds, beginning 20 June 1955.
- Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Acquired 20 F-86Ls.
- United States
- Acquired 32 US-built F-86Fs, October 1955–December 1960; 1965 acquired 79 Fiat-built F-86Ks from West Germany.
- Acquired 130 U.S.-made F-86Ds and operated them between 1961 and 1974.
- Crew: one
- Length: 40 ft 3 in (12.27 m)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 1.5 in (11.31 m)
- Height: 15 ft 0 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 (24.13 kN) thrust dry, 7,500 lbf (33 kN) with afterburner
- Maximum speed: 715 mph (1,151 km/h, 621 kn) 
- Maximum speed: Mach .93
- Range: 330 mi (531 km, 290 nmi)
- 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
|AN/APG-36 all-weather radar
- Aerospace Defense Command
- North American Aerospace Defense Command
- Semi-Automatic Ground Environment
- CAC Sabre
- Canadair Sabre
- North American F-86 Sabre
- North American F-100 Super Sabre
- North American FJ-1 Fury
- North American FJ-2/-3 Fury
- North American FJ-4 Fury
- North American YF-93
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era
- Douglas F3D Skyknight
- Douglas F4D Skyray
- Lockheed F-94 Starfire
- Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17
- Northrop F-89 Scorpion
- Saab 29 Tunnan
- Supermarine Swift
- Wilson 2000, p. 111.
- "William F. Barns Archives". This Day in Aviation. February 21, 2019. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Dorr 1993, pp. 65–96.
- Angelucci and Bowers 1987, pp. 346–347.
- Boyne, W.J. (1998). Beyond the Wild Blue: A History of the U.S. Air Force, 1947-1997. A Thomas Dunne book. St. Martin's Press. p. 380. ISBN 978-0-312-18705-7. Retrieved May 14, 2019.
- Allward, Maurice. F-86 Sabre. London: Ian Allan, 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.
- Robinson, Robbie. NATO F-86D/K Sabre Dogs. Le Havre, 2018, 120 p. ISBN 978-2-9541818-3-7.
- 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.
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