The North American F-86A 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.
The 1949-built North American F-86A-5-NA Sabre G-SABR (ex. N68388, N178) of Golden Apple Operations Ltd.
was one of the highlights at the Airshow Eelde 2005. This ancient fighter-jet
is powered by a General Electric Co
J-47-13 engine. The Sabre flew a nice performance together with another classic jet, the Lockheed CT-33AN Silver Star
G-TBRD "21261/261" of Golden Apple Operations Ltd. The North American F-86A Sabre G-SABR was
assembled in Los Angeles and delivered to the United States Air Force as a F-86A-5 Sabre on 18 April 1949.
In February 1958, the aircraft was dropped from the USAF inventory and it ended in a Fresno scrapyard.
In 1970, the airframe was discovered here by Mr. Ben Hall who decided to rebuild it to flying condition. On 24 May 1974,
the 48-0178 flew again now with the civil registration N68388. At the Airshow Eelde 2005 the North American
F-86A wear the U.S. Air Force FU-178 serial 8178 (48-0178) colours.