Planes of Fame Air Museum
Planes of Fame Air Museum
Home »  Collection »  Flying & Static Aircraft »  North American F-86H '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 aircraft is an F-86H model, of which 473 were built. The F-86H was provisioned to carry a nuclear weapon and was equipped with the LABS (Low Altitude Bombing System. It was transferred to U.S. Navy China Lake and converted to QF-86H target drone, hence the color scheme shown in the photo.



Status: Static Display
Manufacturer: North American Aviation
Year: 1953
Model: F-86H Sabre (converted to QF-86H)
Registration Number:
Serial Number:
Crew: 1
Max T/O Weight: 24,296 lb.
Span: 39 ft. 1 in.
Length: 38 ft. 10 in.
Height: 15 ft. 0 in.
Maximum Speed: 692 mph
Cruise Speed: 527 mph
Rate of Climb: 12,900 ft/min
Power Plant: 1 x General Electric J73-GE-3E turbojet engine, 8,920 lbs. thrust
Range: 785 mi
Service Ceiling: 50,800 ft.
Armament: Four M-39 20mm cannon; eight rockets, 2,000 lbs. of bombs, or nuclear weapon


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