Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jet time! The F-86

A rare treat from the air show...a North American F-86 Sabre Jet.

America's first really successful jet fighter, this thing knocked Russian MiGs out of the Korean skies like flies. Almost 10,000 were produced, and the USAF flew some of these with Air Guard units until 1970.
It also wound up flying and fighting for numerous other countries during it's operational life, with Bolivia only retiring it in 1994.
Ff the 41 pilots designated "Ace" in the Korean War, 40 flew the f-86 sabre. (The other guy flew a Corsair...salut to the F4U!)

And this particular one flew, albeit briefly, at the show. But then the F-86 was never what one would call "fuel efficient".

Man, look at that thing MOVE! I added this to the top of my "want it" list for when I hit Powerball this week. Every now and again I buy a ticket just thinking of this plane in my hangar...and a Corsair, and an A-26...


  1. "This video is marked private."

    I'm not a plane guy myself, but the F86 is one I've always loved the look of. And with the engine inside the fuselage, the pilot is basically straddling the engine. Reminds me of those Italian frogmen that rode astride torpedoes in WWII. As a bonus, my favorite baseball player, Ted Williams, flew an F86 in Korea when he was with the USMC.

  2. Thanks Bob. Fixed the video.

  3. That was the first model airplane I built, as a kid. I thought it was just the coolest thing ever ... until I saw an F-100 Super Saber.

    I'm so fickle. :)

  4. One of my favorite Aircraft!

  5. Yep, haulin ass, burnin gas! :-)

  6. I knew a retired AF pilot who got a job at Kadena AB, towing targets for the F-15's.

    He flew his personal Sabre. White, with a blue racing stripe down each side.

    We used to help him work on it now and then, between working our own jets.

    I remember thinking how lucky that guy was. Getting paid by Uncle Sam to fly his own F-86 around over the Pacific, with free gas included.

  7. Add an A-10 to the list ... for beer runs.

  8. Have fun polishing all that aluminum.

  9. Like the P-38 it used hydraulic boosted ailerons while the MIG-15 didn't.

    That (and pilot skill) is why even though the MIG was faster and few higher it didn't do well against the F-86.

    BTW, it was virtually the same size as a P-51 (but then it was made by North America!)

  10. Msgt B., that wasn't a personal F-86, it was a contract jet from a company called Flight Systems that did dart tow around the world for USAF. Had one or two of them at Holloman during the early '80s when I was there.

    And Bob, the F-86 engine is still below and behind the pilot.

    The Sabre has good range but like most of the early jets needed to get some altitude before the fuel efficiency came into play.

    Great jet, last of the purpose built day fighter air superiority types. Six .50s and a Mk 1/Mod 0 fighter pilot eyeball!

  11. Ed, if you tell me that you got to fly one of those, I'm gonna die of envy here.

  12. Murphy's Law: Jes dreamin' but, oh my, wouldn't that be ride? (A thud would be super cool, too.)