The North American Aviation F-86 "Sabre" is widely known for its exploits during the Korean conflict. Flown by better trained American Air Force pilots, the "Sabre" maintained air superiority in the skies over Korea. For every 14 Soviet built "MIGs" destroyed, only one F-86 was lost.
The prototype F-86 "Sabre" made its first flight on 22 December 1949, and carries the distinction of being the first sweptwing fighter in the Air Force's inventory. When production stopped, in December of 1956, 6,210 “Sabres" had been built in the United States. Another 3,292 were licensed to be built in Italy, Canada and Australia. In all, 96 allied countries including the Air Force of Japan, Taiwan, Spain, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands flew the F-86.
Three months before the end of the Korean War, in April of 1953, the F-86H took to the sky. The "H" model was a day time, fighter-bomber. Equipped with four 20mm cannons and capable of delivering 3,000 lbs. of bombs, the "H" model packed a strong punch. Our F-86 is an "L" model, which is similar to the F-86Ds that were stationed at Travis from 1954 to 1957 with the 513th and 82nd Fighter Interceptor Squadrons. As all weather radar equipped interceptors they carried 24 2.75 inch rockets internally.
Although the early models of the F-86 were phased out of the Air Force's inventory in 1963, the "K" and "L" models flew into the late 1970s with the Japanese.
Wing Span: 38'10"
Maximum Speed: 692 M.P.H.
Range: 769 Miles (Ferry)
Crew: : 1
Service Ceiling: 49,750 Ft.
Armament: 24 x 2.75 inch rockets carried internally
Engines: 1 x General Electric J-47-33 turbojet rated at 8,920 lbs. thrust.
Information derived from “Travis Heritage Center” by Nick Veronico copyright Travis AFB Historical Society/Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum Foundation. This book is available from the Jimmy Doolittle Air and Space Museum GIFT SHOP located in the Travis Heritage Center.