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 lb.st. J47-GE-27
engine in place of the 5200 lb.st. J47-GE-13.