Planes of Fame Air Museum
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Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  North American F-86F 'Sabre'


  • The F-86 Sabre was developed in response to a 1944 request for a single-seat high-altitude fighter. The chief designer was Edgar Schmued, who had also designed the P-51 Mustang. The F-86 was derived from the design of the straight-wing FJ Fury series of Navy aircraft. Following the end of World War 2, German advances in swept-wing research led to the Sabre receiving a 35-degree swept wing.
  • The XP-86 prototype flew on 01 October 1947, and the aircraft entered service with the USAF in 1949 as the F-86A. Several versions were built, with the ultimate day fighter version being the F-86F, of which 2,239 were built. The F-86D was the most-produced version; this model had a large radome in the nose, and a larger fuselage to accommodate an after burning engine. In truth, the F-86D shared only about 25 percent commonality with other F-86 variants.
  • The Sabre was the primary U.S. air-to-air fighter during the Korean War. It was closely matched to the Russian-designed MiG-15 being flown by Korean, Chinese, and Soviet pilots over "MiG Alley." The American pilots were better trained than their enemies, resulting in a favorable kill ratio for the F-86. Of the 40 pilots that achieved "ace" status in Korea, all but one flew F-86s.
  • Sabres were flown by many nations, including Pakistan, Portugal, the UK, Australia, Canada, Germany, Japan, and the Netherlands. Variants of the F-86 were also built under license in Canada and Australia.


  • The Museum’s F-86F was manufactured in Inglewood, California, in November 1953, and was most likely assigned in late 1953 to the 3595th Pilot Training Wing at Nellis Air Force Base in southern Nevada.  Nellis was the only base training F-86 pilots for combat flight and gunnery during the Korean Conflict and immediately after.  In November 1960 the aircraft was one of 28 Sabre jets transferred to the Argentine Air Force.  There it flew as aircraft C-127 (see smaller inset image) for Grupo 1 de Caza y Bombardeo for the next twenty-six years.  It was withdrawn from use in August 1986 and was acquired by the Museum.  It flies regularly in air shows and heritage flights.



Status: Flyable
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
Year: 1953
Model: F-86F-30-NA Sabre
Registration Number: N186AM
Serial Number: 52-5012 - Mfg. c/n 191-708
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 13,791 lb.
Span: 37 ft. 1 in.
Length: 37 ft. 6 in.
Height: 14 ft. 8 in.
Maximum Speed: 685 mph
Cruise Speed: 550 mph
Rate of Climb: 9,850 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 x General Electric  J47-GE-27 turbojet with 5,200 lbs. of thrust
Range: 1,200 mi
Service Ceiling: 49,000 ft.
Armament: Six 0.50-cal machine guns


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