The North American

F-86 Sabre Jet


North American F-86 Sabre Jet

The North American F-86 was the first swept-wing airplane in the U.S. fighter inventory.
Four models of the craft (F-86A, E, F and H) were day fighters or fighter bombers, while the F-86D, K and L versions were all-weather interceptors.

The forerunner of the operational Sabre was the XF-86, first flown Oct. 1, 1947 and became the first aircraft to fly at Mach 1 in a routine flight.  More than 6,000 F-86s were manufactured by North American's Los Angeles and Columbus, Ohio, divisions.  The airplane was used by the air forces of 20 other nations, including West Germany, Japan, Spain, Britain, and Australia.

Various models of the Sabre held world's speed records for six consecutive years, setting five official records and winning several National Aircraft Show Bendix Trophies.

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. 

The major production version of the day-fighter Sabre was the F-86F. The F-86F Sabre was basically a more powerful version of the F-86E, being powered by the 5910 J47-GE-27 engine in place of the 5200 J47-GE-13.


The Museum’s F-86 (serial number 55-3937) was built in 1952 for the Japanese Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) and was the last F-86 in its inventory.


F-86 Sabre Jet Specifications


  Manufacturer   North American Aviation, Los Angeles, CA.
  Number Built   Over 2500
  Wing Span   37 ft. 1 in.
  Overall Length   37 ft. 6 in. 
  Overall Height   16 ft 11½ in 
  Speed (Maximum)    650 mph
 Weight, Empty  10,890 lb.
  Weight, Max T.O.   20,357 lb.
  Altitude (Maximum)   49,000 ft. 
  Power plant General Electric J47-GE-27 of 5,910 lb. thrust 
  Armament Six .50 cal. machine guns 16 five-inch HVAR   rockets (external) or 2,000 pound bomb load


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