The North American F-86 Sabre, sometimes called the Sabrejet, is a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as the United States' first swept-wing fighter that could counter the swept-wing Soviet MiG-15 in high-speed dogfights in the skies of the Korean War (1950–1953), fighting some of the earliest jet-to-jet battles in history. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in that war, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces until the last active operational examples were retired by the Bolivian Air Force in 1994.
Its success led to an extended production run of more than 7,800 aircraft between 1949 and 1956, in the United States, Japan, and Italy. In addition, 738 carrier-modified versions were purchased by the US Navy as FJ-2s and -3s. Variants were built in Canada and Australia. The Canadair Sabre added another 1,815 airframes, and the significantly redesigned CAC Sabre (sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CAC CA-27), had a production run of 112. The Sabre is by far the most-produced Western jet fighter, with total production of all variants at 9,860 units.
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITY
SIZE: LENGTH 37 ft 1 in (11.30 m),
WINGSPAN 37 ft 0 in (11.28 m),
HEIGHT 14 ft 1 in (4.29 m),
EMPTY WEIGHT 11,125 lb (5,046 kg)
MAX TAKE OFF WEIGHT: 18,152 lb (8,234 kg)
SPEED: 687 mph (1,106 km/h, 597 kn) at sea level at 14,212 lb (6,446 kg) combat weight
SERVICE CEILING: 49,600 ft (15,100 m) at combat weight
RANGE: 1,525 mi (2,454 km, 1,325 nmi)
Guns: 6 X 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M3 Browning machine guns (1,800 rounds in total)
Rockets: variety of rocket launchers; e.g.: 2 Matra rocket pods with 18 SNEB 68 mm rockets per pod
Bombs: 5,300 lb (2,400 kg) of payload on four external hardpoints, bombs were usually mounted on outer two pylons as the inner pairs were plumbed for 2 200 US gallons (760 L) drop tanks which gave the Sabre a more useful range. A wide variety of bombs could be carried (max standard loadout being two 1,000 lb bombs plus two drop tanks), napalm canisters and could have included a tactical nuclear weapon.