Now it's jet time, beginning with the first real American jet fighter, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star. This one actually flew combat in Korea, one of the very few combat vet F-80s still in existence. It was an F-80 like this one that won the first all-jet dogfight over Kroea, knocking down a Mig-15.
OK, it there was any one jet I could have free and clear, it's be the North American F-86 Sabre jet like this A model here. Naturally, Wright-Pat has a few of these, too.
This is the aircraft that, in the hands of superior American pilots, knocked down North Korean Migs at a 15:1 ratio. And here below is that Sabre with it's arch-enemy, the Mig 15.
Here's an F-86D, with a radar unit in the nose. (Note the RB-50 Reconnaissance aircraft in the background.)
And below is an RF-86F photo-reconnaissance aircraft that was used in Korea for overflights of North Korea. The bulges below the cockpit are for the then state-of-the-art "Haymaker" cameras which replaced the guns. It was used by the US Air Force then turned over to the South Koreans. This one was flown by them well into the 1980s--almost thirty years of flying for this particular Sabre. And those "guns" on the nose? Painted on to help it look like it was armed.
And if there was ever a jet fighter that went through more design changes and evolutions, than the Republic F-84, I can't think of it. This bird started out with a straight wing, evolved to a swept wing, some versions had solid noses with the air intakes in the wings, and others, like this F84F Thunderstreak, kept the open nose.In most of it's variations, it was a pretty rugged fighter-bomber, and the Thunderbirds even flew a couple of variants, starting out in 1953 with the straight-winged F-84G and transitioning to the swept-wing F-84F like the one above, in 1955. (And just one year later they switched again, this time to the F-100C. But that one comes later in the postings. This was the first fighter bomber equipped to deliver nuclear weapons.
More to come later. Stay tuned!