The North American F-86 Sabre is a single-seat day-fighter aircraft and
the first swept-wing airplane in the U.S. fighter inventory. North
American Aviation Corp started in 1944 with the development of the
straight winged XFJ-1 Fury their first jet fighter designated for the
U.S. Navy. When the U.S. Air Force asked for a day fighter that could
reach 600 mph and could also be used as a dive-bomber or escort fighter,
North American redesigned the Fury. In 1945, the design initially named
NA-140, passed the proposition stage. The problem, however, was that the
NA-140 was to slow. After World War II the North American engineers
could study a Me-262 that had slats and swept wings. Research in the
aerodynamic design of the NA-140 resulted in the prototype XP-86 with
introducing slats and swept back wings. The first of three XP-86 prototypes flew on
1 October 1947, powered by General Electric J-35 engine. The NA-151 production
model used the more powerful General Electric J-47 turbojet and flew first on 20 May 1948.
In June 1948, the model was renamed the F-86A, after the U.S.A.F used Fighter
instead of Pursuit. On 15 September 1948, an F-86A set a new world
speed record of 670.9 mph. By the time the new fighter entered US Air Force service in 1949, it was
known as the "Sabre." or Sabrejet. 554 F-86A planes were manufactured. When
production of the Sabre with the latest model F-86K terminated in 1958 a total of over 9500
of all models were constructed, including licence production in Australia, Canada and Italy.
In addition, 300 F-86F Sabres were assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi in 1956-1961.
On 3 March 2015, the 1952-built North American F-86F-35-NA Sabre FU-385
(52-5385) was seen in 32nd FDS colours on display at the ramp of the NMM
(Nationaal Militair Museum) at the former AFB Soesterberg. However coded
as FU-385 / 25385 this aircraft was never flown by 32nd FDS at
Soesterberg. This North American F-86F-35-NA Sabre is the ex 52-5180
that served with the U.S. Air Force and in 1959 was transferred to the
FAP - Portuguese Air Force as 5307. Early November 1979, the 5307 was
flown to Soesterberg by a Lockheed C-130 Hercules. At Soesterberg the
aircraft was repainted in USAF '25385' colors with 32nd FDS tail sceme.
Early 1991 the Sabre was added to the collection of the MLM at
Soesterberg. On 1 July 2013, the MLM (Militaire Luchtvaart Museum) was
closed and the collection, including the North American F-86F-35-NA
Sabre FU-385, went to the new build NMM that opened on 11 December 2014.
The real 52-5385 was written off at Luke AFB, Arizona, on 13 July 1962.