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North American Aviation F-86L Sabre (Interceptor)

Snapshot
Nickname:
Sabre-dog
Number Built:
9,860
Make:
North American Aviation
Mission:
Interceptor
Location:
The Raytheon Pavilion & Outdoor Exhibits
Background

The F-86D first flew on December 22, 1949. It was developed as an all-weather interceptor version of the formidable F-86A. The F-86D was used in the 1950s to guard against enemy air attack, both in the United States and overseas. Over 2500 of the F86- D models were produced.

The F-86D is well-known for historic firsts. It was the first U.S. Air Force aircraft to have all-rocket armament. It was also the first all-weather interceptor with a one-man crew to pilot the aircraft and to operate the radar fire control system. The F-86D set new world speed records of 698 mph in November 1952 and 715 mph in July 1953.

The F-86L is an updated version of the F-86D Sabre. The newer version utilized longer-span slatted wings to improve high altitude performance and maneuverability. Smaller wings previously caused this to be a weak point of the Sabre series. The F-86L was equipped with onboard data-link to the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system. SAGE was the first computer war system developed; it allowed more accurate all-weather, day or night interceptions.

Specs
Contractor
North American Aviation
Deployment Date
First flight, October 1947; Operational 1949
Span
37 feet
Length
37 feet, 6 inches
Height
14 feet, 8 inches
Weight
16,350 lbs
Max. Speed
675 MPH
Service Ceiling
48,300 feet
Range
360 miles
Crew
1