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Designation: F-86D

North American F-86L

North American F-86L (F-86D) Sabre

A picture of the North American F-86L Sabre

The F-86D is the radar equipped all-weather interceptor version of the Sabre.  The aircraft is really a completely new design based on the F-86 and in fact it was initially designated as the F-95A.  In addition to the redesigned nose to accommodate the radar the “Sabre Dog” was equipped with an afterburning engine and eliminated the gun armament in favor of a retractable tray containing 24 2.75-inch air-to-air rockets.  This version of the Sabre was assigned to the Air Defense Command as an interceptor during the 1950s and later to several Air National Guard units.  Starting in 1956 a total of 981 F-86Ds were converted to F-86Ls.  This involved fitting a redesigned wing and new electronic equipment. 

Service History

Manufactured by North American Aviation, Inglewood, California as an F-86D and delivered to the U.S. Air Force on June 1, 1955.

June 1955                    To 47th Figher-Interceptor Squadron, Niagara Falls Airport, New York.  Deployed to Williams AFB, Arizona, Yuma County Airport, Arizona, and Grandview AFB, Missouri.

June 1957                    To North American Aviation, Inglewood California for conversion to F-86L.

September 1957          To 53rd Fighter Group, Sioux City Airport, Iowa.  Deployed to Vincent AFB, Arizona.

Wingspan 37 ft 1 in.


Length 40 ft 4 in.


Height 15 ft


Weight 17,100 lbs (loaded)


Max. Speed 707 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 54,600 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 836 miles


Engines One General Electric J47-GE-17 turbojet with 7,630 pounds of thrust


Crew 1


North American

354th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, McGhee Tyson Airport, Tennessee, 1957


Serial Number

March 1959                 To Sacramento Air Materiel Area, McClellan AFB, California.

May 1959                    To 144th Fighter Group, California Air National Guard, Fresno Airport, California.

April 1961                   To 194th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, California Air National Guard, Fresno Airport, California.

December 1965           To 144th Fighter Group, California Air National Guard, Fresno Airport, California.

January 1966               To Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona for storage.

June 1966                    Dropped from inventory as surplus.

1974                            Loaned to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Museum of the United States Air Force.